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Speech by Professor Subra Suresh, President & Distinguished University Professor, at the launch of the Centre for Advanced Robotics Technology innovation (CARTIN)

Speech by

Professor Subra Suresh

President & Distinguished University Professor,

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Launch of the Centre for Advanced Robotics Technology innovation (CARTIN)

Monday, 15 August 2022

Nanyang Executive Centre, Nanyang Technological University


Minister Dr Tan See Leng,

Distinguished guests,


Ladies and gentlemen,


Good afternoon.

Welcome to the launch of the Centre for Advanced Robotics Technology Innovation (CARTIN) at NTU. 

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of automation, giving a new urgency to the development of robots in many settings. Today, robots that can socialise with people are programmed and deployed at nursing homes to help provide companionship and assistance to the elderly. Warehouses and factories are increasingly investing in robotics to streamline their operations and reduce labour costs. 

Building on this trend, NTU has been investing heavily in research and working closely with industry heavyweights such as Continental, Delta Electronics, and Schaeffler to set up Corporate Laboratories with support from the Singapore government.  Our goal here is to accelerate innovation and research translation in fields such as robotics and intelligent systems, and AI and machine learning. 

The launch of CARTIN is therefore a timely and natural extension of NTU’s work to expand the existing robotics and autonomous systems research efforts in Singapore and create a critical mass for the development and deployment of ground-breaking and innovative technologies.

CARTIN is a S$45 million research centre hosted and led by NTU, and supported by the National Research Foundation, Singapore under its Medium-Sized Centre funding scheme. The research centre aims to develop advanced and innovative solutions, technologies, and skills. Our strategy seeks to address technology gaps and to provide support for the development and deployment of future robotics and autonomous systems for applications in three areas: logistics, manufacturing, and eldercare. 

Included in this plan are autonomous vehicles that transport goods in shipping ports, robots that help human workers in factories manipulate and assemble parts, as well as robotic assistants designed to care for the elderly.

Beyond this, the Centre will develop state-of-the-art research infrastructure, facilities, and equipment to attract and nurture specialists in various related fields.  CARTIN will strive to enhance their skills through various collaboration projects and short courses developed jointly with industry, building a talent pipeline for the future workforce.

The Centre leverages NTU’s world-renowned capabilities in engineering and technology. It also draws on the strengths of several research institutes and centres at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), which will contribute to the work of CARTIN. 

CARTIN will also work closely with major industry partners such as NVIDIA and Alibaba, as well as overseas research institutions such as the Shanghai Research Institute for Intelligent Autonomous Systems (SRIIAS) and Sweden’s Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Programme (WASP), to facilitate the translation of successful research outcomes into practical solutions for society. 

Expanding NTU’s impact on industry and society by translating invention and creativity into outcomes that enhance economic benefits and quality of life is one of the key pillars of NTU2025, our five-year strategic plan. NTUitive, NTU’s technology transfer arm, will facilitate this process.

I am confident that CARTIN, leveraging the distinctive research ecosystem made up of scientists from NTU, NUS, and A*STAR and the relevant industry partners, will propel the next generation of robotics research. 

I would like to thank Prof Quek Tong Boon, Chief Executive of the National Robotics Programme and the Co-Chair of CARTIN’s Governing Board, for his advice and guidance in setting up CARTIN and shaping its research scope. I also thank the many NRF,  NTU, NUS and A*STAR colleagues who worked so hard to make this happen.

I wish CARTIN every success and look forward to seeing NTU’s innovations benefiting Singapore and the rest of the world. 

Thank you.