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​Alibaba Launches Talent Programme in Singapore with Support from NTU and EDB

Published on: 03-Sep-2018

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Participants of the Alibaba Talent Programme will have unprecedented access to Alibaba’s research facilities in Singapore and China

Alibaba Group today launched the Alibaba Talent Programme in Singapore with support from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) under the Industrial Postgraduate Programme (IPP).

Part of Alibaba’s ongoing mission to nurture future research and development (R&D) talent from Singapore particularly in the field of computer science, the talent programme aims to equip postgraduate students with critical R&D skill-sets through gaining practical work experience on projects with Alibaba.

The programme is open to Singapore citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) who graduated from any local university or one of the select top-ranked universities around the world. The first intake will start in January 2019.

As PhD students, the programme participants will spend part of their studies at one or more of Alibaba’s research facilities, including the Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute (JRI) at NTU, Alibaba’s first facility of its kind outside of China, and various Alibaba campuses in Hangzhou and Beijing, China.

This will provide the students with the opportunity to participate in exciting research projects led by Alibaba and universities here, supported with access to large data samples and valuable business scenarios from Alibaba.

Xiangwen Liu, Senior Director of Alibaba Technology Strategy Department, said that Alibaba is thrilled with the enthusiastic support by both EDB and NTU Singapore, and is excited to launch its first-ever talent programme in Singapore.

“Singapore prides itself on world-leading educational and research institutions as well as its strong pool of talent. Through this programme, which is supported by NTU Singapore and EDB, we want to identify and nurture the next generation of R&D talent from Singapore and further strengthen the research community here,” said Liu. “Developing new and disruptive ideas is crucial, and we are committed to nurturing talent who would be the driving force of the next-wave of technology innovation.”

As part of the scholarship’s focus on advancing R&D in computer science areas, candidates must have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in Computer Science/Engineering, Electrical, Electronic, Mathematics, Physics or other related subjects. Prospective scholars should also be pursuing postgraduate Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studies in one of the following areas: Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Cryptography and Security, among others.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, Co-Chair of Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute and NTU’s Vice President (Research), said NTU is committed to training AI and data science talent to support Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and the transformation to Industry 4.0.

“As NTU transforms into a Smart Campus, we will develop and testbed many of these digital technologies, to ensure that they are useful, robust and secure, giving our students an opportunity to be involved in projects with industry relevance. Our newly developed humanised AI can allow a more natural interaction interface for people while addressing societal and business needs.” Prof Lam said.

“All our PhD students involved at the Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute will also have hands-on experience in developing and deploying systems involving AI, data analytics, blockchain, internet of things, neural networks, automation and cybersecurity, all of which are critical for the smooth running of a Smart Campus and a Smart Nation.”

The Alibaba Talent Programme is under the auspices of EDB’s Industrial Postgraduate Programme (IPP), which seeks to equip postgraduate students with critical R&D skill-sets through practical work experience on projects with a local or multinational company in Singapore.

Mr Ang Chin Tah, Director of Infocomms and Media at EDB, said, “We are delighted that Alibaba has chosen to partner Singapore in training a future generation of AI experts. This will help us deepen our bench of AI experts to create new cutting-edge technologies from Singapore.”

Apart from the financing of their PhD studies, the programme participants will each receive a monthly stipend of S$5,000, with mentorship by a main supervisor from the enrolled university and a co-supervisor from Alibaba.

Outstanding scholars admitted to the programme will also have the opportunity to continue their journey with Alibaba as a permanent employee, among other compelling benefits.

Applications, which starts from today till 31 October 2018, can be made through the website:


Media contact:

FleishmanHillard Singapore for Alibaba Group

Lester Kok
Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and
various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has also been placed the world’s top young university for the last five years running. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and has 57 Green Mark awards (equivalent to LEED-certified) buildings, of which 54 are certified Green Mark Platinum, covering 95 per cent of the campus buildings. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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