S'pore leveraging analytics for sustainability solutions

National Environment Agency partners IBM to develop analytics solutions to address environmental concerns, while other agencies considering providing access to data sets to address urban sustainability challenges.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The country's National Environment Agency will be partnering researchers from IBM to develop advanced predictive capabilities, in a three-year collaboration that involves investments worth S$13 million (US$10.3 million).

The project will focus on leveraging analytics to develop solutions for four key issues: air quality, weather forecasts, dengue outbreaks and the early detection of health management issues such as food poisoning incidents. This will include making sense of input from real-time data streams and sensors, and harnessing social media analytics to simulate scenarios and forecasts.

In conjunction with the event, six projects are competing for a cash grant for further development. They were shortlisted from an industry event last month called Urban Prototyping Singapore, or UP Singapore, where previously unreleased data from the government and corporate sector were made available to participants for them to come up with solutions for improving urban sustainability.

One of them is an app that leverages analytics to help users find a parking space in town. It aims to identify which carparks are available and allows users to make an advanced booking for the lot.

Peter Hirshberg, co-founder of UP Singapore and chairman of Grey Area Foundation for the Arts, noted that with the growing popularity of social media and mobile devices, there are increasingly more ways for people to take leverage technology to improve the way they live.

The organizers of UP Singapore believe that through analytics, solutions to urban challenges can be found, many of which Singapore face. They add that various government agencies in Singapore have expressed interest in providing public access to data to help spur innovation in urban sustainability solutions.

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