Dell Technologies has established an innovation facility in Singapore that focuses on research and development (R&D) work in key digital transformation technologies, including edge computing, data analytics, and augmented reality. The result of a three-year investment totalling $50 million, it is the company’s first such facility to be built outside the US. 

It also houses a team dedicated to enhancing user experience, according to Dell’s president of Asia-Pacific Japan and global digital cities, Amit Midha. Of the total investment, $23 million alone will be invested this year. 

The facility also accommodates Dell’s existing R&D work in Singapore that is responsible for the company’s global design and development work for product categories that include monitors and client peripherals. In addition, it encompasses a hardware prototyping lab focused exclusively on product design, including the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. 

Speaking to media in the lead up to the hub’s official launch Monday, Midha said more than 160 new roles would be added by year-end to support the innovation hub, including designers and developers, with most of the positions currently already filled. These new hires would push R&D initiatives for the vendor’s customers and partners across the globe. 

Pointing to Dell’s goal of creating technologies that “drive human progress”, he said key investment areas for the Singapore facility would be in line with the company’s focus areas comprising 5G, edge, data management, hybrid cloud, AI and machine learning, and cybersecurity. 

“The world needs technology now more than ever,” he added. “In encouraging the adoption of digital solutions and new technologies, strengthening our product and process innovation system, and engaging the talent pipeline, we believe we are paving the path for a more resilient, progressive, inclusive, and sustainable economy.” 

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Dell earlier this month launched a skills accelerator programme in Singapore, offering to equip 3,000 students, fresh graduates, and mid-career professionals over the next two years with skills in cloud computing, data protection, data science, and big data analytics. The scheme encompassed two separate programmes, including a partnership with Singapore Management University that would see more than 1,000 of the school’s undergraduates experience cloud-native technologies and content as part of their curriculum. A five-week training programme also would be offered to 1,000 employees of Dell’s local partners and customers that had enrolled in Singapore’s SGUnited Traineeship or Mid-Career Pathways programme. 

Asked what challenges companies currently faced in their efforts to innovate, Midha said the COVID-19 pandemic had expanded every organisation’s remote workforce. It underscored the need to figure out how innovation could be facilitated while employees worked from home or remotely, he noted. 

This was where collaboration and digital tools came into play, he said. He added that companies also would need to establish the right polices and culture that would drive innovation in the new work environment and enable colleagues build on each other’s ideas.