US and Singapore to Deepen Collaboration on AI and Emerging Technologies

Posted by Written by Arendse Huld Reading Time: 3 minutes

The US and Singapore have committed to deepen their “strategic technology partnership” by furthering collaboration on “six key focus areas” of critical and emerging technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), critical infrastructure, and biotechnology, among others.

The announcement followed Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong’s visit to Washington, D.C., which concluded on October 13, where he met with several senior members of the Biden Administration.

The DPM’s visit to DC saw the inauguration of the first US-Singapore Critical and Emerging Technology (CET) Dialogue. According to a White House fact sheet, the CET Dialogue will “promote candid and sustained exchanges on risks, opportunities, and key national security implications associated with the rapid advancement of technologies across these six focus areas.”

Bolstering cooperation in key technology fields

The first CET Dialogue resulted in the commitment by both parties to launch new “bilateral initiatives” and bolster cooperation in six key focus areas related to high-end and emerging technology fields: AI, digital economy and data governance, biotechnology, critical infrastructure, and technology supply chains, defense innovation, and quantum information science and technology.

The first CET Dialogue revealed that the US and Singapore have already made a major breakthrough in furthering collaboration on AI technology.

Building upon this achievement, the two sides announced the establishment of a bilateral AI Governance Group, which will further advance “shared principles and deepening information exchanges for safe, trustworthy, and responsible AI innovation”.

In addition, the US and Singapore have committed to increasing exchanges and programs to deepen AI research and technical collaboration in areas related to security, such as testing, validation, and certification.

The US and Singapore also aim to bolster cooperation on critical infrastructure and technology supply chains. This will include promoting climate and resilient critical infrastructure, such as telecommunications networks, undersea cables, and cloud computing in the US, Singapore, and partner nations. The two countries also committed to building on the US-Singapore Climate Partnership, established in 2021, to support decarbonization and renewable energy development in the ASEAN region.

Other commitments announced in the CET Dialogue include:

  • Developing a Roadmap for Digital Economic Cooperation for areas such as data governance, digital standards, digital inclusion, and consumer protection, as well as the participation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the digital economy.
  • Encourage collaboration between US and Singaporean universities, research institutions, private companies, and science agencies, which will include sharing research and development (R&D) priorities for biotechnology, talent exchanges, and sharing best practices for commercialization, scaling, and R&D translation efforts for startups.
  • Concluding a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the US Department of Defense and the Singapore Ministry of Defence to more deeply integrate bilateral defense innovation ecosystems.

The joint statement also noted that the two countries would seek to develop a bilateral agreement to expand science and technology cooperation. The next CET Dialogue will be held in Singapore in 2024.

The bigger picture

The US and Singapore have been deepening collaboration in areas related to technology and science for many years. In 2021, the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and US Department of Commerce signed the “Partnership for Growth and Innovation (PGI)”, which seeks to advance bilateral cooperation in the areas of digital economy and smart cities, energy and environmental technologies, advanced manufacturing and supply chain resilience, and healthcare.

2021 also saw the establishment of the US-Singapore Climate Partnership, under which the two sides will meet annually to “progress and identify new areas of collaboration on climate action, environment and sustainability, and energy transition.”

With the volatility of global supply chains seen in recent years, as well as challenges posed by the climate crisis and regional tensions, global collaboration in strategic fields will become ever more important to ensure regional stability.

Cross-border collaboration in areas such as AI governance will also be important to ensure the responsible development of the industry on a global level.


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