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Johnson Controls’ Living Laboratory At NUS

The smart building solutions provider launches its $50million facility within the School of Design and Environment at NUS.



BY Rachel Lee-Leong

14 October, 2020


The advantages of collaboration between industry and academia are not to be underestimated. For companies, the research-based innovation and spirit of openness intrinsic to academia is invaluable, as is the ready pool of talent. On the part of universities, no academic module can replace the experience of working towards a real-life, marketable solution.

It was with this in mind that smart building provider Johnson Controls launched its $50million OpenBlue Innovation Center in the School of Design and Environment (SDE) at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The Innovation Center in SDE4, the school’s net-zero energy building, is where engineers and collaborating NUS researchers will collect and analyse data, leveraging artificial intelligence and analytics to obtain qualitative and quantitative understanding of the interactions between technology, indoor environments and occupant well-being.

An ecosystem of partners including NUS and Microsoft will tap on intelligence generated from the centre to create evidence-based solutions for healthier, safer, and more connected indoor spaces.

The relationship between Johnson Controls and NUS harks back to 2008 when the former was the appointed partner to implement a converged campus building management solution for NUS University Town. It has since introduced different technologies to the precinct.

“The opportunity to test Johnson Control’s novel solutions on our campus and conduct joint research will help advance our ongoing efforts to build smarter, healthier and sustainable work, teaching and learning spaces for our staff, faculty and students.” says Professor Yong Kwet Yes, NUS Senior Vice President (Campus Infrastructure).

In addition to obvious research synergies, there will also be opportunities for collaboration on teaching and internship programmes and a strong focus on talent development with NUS at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels—the facility is expected to have more than 100 employees within four years.

In more ways than one, the OpenBlue Innovation Center is a timely and well-positioned initiative given the new and urgent needs within the built environment industry that the pandemic has surfaced.


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