The Digital Trust Centre will lead research and development efforts for “trust technologies”, which include those that preserve data privacy while the data is being analysed.
Singapore is launching the Digital Trust Centre (DTC) to lead research and development efforts for “trust technologies”, and to support talent development in this area.
Such tools include privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) that preserve data privacy while the data is being analysed, as well as trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, which help verify and explain the expected performance of AI systems.
Trust tech focus areas
The Centre is funded by a S$50m investment from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan. Hosted by the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), the centre will focus on four key areas:
- Trust tech research: enable institutes of higher learning and research institutes to pursue research excellence in trust technologies and drive local and international collaborations
- Trust tech innovations: encourage academia and enterprises to co-develop and mature research ideas into market-ready solutions
- New sandbox environment: enable businesses to experiment with trust technologies to alleviate challenges with data-sharing
- Deepen local capabilities: nurture 100 R&D talents in digital trust.
Singapore is a founding member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), which is a multi-stakeholder initiative that fosters international cooperation to bridge the theory and practice in AI. Singapore contributes actively to GPAI through expert groups such as data governance and commercialisation. Singapore plans to step up its contributions to GPAI through the DTC.
Solutions will be developed to demonstrate how PETs can overcome privacy and compliance challenges applications that leverage cross-organisation and cross-border data
To this end, IMDA and the International Centre of Expertise of Montreal for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for one of the world’s first cross-border collaboration on PETs.
Under this, solutions will be developed to demonstrate how PETs can overcome privacy and compliance challenges for organisations building applications that leverage cross-organisation and cross-border data. The experience will guide future research and development, business adoption of PETs and contribute towards the development of international standards.
Singapore launched AI Verify, the world’s first AI governance testing framework and toolkit, at the recently concluded World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. A result of close collaboration with global industry partners, 10 companies from different sectors were involved in the testing of its minimum viable product and feedback process, including Google, Meta, Microsoft and Singapore Airlines.
Josephine Teo, minister for communications and information, announced Singapore’s intention to work with an even wider group of stakeholders through an international pilot to enhance AI Verify, co-develop benchmarks and better methods of verifying trustworthy AI. In addition, DTC will seek to devise more effective ways to explain what factors affect the behaviour of AI applications to internal stakeholders, business partners and customers.
Teo also signed a MoU on digital cooperation with Abdul Mutalib Yusof, Brunei’s minister of transport and information, as part of Singapore’s robust network of digital economy government-to-government agreements in the Asia Pacific region and beyond, to advance collaboration in the digital economy and digital connectivity.