Tech giant IBM is planning to open its first blockchain innovation centre in Singapore to accelerate blockchain adoption for finance and trade.
The company will work in concert with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to explore the use of blockchain and cognitive technologies to improve business transactions across several different industries.
The Innovation Center will be staffed with technical talent from Singapore as well as researchers from IBM Research Labs worldwide. It will work with government, industries, and academia to develop applications and solutions based on blockchain, cybersecurity, and cognitive computing technologies.
The center will also engage with small- and medium-sized enterprises to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade.
IBM Research global labs vice president Robert Morris said: "Now with new cloud services that make these technologies more accessible, leaders from all industries are beginning to take note of the resulting profound and disruptive implications in a range of settings including finance, banking, IoT, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, technology, government, the legal system, and more."
The first projects for the center will focus on trade solutions using blockchain to improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions.
The solutions and associated blockchain platform will be designed and developed in Singapore, IBM said.
MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said: "The financial sector is well-placed to play a leading role in Singapore's vision of being a Smart Nation. Given that technology is a key enabler of financial services, MAS is pleased to continue to work with companies like IBM to promote technology innovation in finance, and encourage the adoption of safe and efficient technology with the financial industry."