NUS Business School teams up with General Electric to bring traditional industries into the digital world

Bridging classroom idea generation and successful real life implementations

Singapore, 4 April 2017 - The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School students teamed up with General Electric (GE) Digital to demonstrate how digital technology enables traditional industries to transform their businesses while powering the new generations of industrial companies.

As part of the School’s commitment to offer students an experiential learning journey, undergraduates in a Management and Organisation class had the opportunity to work as consultants for clients. Leveraging GE’s digital transformation and its Industrial Internet platform, Predix, students had to diagnose clients’ problems, and pitch realistic yet innovative ideas to companies within the forestry, fishing, manufacturing and port industries.

"Our relationships with corporate partners are central to providing our students with hands-on experiences and a leading-edge business curriculum. World-leading firms, such as GE, recognise the potential and strengths of our students who are analytical with practical insights and understand the digital world and the future economy,” said Professor Bernard Yeung, Dean, NUS Business School. “Immersion learning with GE and our corporate partners is a key component of our student’s training. We are grateful these industry leaders partner with us to bridge academic and practice as well as nurture our students to be future business leaders. It is what truly sets our graduates apart.”

Tapping on Predix’s ability to turn real-time operational data into actionable insights, students went beyond role-playing to practicing consultants, pitching their ideas to Mr Alvin Ng, General Manager of GE Digital, ASEAN, and his team.

“In line with Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, working with NUS Business School is part of our campus strategy to develop local capabilities in digital industrial,” said Mr Ng. “With Predix as the foundation, GE aims to create an ecosystem for partners, customers, app developers and tertiary institutions to develop solutions that cut across all industries. When I heard the pitches presented by the NUS students, I was truly impressed. Besides fully internalising GE’s technologies and the business plans of selected client partners, their ideas were practical and implementation was definitely feasible.”

One potential early adopter is Barramundi Asia, Singapore’s largest commercial fish farm, which was roped in to review the feasibility of the students’ recommendations. The students had identified a sensor technology prevalent in the manufacturing industry that could extract data in fish farms, which can then be analysed using applications built on GE’s Predix platform. They further proposed a Fish Farm Information Management System to automate farming processes.

For instance, using the data measured from the sensors, the farm could predict stress and potential disease outbreaks through the patterns of fish movement. Regular scans of the environment could pick up abnormal movements that indicate signs of disease outbreaks, preventing death and minimising yield losses.

Mr Andrew Kwan, Group Managing Director of Commonwealth Capital which has significant investments in Barramundi Asia shared, “We were happy to interact with these undergraduates to listen to their recommendations and provide feedback from a farmer's perspective. The analytical skills and creativity of the students were commendable. Having them visit the farm eventually and discussing the benefits of digitalising our fish farm operations was commercially fascinating.”

Since 2014, Asia represents 84% of the global population engaged in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, where Southeast Asia is the second largest market after China. Hence, there is strategic interest and importance to address inefficiencies caused by traditional, manual farming methods. With increased efficiency and cost savings, the digital solution provides the fish farming industry an opportunity to diversify, and capture the aquaculture boom in Asia-Pacific.

Dr Andreas Raharso, Department of Management and Organisation, says “The biggest challenge for me, is to pack six to 12 months of training consultant process into 13 weeks of modular teaching. The best way of imparting practical skills to the students is to pull them out of their comfort zones, out of the classroom, and place them in scenarios where they have to step up and gain clients’ trust. I see the opportunity of such experiential learning to prepare students for future jobs by actively creating the job itself.”

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Fiona Heng
Manager, Corporate Communications
NUS Business School
National University of Singapore
DID: (65) 6516 1238

Ms Theresa Lim
Marketing & Communication Leader, ASEAN
GE Singapore
DID: (65) 6326 3297