SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the launch of the Jurong Innovation District Masterplan Exhibition

SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam | 14 September 2019

Speech by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, at the launch of the Jurong Innovation District (JID) Masterplan Exhibition on 14 September 2019.


Mr Patrick Tay, Advisor to Boon Lay Grassroots Organisations
Mr Tan Chong Meng, Chairman, JTC
Mr Max Loh, Member of the Board of Governors, Singapore Polytechnic
Residents and Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning,

It is a real pleasure for me to join you this morning at the launch of Jurong Innovation District (JID) Masterplan Exhibition.

JID will bring innovation, new jobs, sustainability and liveability

The JID is a new phase in the Jurong story, and indeed an important part of the evolving Singapore story.

It is called Jurong Innovation District because it will have innovation as its DNA. It will spur innovation, as the basis for corporate growth and good, new jobs for Singaporeans.

Over the next twenty years, JID will become a hotbed of new economic activities. Industries will be powered by cutting-edge technologies and a highly-skilled workforce. In all, we expect JID to provide 95,000 new jobs when fully developed.

JID will also have a strong sustainability slant -  in the composition of its industry clusters, in the way the JID’s facilities will be designed for sustainability, and in future recycling initiatives.

Importantly too, JID will not merely be an industrial estate. It will be set in a natural environment, with lush greenery and biodiversity, and be a place to relax and enjoy yourself, young or old. It will eventually also have Singapore’s first car-free sky corridor, spanning 11km.

JTC welcomes public feedback on the masterplan for the JID at this exhibition. It had already taken into account views from the community on how the District should develop and meet the needs of the community, and will consider all your feedback seriously.


Growing our Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem

JID will be a vibrant new hub for advanced manufacturing in Singapore. It is a major step in Jurong’s continuing industrial evolution. Today, manufacturing has become an innovation-driven industry, based on R&D, cutting-edge technologies such as robotics and AI, and highly skilled workers. It offers jobs with good career prospects, and opportunities for continuous upgrading.

The District will aim to develop this ecosystem for innovation. 3D printing is an example. JID houses the highest concentration of 3D printing facilities in Singapore.Leading players in 3D printing are also being encouraged to share knowledge and resources, and provide consultancy workshops for companies looking to adopt such technologies. JTC has partnered with A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing & Technology Centre (ARTC) and Singtel to develop Industry 4.0 manufacturing solutions, where 5G technology will be integrated into the Model Factory at ARTC. This initiative is one of the early 5G trials on manufacturing, in which JID will provide opportunities for experimentation and commercialisation of new technologies. The ecosystem will also include industry-based training for the latest technologies. By 2021, PBA, a robotics and automation enabler, will have a 260,000-square foot robotics manufacturing facility, housing its training academy Robotics Automation Centre of Excellence (RACE), and its Advanced New Technology Incubator (ANTI). These will be open to startups and SMEs in the robotics and automation industry. Bosch Rexroth Regional Training Centre will be the first in Singapore to offer a standardised training programme on Industry 4.0 to equip industry players with strong foundation to apply new methods and technologies to their workplace. Beyond training and certification, Bosch Rexroth will collaborate with companies to test-bed advanced manufacturing concepts to support the implementation of solutions.

Our tertiary education institutions will play an active role in preparing their students to be part of this JID story, and will also work with firms to bring innovations to the market. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is of course an important partner within the District. Companies can tap on NTU’s research expertise, and even its students, to develop and testbed new technologies and ideas. In July this year, JTC and NTU launched the first NTU-JTC Industry Talent Development Programme, which will for a start allow more than 200 NTU students to try out internships and projects with 8 advanced manufacturing industry partners. JTC and Singapore Polytechnic will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today – the JTC-SP Industry 4.0 Transformation Initiative. As part of this initiative, SP together with industry technology providers will develop and provide technology solutions, as well as conduct workforce training for companies. In addition, SP will introduce work-study programmes for students, entry-level professionals, and employees, with strong support from JTC. Students from SP will also be provided with internship and project opportunities at advanced manufacturing companies in the JID and beyond. Over 400 students from SP are expected to benefit from this programme in the next three years.

JID will go beyond advanced manufacturing. It will include innovations in agri-technology, urban mobility and the built environment.

Within the District, there is a “living laboratory” at the CleanTech Park, in which the estate and buildings provide a real-world environment where new sustainable technologies can be test-bedded. For example, JTC has developed the CETRAN AV Test Centre which brings together NTU, LTA and industry players such as ST Engineering, nuTonomy and Bosch to co-develop regulations and refine the technologies to facilitate the deployment of autonomous vehicles in the District in the future. At the start of this year, Surbana Jurong announced the launch of its new Campus within the District. By 2021, the Campus will serve as its nerve centre for research and development in new built environment innovation and technologies that will create and bring practical and viable solutions to the industry and community.

JID will also provide an additional wing in our strategies to support the growth of start-ups. We already have a LaunchPad in JID, a start-up ecosystem of innovators and entrepreneurs. JTC and Enterprise Singapore are working together to bring in start-up enablers such as Mistletoe, a venture ecosystem builder, and Blue InCube, which focuses on robotics technologies. One interesting collaboration is a farm-to-fork robocafé project, jointly kick-started by JTC and Mistletoe. This experimental food café is re-imagining the future of the entire food value chain, from food production, food processing, to the recycling of food waste.

Besides the economic opportunities we are bringing to the JID, we are also going to make the District a pleasant place to work, and overall, to make Jurong an attractive place to live in. In the past few years, we have taken major steps to develop the Jurong Lake District not only as a second business district outside the city, but also into a highly liveable area, with a whole range of amenities and lifestyle options, and its own distinctive identity. The Jurong Lake Gardens, which opened earlier this year, caters to all ages. It has kept a natural serenity, amidst its many species of flora and fauna.

JTC has designed the JID not as an industrial estate, but as an area for both work and recreation. It will have new amenities, rejuvenated parks, and public spaces – all catering to both people working in the District and residents from the surrounding areas. There will be green coverage amounting to 40% of the District, including green links, parks such as the Jurong Eco-Garden and Bulim Park, and dedicated pathways with native birds and butterflies. Jurong Eco-Garden will receive a facelift in phases and by 2025, the rejuvenated garden will have new nature trails, a café, a playground and fitness facilities that the community can enjoy. There will also be a new linkway by 2022 that connects Jurong West residents to the Jurong Eco-Garden, making it convenient for residents to visit. JTC also collaborated with Mistletoe and students from the NTU School of Art, Design and Media on a project to improve the user experience within communal spaces in Jurong Eco-Garden. Students will be test-bedding their ideas in a real-life environment, to see how features such as outdoor furniture, art installations, and soundscapes can add to the character and purpose of the Jurong Eco-Garden and JID. The District will also have Singapore’s first car-free sky corridor for pedestrians, cyclists and autonomous shuttles, which spans 11 km. This is a dedicated corridor that connects workplaces with key transport hubs, amenities, and community spaces, making commuting more convenient and pleasant for everyone. From 2026, we will also have three new MRT stations on the Jurong Regional Line that will serve the JID.



The JID represents how we keep improving Singapore – adapting and transforming to ensure we continue to thrive and create good new jobs, and constantly upgrading our living environment so we create the best home for everyone.

As the District continues to develop, we will stay true to its name – innovating in technology and skills, in sustainability and in lifestyle offerings.