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France tech and aerospace firm Thales boosts Asia-Pacific presence with Singapore digital centre

FRENCH technology and aerospace company Thales has added Singapore to its digital factory network. The Thales Digital Factory is a full-fledge platform where specialists in Internet of Things/connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, develop industry-focused solutions for businesses in aerospace, space, ground transportation, defence and security.

The opening of the Singapore centre, after France and Canada, is to bring Thales closer to its Asia-Pacific customers and partners, and foster closer collaboration in addressing the challenges faced by local organisations, said Olivier Flous, vice-president, digital transformation and digital factory of Thales.

He added: “We also hope to develop and deepen the talent pool of digital specialists in Singapore, making us a true partner to the innovation ecosystem in the country.”

The Singapore Digital Factory, whose launch was officiated by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Thursday, is expected to house a team of 30 specialists by 2019. They include data scientists, software engineers, designers, scrum masters and cybersecurity specialists. It plans to double the number of employees and invest over 20 million euros (S$31.2 million) in the next three to five years.

Tan Kong Hwee, executive director, capital goods and mobility, Singapore Economic Development Board, said: “Thales’ first digital factory in Asia also serves as an example of how industrial companies are riding the digitalisation wave, and creating exciting jobs for Singaporeans in specialised areas such as data analytics, cybersecurity, machine learning and software application development.”

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The Thales Digital Factory operates with a lean startup mindset, aiming to deliver first versions of new digital services in a few months. This allows it to test quickly operational and business value through minimum viable products.

It also forges commercial pacts with startups. It is working with a Singapore-based startup, Dathena, at its Paris Digital Factory. This is done through a partnership with Station F, a global startup incubator, to manage its cybersecurity programme.

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