Huawei aims to certify 1,000 engineers with launch of Singapore 'virtual' AI academy

Chinese tech giant launches virtual academy in Singapore offering 140 free online courses in artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud computing, and big data, with aims of certifying 1,000 engineers in the country by end-2021.

Huawei Technologies has launched a "virtual" artificial intelligence (AI) academy in Singapore offering 140 free online courses in AI, 5G, cloud computing, and big data. The Chinese tech giant says it has a target of certifying 1,000 engineers in the country by the end of next year. 

The academy will also offer hands-on experience in AI development through its simulation labs and, next quarter, it would begin providing Cyber Range training courses to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and their partners better safeguard against cybersecurity threats.

Announced on Tuesday at its online Huawei Ecosystem Summit, the new Virtual AI Academy is integrated with the vendor's local AI lab and offers courses designed to train and certify users across all levels, including ICT novice and professionals. 

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Over the last couple of months, during Singapore's partial lockdown as part of its COVID-19 containment efforts, Huawei said it had enrolled more than 300 local ICT professionals at the virtual academy as "a trial run". It also worked with Nanyang Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and the Singapore University of Social Sciences to boost their students' digital skills.

At the online summit, Huawei unveiled plans to invest SG$5 million ($3.58 million) in Singapore to bolster joint product development efforts with its local partners. The Chinese tech giant added that its growth strategy here would remain focused on tapping AI to expand and strengthen connectivity and computing for businesses across various industries, in particular, government, finance, transportation, and internet service providers. 

Huawei's Singapore managing director of enterprise business group, Aaron Wang, said: "Organisations will need to redesign their services to adapt to the new normal. Digital technology powered by 5G, cloud, and AI will be pivotal in this transformation. We will focus on connectivity and computing in Singapore by building an open ecosystem with our partners, as we believe it will empower digital transformation for numerous industries and help our ecosystem partners boost immunity eventually."

The vendor also announced the launch of its Asia-Pacific Ascend Partner Program, which it said aimed to facilitate Singapore's AI development. The programme comprises Independent Software Vendor AI Collaboration, Institute of Higher Learning AI Talent Cultivation, and Government AI Industry Development. 

According to Huawei, its enterprise revenue last year grew 20% year-on-year, while certifications amongst its business partners increased 68%. 

It added that its global partners accounted for 86% of its overall enterprise business revenue. 

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