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[FEATURED NEWS] Meeting of Minds: HTX and Thales form first CO-LABorative Partnership 

Singapore, 14 October 2021 – HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency) and Thales launched the HTX-Thales Co-Lab to co-create game-changing science and technology solutions in homeland security through experimentation, and the building of prototypes and proofs-of-concept. Mr Chan Tsan (HTX Chief Executive) and Mr Patrice Caine (Thales Group Chairman and CEO) officiated at the launch.

Chan Tsan and Patrice Caine

Mr Chan Tsan (HTX Chief Executive) and Mr Patrice Caine (Thales Group Chairman and CEO) pictured together, officially launching the HTX-Thales Co-Lab (Credit: Thales)

The HTX-Thales Co-Lab is a strategic partnership between the science and technology arm of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Thales, a French multinational company with 120 years of corporate history, known for producing high-tech innovations for security, data identity, AI, connectivity, aerospace, and more. This partnership presents an opportunity for HTX to elevate current homeland security operations to enhance public safety and security.

What exactly is a co-lab, and why does it matter?

Co-labs are collaborative research and development partnerships between organisations. In co-labs, partners form joint teams with complementary capabilities, to co-create new concepts and solutions with speed and agility. Through collaboration and cooperation, members of both organisations can learn from each other and deepen their capabilities.

Chan Tsan and Patrice Caine - X sign

Mr Chan Tsan (HTX Chief Executive) and Mr Patrice Caine (Thales Group Chairman and CEO) pictured together, officially launching the HTX-Thales Co-Lab (Credit: Thales)

Collaborations on Science and Technology

One of the first projects in the co-lab is about ways to handle rogue drones. Robotics, Automation and Unmanned Systems (RAUS) Centre of Expertise (CoE) in HTX will work with Thales engineers to identify drones more accurately in an urban landscape to protect Singapore against drone threats.

Dr. Ben Soon, Senior Principal Engineer from RAUS CoE felt there were significant benefits from the collaboration with Thales. He said, “The pace of change in the world of science and technology is incredibly rapid. In order not to be left behind, you need to move fast. This partnership allows us to gain direct access to Thales engineers and increase the pace of development. By being able to test and experiment in a more agile manner, we can deliver products that contribute to homeland security faster.”

Another area of development is to explore a whole new concept of immigration clearance. The team from HTX’s Biometrics and Profiling (B&P) CoE will work with Thales engineers to develop solutions to verify the identities of travelers on the move and in groups, using biometrics. This will lead to a more efficient immigration process, and be a game-changer for the immigration experience.

Mr. Melvin Low, Deputy Director of Biometrics & Profiling CoE said, “The partnership provides a platform for B&P engineers to have direct interaction with industrial players, and contribute to the development process. Drawing on different perspectives from Thales, we can gain fresh insights on technology development and better customize unique solutions for the Home Team. I’m excited by this, because it really helps us develop organic capabilities and build from the ground up.”

The HTX-Thales Co-Lab certainly has immense potential to exponentially impact Singapore’s safety and security. The handshake between CE Chan Tsan and CEO Patrice Caine may appear a small gesture, but signals a significant step forward for both sides to enhance their capabilities. HTX looks forward to this Co-Lab being the first of many fruitful partnerships to come!