With its global headquarters in Northbrook, IL, USA, UL today announced that it is expanding its presence in the region through additional investment and by establishing Singapore as its international headquarters.Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Mr. Keith Williams, CEO, UL, witnessed the signing ceremony at the inaugural Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific held at Singapore EXPO. The regional focus will strengthen UL capabilities in cybersecurity, inter-operability and connectivity, and sustainability management, aligning closely with the Singapore government’s vision of a Smart Nation.
The expansion, supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), positions UL to leverage Singapore’s vibrant eco-system as a global innovation hub of a multitude of test beds from urban sustainability, cutting-edge smart infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as a healthy platform of Industry 4.0 advances. It is estimated that there will be 21 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020 and more than 70 percent of IoT devices unencrypted; validating and testing for cybersecurity standards and compliance to protocols are of paramount importance.
“Our core mission is to help ensure safety, security and sustainability which is underpinned by our long heritage in safety science. We see opportunities in developing appropriate frameworks for safe and secure digital technology to shorten development cycles allowing faster commercialization of new technologies,” said Mr. Sajeev Jesudas, President, UL International. “For example, our UL Cybersecurity Assurance Program (UL CAP) aims to minimize risks and malware exploitations by creating standardized, testable frameworks for assessing the increasingly sophisticated software vulnerabilities which are pushing the boundaries of cybersecurity.”
“We welcome UL’s decision to establish its International Headquarters in Singapore,” said Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of EDB. “Its plans to build new capabilities in cybersecurity and IoT connectivity will also introduce critical expertise in safety and security to advance our manufacturing sectors and strengthen Singapore’s overall competitiveness.” UL also recently opened its Global Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Singapore with the support of EDB.
UL International expansion plans include establishing a Global Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence and strengthening its brand protection and anti-counterfeiting capabilities in Singapore. Potential collaboration opportunities exist with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation. “We are already working with Interpol in the areas of counterfeiting, cybercrime and IP protection and will expand this expertise to the region,” Mr. Jesudas said. UL will increase its headcount in the coming years to meet growth objectives.
Other expansion plans include UL Ventures, the venture investment and acceleration arm of UL, which is aggressively seeking investment opportunities in digital manufacturing, autonomous systems, smart cities, digital health and cyber security and is working with SGInnovate and Entrepreneur First. Another focus growth area for UL International is in deepening Standards Development in this region. Asia Pacific continues to be the global manufacturing driver and this necessitates the development and implementation of standards to mitigate different interpretation of standards across markets, minimize human error and enhance technological compatibility, fostering trade and economic growth.