Driving Innovation through Public-Private Partnership: Interview IRT SystemX Singapore

ISSUE #67 – François-Xavier Lannuzel (pictured below), Chief Representative of IRT SystemX Singapore, shares with us more about the research and technology institute’s projects in Singapore, and the ways public-private partnerships is driving innovation.


Do tell us about the research centre SystemX@Singapore.

SystemX is a French research and technology institute, based in France near Paris. It is dedicated to build research and development projects for the industry, in the field of digitalisation.

It addresses the following markets:

  • Industry 4.0
  • Autonomous transport
  • Smart Cities
  • Cybersecurity

Its underlying competences encompass big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT, or systems engineering.

A typical SystemX project gathers companies from MNCs to start-ups, as well as academics resources. Companies contribute financially, and the French state matches these contributions. SystemX hence builds a core research team, and invite in-kind contributions from partners to join. Altogether, about 300 people work in SystemX projects in France.

SystemX has opened an office in Singapore in 2017 in order to internationalise its strategy. In Singapore, the idea is to create new partnerships with companies and academics. Singapore, aspiring “Smart Nation”, is the perfect place to develop R&D projects in digitalisation with the best players in the world. Singapore has indeed a very attractive strategy for research and innovation in the South-East Asia region. It has become an innovation hub for companies willing to expand in Asia.

SystemX strategy in Singapore is to run a large panel of projects, be it a joint PhD with academics, or a research partnership with industry supported by the local government, or a bigger consortium to address the country issues. We want to stay agile and innovative in the way we cooperate.



How are public-private partnerships driving research and innovation differently?

The European Union has created a new way to cooperate in research and technology thanks to the European Framework Programme for Research. It has enabled thousands of collaborative projects to deliver successful results in the last 30 years and taught companies and academics to join forces in upstream innovation. This is clearly an efficient way to partner and share skills, to the benefit of business outcomes.

It also enables public decision makers to be part of the discussion, and not only assessing whitepapers.

We want to bring this collaborative spirit to Singapore and Asia-Pacific, and become a talent integrator.


Any interesting ongoing projects that you can share with us about?

In Singapore, SystemX is starting its development with a flagship project, dedicated to autonomous transport, namely the CETRAN[1] project. SystemX is teaming up with the local Nanyang Technology University, ranked among the best in the world, as well as other foreign entities. The objectives are to build a centre for the certification of the autonomous vehicles.

A real circuit is already in use to run car or bus experiments, and provide simulation modelling with data. SystemX will be in charge of the digital modelling and simulation of the safety and digital security of the vehicle, following up a similar project in France.


Photo: © Gil Lefauconnier/IRT SystemX


In addition, SystemX is currently building partnerships in cybersecurity, blockchain, or IoT topics, and hopefully many others to come.



[1] CETRAN: Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of AVs.





Interview with François-Xavier Lannuzel, Chief Representative, IRT SystemX Singapore

Published in FOCUS Magazine — Issue #3 2018 “The Innovation Issue