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MCI, DISG, SNG, EnterpriseSG, and Google Cloud to Showcase New Gen AI Solutions


The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)Digital Industry Singapore (DISG)Smart Nation Group (SNG)Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), and Google Cloud have announced various joint initiatives to further accelerate Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption across government and industry, cultivate a vibrant ecosystem of AI startups, and build a sustainable pipeline of AI talent in support of Singapore’s second National AI Strategy (NAIS 2.0).

Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Josephine Teo was Guest-of-Honor and delivered a speech at ExploreAI, a summit hosted at the Google Asia Pacific campus to mark the conclusion of the AI Trailblazers initiative and unveil the next phase of MCI and Google Cloud’s ongoing strategic collaboration.

Accelerating Gen AI Adoption Across Government and Industry

Since its inception, the AI Trailblazers initiative has addressed over 100 generative AI (gen AI) use cases from 84 organisations across government and industry. At ExploreAI, MCI, DISG, SNG, and Google Cloud spotlighted 43 organisations—including the People’s Association (PA), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), GSK, Temus, and TDCX—that have successfully built their own gen AI solutions.

Of these organisations, 22 are continuing to refine their solutions before graduating from the initiative. The initiative provided participating organisations with access to Singapore’s first Gen AI Innovation Sandboxes. Through these Innovation Sandboxes, organisations were able to use Google Cloud’s unified AI stack consisting of high-performance AI-optimised infrastructure, its Vertex AI platform, foundation models, and low-code developer tools at no cost to develop their own production-ready gen AI solutions.

Expanding a Worthwhile Initiative

After iteration, testing, and technical reviews, participating organisations demonstrated their working solutions to a panel from MCI, DISG, SNG, and Google Cloud, who evaluated and accredited these solutions based on design, usability, reliability, functionality, and propensity for real-world application.

Building on the success of the first iteration of AI Trailblazers, MCI, DISG, SNG, and Google Cloud have announced plans for AI Trailblazers 2.0, an expanded initiative that aims to help up to 150 more organizations in Singapore rapidly build gen AI solutions to address their real-world challenges.

This expanded initiative will feature enhanced Innovation Sandboxes that provide participating organizations with access to Google Cloud’s unified AI stack, as well as support from Google Cloud engineers, at no cost for up to 10 weeks. For AI Trailblazers 2.0, Google Cloud will also allow these organizations to take advantage of Gemini—Google’s latest and most capable model yet—and Duet AI for Developers, an always-on AI collaborator that helps developers build, deploy, and operate applications faster.

Josephine Teo was Guest of Honor in the Gen AI showcase.

Philbert Gomez, Vice President and Head at DISG, said: “We are glad to learn that the AI Trailblazers initiative has increased the development and adoption of gen AI among companies based in Singapore. Through this program, participants capitalised on the transformative impact of gen AI and developed applications to improve their business. These efforts will contribute to Singapore’s ambition of becoming a hub for AI innovation…”

Cultivating a Vibrant Ecosystem of AI Startups

Google Cloud and EnterpriseSG have also launched Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore to nurture and support globally-oriented innovators that use gen AI as the core technology to build their products. This first-of-its-kind public-private startup program aims to cultivate 100 high-potential AI startups over the next three years and scale the reach of their products into new markets.

Applications are now open for the first cohort of 20 startups to join the inaugural three-month program commencing in April 2024.

Selected startups will receive best-in-class technology and resources to fast-track the development and commercialisation of proprietary products using gen AI. These resources include:

  • Up to USD $350,000 in Google Cloud credits upon graduation from the program.
  • Access to Google Cloud’s unified AI stack.
  • Mentorship and technical project support from Google’s product development teams, AI engineers, and startup ecosystem network partners like Alpha JWC Ventures, Co-Creation Lab, Golden Gate Ventures, Manulife, Red Dragon AI, Touchstone Partners, and more.
  • The opportunity to showcase their achievements and connect with potential investors and corporate customers at a Demo Day hosted by Google Cloud and EnterpriseSG.

Through the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore program, Google Cloud will partner with EnterpriseSG to offer qualified startups funding support under EnterpriseSG’s Startup SG Tech scheme. This arrangement will tap Google Cloud’s expertise to expediently assess selected high-quality AI startups who will be able to access Startup SG Tech funding for technology development and business growth.

Building a Sustainable Pipeline of AI Talent

Finally, to address the growing demand for AI skills, Google also announced that it is extending an additional 3,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to local distribution partners—with a focus on upskilling mid-career professionals, bringing its total commitment to 13,000 scholarships.

Designed by Google experts, the nine Google Career Certificates span high-growth fields such as Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and IT Support. They can be completed within three to six months through flexible, self-paced online training, with no relevant experience required. Graduates from these courses have seen positive impact in their careers, with several learners pivoting into AI-related roles.

Google Career Certificates is one of the pathways offered through the Skills Ignition SG (SISG) program, which was launched by Google in partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2020 to help Singaporeans acquire the digital skills they need to unlock new career possibilities.

In addition to Google Career Certificates, Google Cloud offers introductory level microlearning courses in gen AI that are open to all learners, at no cost. These courses aim to help them learn the fundamentals of gen AI, how it differs from other types of AI, and how to apply AI responsibly.

A First in Singapore, All for AI

To support the Government’s goal of tripling the number of local AI practitioners to 15,000 over the next three to five years, NYP will become the first institute of higher learning in Singapore to incorporate advanced industry training programs from Google Cloud into its core curriculum for more than 1,000 full-time diploma students in its School of Information Technology.

These training programs include Google Cloud’s Cloud Digital Leader certificationProfessional Data Engineer certificationcourses on training image classification models, and courses on building and deploying AI solutions on Vertex AI.

Since 2023, Google Cloud has also been collaborating with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), NYP, and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) to complement these schools’ curriculum in cloud technology with the Google Cloud Computing Foundations Value-Added Program and introductory level microlearning courses in gen AI.

“The variety of enterprise-grade gen AI solutions that have been successfully built through AI Trailblazers demonstrate this technology’s ability to help individuals make sense of vast amounts of information and perform daily tasks in ways never before possible, thereby amplifying human talent and acting as a catalyst for human productivity,” said Mark Micallef, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, at Google Cloud.

He added: “Our continued collaboration with the Singapore Government on AI Trailblazers 2.0, Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore, various skilling programs, and the AI Verify Foundation will help organizations access best-in-class resources, tools, and talent to innovate with AI boldly and responsibly..”