China Looking to Speed Up Lithium Mining – OpenGov Asia

As global demand for lithium soars with no signs of abating amid a global shift to battery-powered vehicles to reduce carbon emissions, the acceleration of lithium mining and extraction in China has been pushed by industry representatives at the annual Two Sessions policy-setting gatherings in Beijing.
With the current supply of lithium still tight, the exploration and development of domestic lithium resources should be stepped up to ensure the safety of the supply chain, said Zeng Yuqun, Member, 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. 
A chairman of a leading lithium miner and product manufacturer in China pointed out that the country should expedite the extraction of lithium resources in southwestern Sichuan province, one of China’s richest and most accessible reserves. Accelerating the development of lithium ore resources in Sichuan would complement Beijing’s inward-facing dual-circulation strategy. The industry leader also serves as a delegate of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.
The sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) have shown a strong growth trend worldwide but continued use depends on effective Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based enabling technologies to link BEVs with its environment to provide information such as real-time battery charge levels, location of nearest charging infrastructure, and route options to optimize the battery.
Of particular interest is lithium for Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), also called low-speed electric vehicles. A neighbourhood electric vehicle (NEV) is a battery-electric car that is capable of travelling at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour (mph) and has a maximum loaded weight of 3,000 lbs. China sold 5.5 million NEVs in December 2020 alone.
Further, Zeng elaborated that at the same time, related departments and companies should speed up independent innovation and scientific research into efficient utilisation of resource recycling to reduce reliance on resources.
With the market of lithium up and about, prices of battery metals have risen sharply worldwide since last year. The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association disclosed almost 60% of spodumene crystal consumed by China annually to produce lithium salts is imported. Spodumene crystal is a material used to produce NEV batteries. The good news is the Chinese government is now working to help domestic enterprises withstand fluctuations in the raw materials market for NEVs.
At the Two Sessions, Zeng also suggested establishing a carbon footprint management system for NEV batteries to guide low-carbon development in the industry. He mentioned that European countries and the United States have done so: incorporating battery carbon footprint evaluation into their strategic plans and formulating relevant supporting regulations.
Dual-circulation strategy is an economic strategy that was raised by President Xi Jinping in 2020. He elaborated that China will rely on “internal circulation” – the domestic cycle of production, distribution, and consumption – for its development, supported by innovation and upgrades in the economy. Moreover, the Chinese leader disclosed that such “internal circulation” will be supported by “external circulation”. However, details on how exactly the strategy works have not been shared.
What is apparent, however, is how China has been transformed by technology today. Indeed, its digital transformation has been useful in its expanding electric car industry. ICT enabling technology plays a central role in the success of electric cars as it links EVs with their environment to provide needed information. In short, it allows these cars to function better.
Such faith in technology can be seen in China’s target of putting up as many as over 2 million 5G base stations all over the country by 2022. Nonetheless, it’s not just the car industry that has been given a shot in the arm by digitisation. As reported on OpenGov Asia, smart farming has arrived in the country, upgrading the way agriculture is run in China.
With the growing demand for digital public services during the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘customers’ expectations have escalated.  Businesses must rethink and devise an effective strategy to provide their products and services through customer-centric digital offerings.
OpenGov Asia had the opportunity to speak with Monica Hovsepian, Head of Financial Services Industry at OpenText, to gain her insights on how businesses live up to increasing customers’ expectations and deliver customer-centric services.
In her role, Monica is responsible for the financial services industry strategy and marketing globally at OpenText across all business units.  Monica has over 25 years of financial industry experience. She is a trusted subject matter expert in the Financial Services Industry, having worked with numerous large and international banks in North America, Europe, and Asia.
As an Information Management company, OpenText provides software and services that empower digital businesses of all sizes to become more intelligent, secure and connected.
Higher Expectations Require New approach
Undoubtedly, culture and paradigms have shifted; people do things dramatically differently and have higher expectations.  Customers want services to be predictive instead of having to chase the services.  The question is: what are the ‘industry’s requirements and how will businesses approach the higher customers’ expectations?
Monica starts by looking back at the moment when the pandemic erupted, and the governments around the world were announcing lockdowns or heavy movement restrictions.  The old way of living life had changed forever at that instant and will likely never go fully back to what it was.  People had to engage almost entirely digitally.  Homes, kitchens, dining and living rooms became workspaces and schools, and a screen doubled as a whiteboard, office and grocery store.
In the past, many people did not use many applications such as video calls, but it has become mainstream now.  People have also started engaging with certain brands and always expect seamless transactions.  The constant digital engagement creates new vocabulary that had not existed or was not too common before.  This is one of the manifestations of how digitalisation has created a massive culture change.
In this global realignment, Monica agrees that Singapore is an emerging market that is more digitally advanced than most countries, including many places in North America.
Monica emphasises that there is a digital gap in certain industries – there are the digital doers and the digital fakers.  Some of the digital fakers dissipate and are not around anymore.  However, the ones that are still in business are those who realise they need to get their business in gear.  There is no more room for those digital fakers as today’s customers are demanding fast, intuitive, seamless and personalised high-quality services.
Customers learn about what is possible from other applications and engagement and compare the services that do not live up to those ideals.  They are willing to pay more to companies that provide faster service, but as citizens, they are unwilling to pay for faster government services.
Customer Experience is Priority
Top companies can deliver seamless services because they have the money and resources.  However, the public sector and other mid-size organisations have finite resources with finite team sizes, yet they have to innovate and become more creative.  There is also a massive gap between North America and South-East Asia.  Given the new challenges, how do organisations build their digital strategy?
Monica firmly believes the reason why top companies are doing great is that they put customers in the centre.
They build their strategy with that ideology and constantly tweak their plans.  They consistently monitor and make changes to their front end.  There might be minor changes, but they are continually updating it.  They make the user interface and engagement easier and better and keep testing it –  in the final assessment, It’s not only about the product but also about engagement.
On the other hand, in other industries, it is all about the products.  So if the methodology is changed, things would move forward better.  In the past, in financial services, it was also about the products.  Nowadays, successful companies are focusing on the customers and putting them in the centre.  However, while technology provides organisations with agility, they must ensure a customer-centric mind shift.
How OpenText Helps Customers to Create Seamless Experience
Creating a seamless experience comes with the challenge of integrating existing platforms as well as legacy systems and legacy tech.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution, Monica warns, saying that no two customers are going to do things the same way when it comes to a transformational project.  Every customer is on a different journey path and has different requirements.
OpenText strives by understanding where the customers are on their path, what their key objectives are and what challenges they face.  OpenText helps customers to do discovery through which they determine and execute the transformation and modernization.
Customers create zettabytes of information and organisations want to be able to consume this information to serve the customers properly.  As an information management company, OpenText has various methods to integrate existing platforms.  They have several ways of consuming the information and ensuring that none is ever lost and archiving what needs to be to be retained.
Monica offers the analogy of two people with the same characteristics and traits but who are actually on the opposite end of the spectrum of individuals.  Organisations would need a lot more data and information to be able to cater to people with similar characteristics but have opposite personalities, likes, and traits.  Similar people, with varying tastes and preferences, are out there by the millions so organisations need to better understand customers and differentiate services accordingly.
When it comes to talent, Monica explains that there is a war for professionals.  This is because, from a young age, people do not see working for governments or financial services as having interesting projects to be involved in.
Currently, a lot of government agencies and financial services are investing heavily in fascinating projects from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to cybersecurity.  Moreover, increased digitalisation has given birth to a rise in cyberattacks across all industries.  In the current situation, there is a paucity of talent in both aspects – creativity and security.
Case Study
One of ‘OpenText’s success stories is MSIG Asia – an international insurance company that has built omnichannel self-service capabilities and grown its business with ‘OpenText’s information management platform.
Like other insurance providers, MSIG Asia faced shifting challenges, often steeped in massive amounts of data and hyper-digital expectations from customers.  The pandemic added complexity as a more distributed workforce strained to keep pace with highly regulated and collaborative processes as well as a growing necessity for digitisation and self-service, internally and externally.
Pandemic conditions aside, insurance professionals need accessible insights and customers need convenient tools.  To this end, digital insurance policy documents provide information via eco-friendly alternatives to paper documents that simultaneously support MSIG ‘Asia’s biodiversity goals.  The accessible information underpins increasing demand for self-service opportunities and meaningful online presence, both objectives of the insurance ‘provider’s digital transformation strategy.
To support its efforts on omnichannel customer acquisition and retention, MSIG Asia implemented an information management solution from OpenText.  This included OpenText Extended ECM, OpenText AppWorks and OpenText Exstream. Together these solutions help form a ‘single source of ‘truth’ and communication platform for MSIG.
“This customer-centric integration will help maximise operational efficiencies across different lines of businesses and locations, which in turn helps lower expenses and strengthens the business infrastructure.  Quite essentially, this has empowered our business operations with a single system that can better enable growth and support the innovations and adaptability required to meet the fast-changing business demands for the long haul”,” said Joseph Yew, CIO, MSIG Asia.
Another OpenText customer is the Ministry of Finance Singapore.  Vital, the Singapore Government’s centre for shared services, appointed OpenText – through a public tender process – to digitise its back-office corporate services, comprising over two million records per year for over 100 Government agencies.
As part of the Singapore ‘government’s effort to aggregate common administrative services and benefit from economies of scale, the Electronic Document and Knowledge Management System (eDKMS) will enable Vital to integrate daily HR, payroll and finance workflows for higher productivity, as well as foster greater knowledge management and a social collaboration platform within Vital.  The system reduces paperwork and manages the flow of information from capture through to archiving and disposal.
“As a part of ‘Singapore’s drive to build a Smart Nation and a digital government, Vital is taking its steps to reduce paper-intensive workflows in back-office operations, improve records and case management, and enhance business information analysis and decision-making”,” explains Tan Chor Kiat, Vital’s Chief Executive.
OpenText Content Suite enabled Vital to remain compliant with government-mandated document management policies, improved records and case management accountability and enhance business information analysis and decision-making.  Using OpenText, the eDKMS provided Vital with the tools to reduce paper-intensive workflows and deliver timely information sharing for improved collaboration.
The Future of Customer-Centric Operations
Monica states that human beings are creatures of habit.  People have gotten used to working from home and have shown their employers that they can be trusted.  The fact is people ended up working much longer hours as a result it was a benefit to the employers as revenue actually went up.
From her own experience, Monica has observed that the trust question about working from home has gone away.  On the other hand, organisations need to ensure employees want to stay otherwise they will leave.  In fact, the Great Resignation is happening right now.  As the pandemic has been a huge stress for people, employees may well leave if they are mandated to work fully at the office again.
Employees are looking for a better employee experience and deeper engagement.  Organisations cannot have a good customer experience if they do not deliver a good employee experience as both go hand in hand.  Organisations need to deliver the same kind of customer experiences to their employees so they can deliver the organisations’ vision and mission.  Organisations must provide the tools for employees to be able to serve customers and give employees the same digital experience as well.
“We should be digitising the humans and humanising the digital.  It has to go hand in hand now,” Monica emphasises.
In Monica’s opinion, much investment will go towards platforms in the future.  Organisations are looking for a single platform.  Organisations realised the issues they suffered in maintaining all the investments they had made in niche technology and hence they are now considering moving to single platforms. Simplification of the architecture in a single platform is the decision to move forwards.
Cloud technology is being embraced wholeheartedly as well.  A lot of investment was done in cloud technology when the pandemic initially started and continues.
However, Monica reiterates the importance of putting customers at the centre as they will leave any businesses that do not live up to their expectations quickly.  Customers across generations are looking for organisations that can provide them with very specific wants, needs and beliefs.
Why Partner with OpenText
OpenText is an Information Company that enables organisations to gain insight through market-leading information management solutions, on-premises or in the cloud.  OpenText believes that information and knowledge make business and people better.  Its mission is to deliver compelling innovation that provides the customers with a competitive advantage.  Its strategy to deliver information management in the cloud at scale to power digital businesses of all sizes
Manage information end-to-end:
Monica feels that the beauty of OpenText is the fact that it provides everything for the entire lifecycle of customers.  OpenText can help customers with all they need, including marketing, services, onboarding customers, cybersecurity, risks and, compliance.  We are one organization, offering integrated products and services, on the cloud or on-premise, we are committed to our customer’s success.  OpenText is the Information Management company and the future is ensuring a single-pane view of the customer’s and the business’ information.
OpenText wants to partner with customers so they can grow together.  She is firmly convinced that customers can truly flourish with OpenText.
The Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Department of Information and Communications has announced that the city’s official digital transformation portal has been officially put into operation. The portal is a move to implement the southern economic hub’s digital transformation programme and smart city building projects.
As per a report, with a modern, simple, and assessable user interface, the portal offers an overview of the city’s related plans, digital progress, news, and cooperation activities. The site also features a multi-media library. The Deputy Director of the Department, Vo Thi Trung Trinh, noted that via the portal, city leaders can receive ideas, suggestions, and plans from local residents, organisations, and businesses. City officials and civil servants can promptly systematise and adjust the municipal digital transformation documents, programmes, and projects, the report added. Meanwhile, experts, the general public, organisations, and enterprises can access and learn information about local transformation. They can search for applications and public services that are being provided on digital platforms, Trinh added. People can also send feedback and recommendations to the authorities through the site, she said.
Earlier this month, OpenGov Asia reported that Department created a plan to develop artificial intelligence (AI) applications in public administration, transport, healthcare, banking, and industries. Under the plan, a database of all sectors will be shared among all the city’s administrative departments. Authorities are focussing on improving human resources through AI education and training and enhancing academic connections with foreign AI professionals.
The department is also developing AI-based solutions and supplying tools to serve digital transformation. This is expected to save costs and ensure security and safety in the transport, agriculture, science, and healthcare sectors, among others. The city will expand the 3G and 4G coverage in the city. Further, the department has implemented a programme to provide smartphones with an Internet connection to 58,000 underprivileged households in the city. Authorities have also been pushing to increase the number of start-ups and small and medium enterprises as well as the total investment in AI. Businesses are being urged to deploy AI applications to enhance internal strengths and increase competitiveness. The city intends to build products and apply AI with practical value, transforming Ho Chi Minh City into the centre of Vietnam and a hub for research, development, and the transfer of applications in AI.
The city also has plans to establish at least two technology innovation centres from now through 2025 to help businesses completely digitise operations, according to the municipal people’s committee. They will strengthen supply chains, transfer technologies and innovations, research digital products, increase the awareness of digital transformation, promote an innovation ecosystem for start-ups, and help businesses develop digital products. Moreover, they will tie up with prominent global partners for digitisation and funding to evaluate the effectiveness of digital products and support the creation of digital solutions.
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop an app that will help keep brown marmorated stink bugs out of Australia, an invasive species with the potential to wipe out more than 300 different species of plants if it made it past quarantine.
The app, being developed for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), is based on a prototype co-funded by an American multinational technology corporation to identify seeds of noxious weedy daisies, using AI to identify stink bug species based on thousands of specimens held in CSIRO’s National Research Collections Australia. DAWE is now trialling the app in its quarantine stations.
The CSIRO Chief Executive stated that collaborative partnerships were a powerful way to turn new technologies into real solutions to the nation’s greatest challenges, like protecting our native flora. He noted that Australia’s growing AI capability can be among the best in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything until we translate it into solutions that make life better for everyone, like ensuring our increasingly interconnected world doesn’t jeopardise the region’s biosecurity. This app will help biosecurity officers tell invasive species apart from our own native species, a uniquely Australian solution to a unique Australian challenge, he added.
The CSIRO taxonomist noted the app demonstrated the practical applications of having a rich insect database, “We’re taking detailed digital images of the stink bugs in our insect collection, including using a 3D imaging system to take photographs from many angles.” He added that by using a smartphone camera to zoom in or out and look at the bug from different angles, the AI model in the app identifies the species and shows how likely it is to be correct.
The app also has species profiles with example images and species information. Users can record a photo of the bug, its identification and geographic coordinates and local time to help build out the database and inform biosecurity responses.
The National Technology Officer of the Australia branch of an American tech giant stated that since establishing its partnership with CSIRO in June 2020, the company’s focus has been on supporting CSIRO in their scientific and research work.
By leveraging the company’s AI tools and Image classification technology, CSIRO has been able to rapidly build the stink bug detection models needed to help confidently identify the brown marmorated stink bug. All whilst developing new skills in automated machine learning and cloud automation tools.
While Australia has around 600 named native stink bug species, as well as several thousand more undescribed species, the brown marmorated stink bug is native to China and has spread to many countries around the world, where it is a threat to crops such as apples, stone fruits, hazelnuts and grains.
It breeds in large groups in well-lit areas, such as car plants, then pregnant females hibernate in dark places, such as cars awaiting export. This can cause infestations in new countries where they lack specialised natural enemies to keep their populations in check. The research team behind the app hopes to expand the work in two different directions. They want to add AI models for more types of biosecurity threats, beyond stink bugs, and we also hope to involve the public in biosecurity work so that people can identify and report pests and weeds.
The Philippines is ramping up its digital transformation sector by supporting its budding technopreneurs. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the country’s chief digital adoption architect is implementing the DICT Startup Grant Fund (SGF). The fund has been created specifically to help Filipino entrepreneurs and startups realise their innovative ideas and plans. Through its ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB), the DICT will give startup founders access to government funding.
The DICT Startup Grant Fund is made possible pursuant to the Innovative Startup Act. Your DICT believes that by strengthening the startup ecosystem, it would further encourage technopreneurship nationwide. For instance, through the DSDAP, your DICT can help different cities by raising awareness, promoting, and offering programs to guide and mentor enthusiasts to improve their respective startup communities.
– Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology
Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology, disclosed that his department is working closely with other government agencies to fund Filipinos in their bid to get into emerging ICT businesses. Together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the DICT is one of the lead agencies mandated to strengthen, promote and develop the Philippine Startup Ecosystem.
He specified that his department is serious about helping ICT technopreneurs. To do that, the government agency has launched its own Digital Startup Development and Acceleration Program (DSDAP). This is following the enactment of the Innovative Startup Act.  The DSDAP aims to foster an environment of innovative and competitive mindsets among innovators, enablers and startup enthusiasts.
Further, the DICT Secretary clarified that DICT Startup Grant Fund is just one of the components of the Digital Startup Development and Acceleration Program (DSDAP). DSDAP aims to establish a strong Philippine Startup Ecosystem by providing support that will enrich and strengthen the competitive advantage of Filipino startups.
It’s not all about funding, however. While the DICT SGF targets to bridge the gap of early-stage funding, it also provides training so startups can be ready for the challenges imposed by the emerging digital economy. The goal is comprehensive and it should also focus on providing access to opportunities for new and early-stage startups relating to startup development, capacity-building, and network-building.
To provide clarity for soon-to-be technopreneurs, DICT recently conducted a public consultation to orient stakeholders on the guidelines of the SGF. This was attended by startup founders, enablers, and other concerned individuals and groups and facilitated by IIDB Director Emmy Lou Delfin.
By helping entrepreneurs interested in emerging technology, the DICT is pushing the envelope when it comes to the country’s digital adoption. More ICT businesses mean more research and development, something essential in moving a digital economy forward.
All in all, this DICT funding project should continuously build a stronger Filipino startup community. If things go as planned, the DICT Startup Grant Fund should be the starting point for the next successful and relevant startups in the country.
The Philippines has come a long way in its path towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). When the archipelago got hit by a fierce typhoon in December, the government made sure connectivity was not adversely affected in storm-torn areas in Mindanao. Manila made sure of that by installing Very Small Aperture Satellites (VSATs) for affected remote areas helping people connect. With the elections coming this May, big technology companies are being tapped to help ensure things turn out smoothly as possible.
North Carolina is the latest state to formally establish its own cybersecurity task force, centred on protecting the state’s information technology networks and critical infrastructure. The task force, which was formed in 2018 but officially launched on March 16 by an executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper, includes representatives from the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT), Department of Emergency Management, National Guard and the Local Government Information Systems Association Cybersecurity Strike Team.
The task force helps state and local agencies with incident coordination, resource support and technical assistance. In the executive order, the state’s public and private sector Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources departments are asked to work with the members of the task force to identify vulnerabilities in their systems and report significant cybersecurity incidents.
The measures will allow NCDIT and the other members to shore up systems at risk, limit the impact of future threats and give state officials a more realistic picture of what types of incidents they will likely face in the future. In his announcement, Gov. Cooper stressed the need for a reassessment of the threat landscape in light of rising cybersecurity attacks.
It is more important to work together proactively to prevent these crimes and respond quickly when they occur and this Task Force is helping us do that. The announcement of the North Carolina task force comes on the back of several other states launching cybersecurity programs.
Last fall, the governors of Kansas and Missouri announced a bipartisan, multistate initiative to highlight the expanding base of security-related operations and improve national security missions in the area. With seven major military bases and 11 national security installations seated near Kansas City, the governors of Kansas and Missouri announced the National Security Crossroads, a bipartisan, multi-state initiative to raise the profile of and improve national security missions in the area by highlighting the expanding base of security-related operations.
In October 2021, Gov. Doug Ducey launched Arizona’s Cyber Command Center to better coordinate statewide cybersecurity operations. Later that month, Utah launched its own task force to bolster its cyber capabilities and response; the task force created a cross-sector cybersecurity advisory committee to promote cybersecurity awareness, identify assets and resources, share information and promote best practices.
Most recently, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a joint cybersecurity initiative that will feature a data-sharing hub and bring together federal, state, county and local governments as well as critical infrastructure partners to improve the statewide cyber posture.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, to improve coordination and bolster cybersecurity efforts related to data collection and information sharing, New York has launched the Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) to bring together federal, state, county, local governments and critical infrastructure partners. JSOC will provide leaders from across the state a comprehensive overview of the cyber-threat landscape and improve coordination regarding threat intelligence and incident response.
JSOC will become a first-of-its-kind data-sharing hub designed to improve New York’s cybersecurity posture, officials said. The centre will be headquartered in Brooklyn and offer cybersecurity teams a centralised view of threat data from federal, state, city and county governments, critical businesses and utilities.
This project is part of Hochul’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which allocates a historic $61.9 million toward cybersecurity. It will expand New York’s cyber red team program that will broaden the phishing defences, increase vulnerability scanning, expand penetration testing and deliver other cyber incident response services. These investments will ensure that the state can isolate and protect parts of its system if one part of the network is attacked.
One of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies is investing more than $100 million in a state-of-the-art data centre, known as ‘A1’, to be established in the heart of Adelaide’s central business district, creating 150 jobs for South Australians.
The tech firm will invest more than $100 million into the state with the development of a world-class technology centre of excellence. Further expanding its national digital infrastructure platform, A1 will add key technology capability to South Australia’s world-class hi-tech ecosystem.
The decision to invest in South Australia further strengthens the state’s global hi-tech capabilities and capacity to attract leading technology companies. The Department for Trade and Investment has been working with the company to bring them to South Australia. The company’s investment will go beyond the creation of premium-grade data centre infrastructure. A1 will include an Innovation Centre which will form an entrepreneurial incubation hub that will cultivate local technology expertise and the opportunity for collaboration with the state’s universities, ensuring a pipeline of skilled workers for the future.
The central city location that has been purchased by the firm, will enable the company to continue to service their customers. As a company, the tech firm is also passionate about sustainability and the renewal economy, aligning with the South Australian Government’s commitment to a circular economy.
A1 will be a first of its kind for South Australia. The facility will be certified to Uptime Institute Tier IV standards, offering the completely fault-tolerant capability to organisations and an industry-only 100% uptime guarantee. The word-class facility will also include an ‘Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre’ (EIC) and Mission Critical Operational space (MCX).
The world-class, 24/7 secured data centre will cultivate local technology expertise and will further enhance South Australia’s global reputation for hi-tech, including capabilities around artificial intelligence, data analytics and cyber security. Furthermore, A1 will introduce a sovereign capability to the state that is critical to the future of the defence and hi-tech industries. The EIC will be a springboard for innovation that links South Australia’s academic and business communities while offering cloud services for the world’s leading technology companies.
The tech firm has been in negotiations with Adelaide City Council to secure the purchase of land for the construction of its new world-class technology hub. The CEO of the tech firm stated that they are excited to be a part of the growing ecosystem of leading technology companies that are investing in the South Australian economy. The partnership with the South Australian Government was instrumental in developing its long-term strategy to support the growth of the state.
This digital infrastructure development represents an important investment for South Australia that will further support and accelerate the growth of the South Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Strategy.
The Green Industries South Australia’s Chief Executive stated that South Australia’s leadership in sustainability, renewable energy and circular economy is helping to attract companies like the aforementioned tech giant to invest in South Australia.
The firm’s corporate operations and its data centre solutions are certified 100 per cent carbon neutral under the Australian Federal Government’s Climate Active scheme. The company’s data centre design and operations are also recognised in a case study produced by the Climate Council of Australia. Work will commence in the second half of 2022.
Keenly aware of the changing needs of the times, the Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA), the country’s only government-approved Printed Circuit Board (PBC) industry organisation, initiated the research of a new roadmap for PCB smart manufacturing in Taiwan.
The TCPA spearheaded the effort to upgrade the standards of the PCB industry. The industry group collaborated with the Institute for Information Industry and the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research in updating the “Roadmap of Smart Manufacturing Development for Taiwan’s PCB industry.” Said upgrade should revolve around the smart manufacturing implementation process with an eye towards the future challenges for the PCB industry.
Specifically, this new roadmap plans the different processes for the development and application of smart manufacturing in the PCB industry. At the application level, the framework covers:
Thus, the rolled upgrade is divided into:
It’s a timely recalibration. To a large degree, the upgrade will look into the application of technology to satisfy a very competitive market. To note, the chip industry has been undergoing a forced change due to the pandemic. As the demands for cars slowed down with lockdowns limiting people’s ability to travel, the world experienced a chip shortage. Not only did manufacturers experience challenges in the factory but also the tastes of the market evolved. Instead of being intended for cars, chips had to serve the consumer electronics market as the appetite for content and games ballooned with people forced to stay indoors.
Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry should be familiar with the need to recalibrate. Called the thinktank behind the island nation’s digital transformation, the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which was started jointly by the private and the public sector, had to do recalibrate its mission from the past. The group’s goals have evolved from Information Technology (IT) to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development with wide social coverage.
The Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA) was established in 1998. It is the only PCB industry organisation approved by the government of Taiwan and is serving 540 member companies. TPCA aims to provide the latest market information, promote information exchange and resources among members through collaborative efforts and via international conventions.
The new smart manufacturing plan should be comprehensive in nature. As such, it aims to achieve:
A recent milestone has been achieved in a new standard, SEMI A3-0819, specifications for Printed Circuit Board Equipment Communication Interfaces (PCBECI), established with Taiwanese PCB experts working in collaboration with American counterparts via SEMI, the global organisation of semiconductor production equipment vendors.
Today, the technology is the foundation for PCB smart manufacturing. The design will help resolve various communication inconsistencies between PCB equipment and manufacture to accelerate the development of PCB smart manufacturing, TPCA discloses.
Taiwan is doing the best it can to keep its lead in the semiconductor industry. As the world pivots to digital transformation, the nation is at the heart of it all, being the semiconductor capital of the world. When it started out, the country was not a major player in chip manufacturing, but thanks to its timely digital adoption, the nation rose to the top.
Its AI HUB should speak volumes on its leadership role in digitisation and its ambitions to be the artificial intelligence hub of the region. Further, manufacturers are set to make Taiwan a launchpad for digital health care in the region, as reported on OpenGov Asia. All because the country has advanced in the digital world.
© 2022 OpenGov Asia – CIO Network Pte Ltd.


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