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SUTD and Thales collaborate to accelerate the development of smart aviation technologies

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Thales have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), paving the way for deeper collaboration on R&D, and the development of innovative solutions for mission critical systems design.


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"Thales, with its strong commitment to research and technology, is a valued industry partner for SUTD."

  • Both organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), using industry-led use cases and data-driven insights to drive innovation.
  • The partnership will involve design innovation workshops and research projects on the following topics: drones and unmanned air mobility (UAM), robotics and swarming technologies, cybersecurity and materials science.
  • The collaboration between SUTD and Thales builds on the existing strategic partnerships between Thales and local academia, reinforcing Thales’ commitment in supporting Singapore’s Smart Nation ambitions.

As industry needs evolve in the wake of rapid digitalisation, this partnership is reflective of Thales’ strong commitment to research and technology. Over the years, Thales has demonstrated this commitment through engagements with customers and partners in user-centered innovation, co-designing, prototyping and testing of new concepts across various sectors including defence and security, aerospace, air traffic management and smart cities.

SUTD being a multidisciplinary university is well-positioned to undertake research and seek solutions to these aviation challenges by bringing their design and technology expertise in the various research areas. Working together, Thales will strengthen its capabilities in the digitalisation and development of cutting-edge local solutions for key topics that include drones, robotics and cybersecurity.

Thales has a strong legacy of academic partnerships in Singapore with the country’s renowned institutions, including two joint labs at the Nanyang Technological University, one of which is with the French CNRS research agency.
Over the last six years, Thales and SUTD have worked closely on innovation topics at Thales’ Innovation Hub. Thales has also hosted 10 SUTD interns since 2013 and participated in SUTD’s Capstone Programme, a final year student project based on real-world problems set by the industry. This MoU reinforces that collaboration, with Thales translating academic research into innovative practical solutions while cultivating a talent pipeline from SUTD by offering an experience to work on real-world projects.

“Thales, with its strong commitment to research and technology, is a valued industry partner for SUTD. We are pleased to see that our collaborations with Thales have blossomed over the years and this partnership will strongly benefit our students and faculty, keeping them constantly abreast with the latest industry developments. With this new round of research projects jointly identified under the MOU, we will further advance our research partnership. Together with Thales, SUTD hopes to co-design and co-develop novel solutions in the aviation sector that can eventually benefit Singapore and the world.” Mr Lim King Boon, General Manager of Partnership, Innovation and Enterprise, SUTD

Thales is aware that digital technologies are constantly evolving at a rapid-fire pace. These solutions have to be applicable to real-life challenges and use-cases, and there is no better way than to do it in direct collaboration with design experts. As two organisations driven by the excitement of digital technology, I’m thrilled that Thales will be working with SUTD on topics like unmanned air mobility and cybersecurity, in mission critical systems, to develop smarter solutions that can answer to Singapore’s digital ambitions.” Kevin Chow, Country Director & CEO, Thales in Singapore

About Thales
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets.
With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto).
Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations — connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments.

About SUTD
The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is Singapore’s fourth public university, and one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology into a transdisciplinary, human-centric curriculum. SUTD seeks to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs. SUTD also recently topped a list of emerging engineering schools in the world in a study conducted by MIT.
A research-intensive university, SUTD is distinguished by its unique East and West academic programmes which incorporate elements of innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and local and international industry collaborations. SUTD’s key focus areas are Healthcare, Cities and Aviation, supported by capabilities in Artificial Intelligence/Data Science and Digital Manufacturing. Multiple post-graduate opportunities are available. In addition, skill-based professional education and training courses are also available at SUTD Academy.


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