The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for Singapore to generate new digital relationships with the world as there is a corresponding need for secure and trustworthy ways to transact as data, financial and trade flows increasingly become digitalised. Working together, SUSS and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) have launched the Blockchain for Trade & Connectivity (BTC) Network – a unifying platform that allows blockchain and other technologies to operate together.
The BTC Network allows for innovation and testbedding of blockchain solutions with multimodal global supply chain companies, digital trading platforms and technology specialists. Supported by the National Research Foundation, the initiative will focus on enhancing interoperability between blockchains by integrating mesh networks to streamline connectivity between existing systems or platforms. To help local businesses and workers understand the technologies' potential, a risk assessment framework will also be developed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to assess how blockchain can be adopted to meet business needs. The industry's commitment to strengthen trade and connectivity linkages was sealed in an MOU with six commercial partners, viz., Ascent Solutions Pte Ltd, Blockchain-based Service Network, Commodities Intelligence Centre, GeTS Asia Pte Ltd, Trames Pte Ltd, and VeChain Technology, signed at the sidelines of the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology on 7 December 2020.
Under the partnership, SUSS will also be working closely with academics and industry practitioners to curate courses and programmes to enhance the knowledge and skills of local workforce. SUSS Provost, Professor Tsui Kai Chong, said: "The BTC Network is one of SUSS's endeavours in harnessing transformative technologies to serve society's changing needs and contribute to building an inclusive and resilient society for social good. We are excited that the resulting programmes and courses will better equip our students and adult learners with future-ready digital capabilities."
The BTC Network is expected to reduce barriers to trade and advance the trade and connectivity sector into a digital future that is secure and effective. ESG Assistant Chief Executive, Mr Satvinder Singh, said: "Assuring reliable supply chains and trusted connectivity to the world are key considerations that will maintain our status as a trade and connectivity hub. Through the BTC Network, we can connect enterprises with institutes of higher learning to co-create or adopt digital solutions that will promote greater efficiency and transparency across global supply chains. We will continue to work with SUSS and industry partners to help SMEs assess the resilience of their current operations with the risk assessment framework and promote the adoption of blockchain technology for business confidence and growth."