Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Singapore announces AI Trailblazers 2.0 to help organisations rapidly build gen AI solutions

Singapore announces AI Trailblazers 2.0 to help organisations rapidly build gen AI solutions

This expanded initiative comes as part of efforts to further accelerate AI adoption across the government and industry, and build a sustainable pipeline of AI talent in Singapore.

Singapore has announced various initiatives to further accelerate AI adoption across the government and industry, in support of Singapore’s second National AI Strategy (NAIS 2.0).

Together with the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), Smart Nation Group (SNG), Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), and Google Cloud, these joint initiatives further help cultivate a vibrant ecosystem of AI startups and build a sustainable pipeline of AI talent.

Speaking at a summit to conclude the AI Trailblazers, Guest-of-Honour Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Josephine Teo further unveiled the next phase of MCI and Google Cloud’s ongoing strategic collaboration.

Since its inception in 2023, Singapore's AI Trailblazers initiative has addressed over 100 generative AI use cases from 84 organisations across government and industry. Also at the summit, 43 organisations were spotlighted for having successfully built their own gen AI solutions, with 22 organisations continuing to refine their solutions before graduating from the initiative.

Under the initiative, participating organisations were provided with access to Singapore’s first Gen AI Innovation Sandboxes where they are able to use Google Cloud’s unified AI stack at no cost, to develop their own production-ready gen AI solutions. This would include a high-performance AI-optimised infrastructure, the Vertex AI platform, foundation models, and low-code developer tools.

For example, one of the innovation sandboxes, administered by SNG through the AI Government Cloud Cluster (AGCC), was dedicated for use by government agencies in Singapore. The other was administered by DISG and dedicated for use by Singapore-based companies.

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

AI Trailblazers 2.0

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, with the aim to help up to 150 more organisations in Singapore rapidly build gen AI solutions to address their real-world challenges. Similar to the first round, this expanded initiative will feature enhanced Innovation Sandboxes that provide participating organisations 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. 

Further details on AI Trailblazers 2.0 will be announced in the coming weeks. 

In similar news, Google Cloud and EnterpriseSG have also launched Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore which would seek to nurture and support globally oriented innovators that use gen AI as the core technology to build their products. This public-private startup programme aims to cultivate 100 high-potential AI startups over the next three years and scale the reach of their products into new markets. Through this, Google Cloud will partner with EnterpriseSG to offer qualified startups funding support under EnterpriseSG’s Startup SG Tech scheme. 

Soh Leng Wan, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, EnterpriseSG noted: “As the adoption of AI technologies gains momentum, it is important for Singapore to nurture a thriving AI ecosystem with startups that can push the boundaries in this field with new innovations. Our AI ecosystem can also serve to offer their AI expertise to uplift the growth and capabilities of wider industries."

Building a sustainable pipeline of AI talent

Lastly, Google has also announced that it is extending an additional 3,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to local distribution partners to address the growing demand for AI skills. The scholarships will focus on upskilling mid-career professionals and bring the 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.

In addition to Google Career Certificates, Google Cloud also offers introductory level microlearning courses in gen AI that are open to all learners at no cost, which aim to help them learn the fundamentals of gen AI.

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

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

Mark Micallef, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Google Cloud shared: “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."

Lead image / Provided 

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