Singapore unveils schemes to help businesses digitalise
As part of its Budget 2021, the Singapore government has announced it has earmarked SG$24 billion (US$18.1 billion) over the next three years to help Singaporean businesses innovate and transform.
Of this, SG$1 billion (US$754 million) has been set aside for new digital transformations programmes for mature businesses.
Recognising that digital transformation is critical to ensuring mature enterprises not only survive but emerge stronger from the pandemic, the government has unveiled a number of initiatives to give mature enterprises the tools they need innovate, transform and scale up their businesses.
Three programmes will help fund and support business
The new tech-focused Emerging Technology Programme will co-fund the costs of traits and adoption of emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, and trust technologies.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, the Emerging Technology Programme will “support commercialisation of innovations and diffusion of technology downstream”.
A new Digital Leaders Programme would further support companies in becoming digital leaders by helping them with the hire of digital talent and in developing and implementing digital transformation strategies.
Finally, the Chief-Technology-Officer-as-a-Service (CTOaaS) initiative has been set up to help firms identify their digital needs and adopt relevant solutions, offering them access to professional IT consultancies.
The Government also announced it was extending its existing support of up to 80% across a number of schemes, including Scale-up SG, Productivity Solutions Grand, Market Readiness Assistance, and Enterprise Development Grant, until end of March 2022.
“The Budget’s Emerging Technology Programme, especially CTO-as-a-Service and Digital Leaders Programme, will help address this gap to drive greater digital transformation in local businesses,” Ajay Kumar Sanganeria, Head of Tax, KPMG in Singapore
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.