Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, the centre will house an innovation hub for Rio Tinto, which will be the centre’s foundation client.
The centre aims to help companies in a number of industries, including metals and mining, to capitalise on innovation and new digital services and business models. It will also focus on intelligent connected devices and machines that comprise the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
Rachael Bartels, natural resources global industry managing director for Accenture, said: “As a robust international trade hub and base for some of the world’s top commodities producers, shippers and logistical supply chain firms, Singapore is uniquely placed for companies to use technologies to achieve cost reductions, efficiencies and productivity gains, and more importantly, to generate new revenue streams.”
Jean-Marc Ollagnier, chief executive of Accenture’s resources operating group, emphasised: “As resources industries navigate commodity price cycles and challenges around talent shortages and rising production costs, digital technology provides a way to gain competitive advantage. This is the reason the centre is here, to help customers navigate any type of business cycle and pursue long-term growth.”
The centre will employ more than 30 researchers, scientists and engineers with deep experience in industry and technology domain areas including machine learning, cognitive computing, IoT sensor telemetry, advanced machine-human visualisation, IoT security and business integration. Through the centre, Accenture plans to hone the skills of up-and-coming leaders and collaborate with knowledge partners including universities, research institutes and technology companies in Singapore.
Simon Benney, group CIO at Rio Tinto, said: “Rio Tinto has a strong history of developing world-class innovation to improve safety and productivity across our global operations. It is part of our DNA. The speed of innovation and the adoption of technology in our business is the key to competitive advantage and being a leader in the mining industry.
We look forward to the Rio Tinto innovation hub bringing new business insights from a broad range of information systems and technology (IS&T)-driven technologies developed by Accenture and its ecosystem into our business. The ongoing innovation agenda in Rio Tinto, led by the technology and innovation group, will be supported by the new centre to continue to drive IS&T-enabled productivity improvements.”