Innovation is the result of a mix of ideas and competences across different cultures
The Singaporean R&D teams of Damen Shipyards Singapore and the Dutch R&D team of Damen Shipyards Gorinchem have worked in a very close partnership on challenging innovation projects since 2014. Moreover, the Singaporean R&D team has been a successful coordinator of the partnerships between the Dutch R&D team and the Singaporean universities, which have added a critical contribution to Damen’s innovation projects in terms of competences and resources (i.e. professors, students, laboratories).
Innovation is the result of a mix of ideas and competences on solving the complex tasks deriving from the implementation of such ideas. Both teams at Damen and universities complement each other, as they bring different ideas and competences in the R&D projects due to different background and cultural experiences. Such differences make the R&D partnership strong and successful. The many joint innovation projects being carried out by the teams, testify such strength and it is the heart of Damen’s successful cooperation between Singapore and the Netherlands. Virtual environments for ship towing testing, the development of advanced numerical hydrodynamics knowledge of ship and ship appendices, Big Data, advanced data analytics of ship performances and operations, research on new ship propulsion systems, artificial intelligence for ship design, research on usage of non-conventional materials for shipbuilding, new methods for noise reduction on ships, are some examples of innovation projects executed within the fruitful partnership.
The partnership in Research and Development between Dutch and Singaporean enterprises is not common in the shipbuilding industry, since many shipbuilding companies think is too risky to do R&D in different locations. Doing research and development in opposite hemispheres and still delivering the same or even higher quality and efficiency as one location, brings great benefits to Damen’s ships development and costs reduction. Such cooperation also enriches the knowledge of Singaporean universities about Dutch shipbuilding know-how. Being complementary to each other as teams, made of many different cultures, were the challenges Damen’s partnership successfully managed to handle.
Combining scientific research and applied research to identify innovative solutions
NUSDeltares is the strategic knowledge alliance between the Dutch applied research institute Deltares and the National University of Singapore. Jointly, they undertake applied research and specialist consultancy projects, focusing on four interconnected research topics: Urban Water Management, Adaptation to Climate Change, High Density Living and Data, Models and Hydroinformatics. Within each of these themes, they aim to connect the high-level fundamental research of NUS with the innovation- driven applied research and applications of Deltares in order to develop innovative, game-changing solutions for societal challenges. NUS and Deltares experts work together in three ways: fundamental research (output: fundamental knowledge development, papers, conferences), applied R&D (output: state-of-the-art solutions, innovative tools, management systems for government agencies) and specialist consultancy (output: solid analyses and advice for government and industry clients).
NUS’ strong thorough understanding of the local Singaporean water context and Deltares’ high end water expertise from the Netherlands and Europe, enables them to interpret societal urban challenges in a larger context, while drawing from a vast pool of knowledge, experience and technologies in water, environment and infrastructure. Combining the best of both sectors – top scientific research with top applied research and specialist consultancy – allows them to identify unique developments in water research, and find smart ways to apply this knowledge cost-effectively. This is how they distinguish themselves from the typical consultancy parties: they focus on the knowledge-intensive innovation projects that provide their clients with strategies and tools to tackle future societal challenges. That the business approach works, is demonstrated in a healthy and steady portfolio of innovation projects for various government agencies (PUB, HDB, NEA, NParks, BCA) and private sector parties.
Serious gaming for public service incident command trainings
In 2014, the Netherlands based firm XVR Simulation was approached by the Singaporean firm Serious Games International (SGI) to respond together to a RFP to deliver a Disaster Management Training Simulation System to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). They were awarded the multi-million dollar contract in 2015 and have successfully delivered the training suite in October 2016.
Following the success with SCDF, a large tender was released in 2015 for the delivery of a Command Training System for the Singapore Home Team Academy (HTA), to enable the Home Team (Police, Fire Brigade, Medical Services, Special Forces) to train for response to large scale incidents, including terror attacks. While having fierce competition of strong global players, they succeeded in convincing HTA of their strong product proposition and proven partnership in delivering high-tech solutions for very specialised training. They were awarded an even larger contract and are currently getting ready for the delivery of the first milestone.
Through the large projects at SCDF and HTA in Singapore, and the very high level of requested technological advancement therein, XVR Simulation and SGI (recently renamed to CES Singapore) have been able to create the most all-round, fit-for- purpose, high-end simulator for public service incident command training in the world. The system meets all the necessary requirements for localisation, customisation and functionality for education, training and assessment. Their partnership in Singapore provides for the perfect setting to make their projects in Singapore a success, paving the way to further penetrate the Asian market with the best possible proposition and track record.
Their second strong competitive advantage is their user community. With over 200 organisations worldwide using the simulation software, actively sharing their experience and content, they are by far the leading organisation in the field. Especially in Asia, where reputation and track record is key, the partners are proud to be able to work with some of the most innovative and prestigious rescue training academies in the world.
Read more about the other Winsemius Awards 2017 finalists here