A tripartite collaboration between the National University of Singapore (NUS), Zhejiang University (ZJU) and Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has resulted in the setting up of a new International Research Centre (IRC). Called the Sensor-enhanced Social Media Centre (SeSaMe), this will create design techniques for social cyber-physical systems, which bridge the cyber-world of computing and communications with the physical world. SeSaMe will also develop social media applications for these systems. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed today by Professor Barry Halliwell, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology), Professor Chen Kunsong, Executive Vice Dean, Sci-Tech Academy of Zhejiang University and Mr Michael Yap, Executive Director of the Interactive Digital Media Programme Office at MDA, to formalise SeSaMe’s establishment. This was witnessed by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts and Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS President.

“Through our IRCs, NUS has established strong collaborations with a number of international institutes, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Chinese Institute of Automation, Keio University and Tsinghua University. We
are delighted to be able to work with Zhejiang University as one of our global partners. It is with the support from such partners that our IRCs can conduct cutting-edge research, which has the potential to change the way we perceive the world, the way we communicate and the way we live,” said NUS President, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan.

“We are very happy to partner with NUS and MDA to set up the Sensor-enhanced Social Media Centre in Singapore, which is Zhejiang University’s first overseas research centre. Through this collaboration, we look forward to building up our presence in Singapore, which is well-regarded as being an interactive digital media hub within Asia,” said Professor Wu Zhaohui, Vice-President, Development and Planning, Foreign Affairs & Overseas students, Zhejiang University.

Over the next five years, a total of S$24 million will be invested into SeSaMe, through funds from MDA, support from NUS and ZJU in terms of manpower, equipment and intellectual property management, as well as industry contributions. SeSaMe has already established its first research collaboration with NetEase, a China-based internet company. NetEase has committed RMB 10 million (approximately S$2 million) over the next two years, to support a research project on Ad-hoc Cyber-physical Network over Heterogeneous Mobile Sensors.