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Thales inaugurates Innovation Hub in Singapore

Key points

  • Thales inaugurates the Singapore Innovation Hub, a multidisciplinary establishment inspired by Asian concepts, Asian innovation and Asian thinking. 
  • The Hub will engage customers and utilize new concepts and practices such as Design Thinking to identify needs and jointly develop solutions.
  • The innovation team benefits from government support and partnerships with Singapore’s institutions as well as a global network of Thales innovation teams.


Thales, a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security, today officially inaugurated the Thales Innovation Hub Singapore, which represents the Group’s first multidisciplinary innovation centre outside of Europe.

The concept behind this Hub is to seek inspiration from Asian concepts, Asian innovation and Asian thinking, to arrive at a deeper understanding of the operational needs of clients in the region, and design new products and services that address these specific requirements. 

The Thales team will engage customers in user centered innovation, co-designing, prototyping and testing new ideas and concepts across domains ranging from defence, maritime security to aerospace, air traffic management and smart cities.

The innovation team has been trained by the Design Thinking and Innovation Academy from the DesignSingapore Council in order to apply the concept of Design Thinking innovation1, a new, goal-oriented, problem solving approach developed to look at all potential alternatives of a particular design problem.

Thales has world class credentials in research and technology, and invests 20% of its annual turnover in Research & Development. The Singapore team will therefore draw from considerable global support, including access to the internal network of design practitioners, a global group of experts from across all Thales’ domains, which fosters cross-collaboration in order to fine-tune design and innovation. The team will be further strengthened by the partnership forged with the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) 2, through collaboration and internship agreements.

For Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO, Thales:  “Innovation is in our DNA. Thales invests more in research and technology than most other industrial groups and with this inauguration we reaffirm this commitment to innovation. By leveraging the multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary Thales teams in Asia and across the world, the entire technology and research portfolio of the Group can be accessed by local clients to meet their needs in each of our strategic countries like Singapore. ”

 “We are pleased that Thales has chosen Singapore to open its first multidisciplinary innovation hub outside of Europe. The decision to locate the Thales Innovation Hub in Singapore signifies the growing importance of Thales’ Asian customer base, as well as Thales’ continued confidence in Singapore as an innovation leader in the region.”

Quek Swee Kuan, Deputy Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board


Notes to editors

1. About Singapore’s Innovation Hub team and Design Thinking

The Thales team is trained by the Design Thinking and Innovation Academy from the DesignSingapore Council equipped with “The Tools and Methods for Implementing Design Thinking” – a workshop covering the process of design thinking and innovation, as well as topics such as user empathy, rapid prototyping and user testing.

Design thinking is a formal solution-based method for practical, creative resolution of problems. This approach differs from the analytical scientific method, which begins with thoroughly defining all the parameters of the problem in order to create a solution. Design Thinking identifies and investigates both known and ambiguous aspects of the current situation in order to discover hidden parameters and open alternative paths to a solution. Because Design Thinking is iterative, intermediate "solutions" are also potential starting points of alternative paths, including redefining of the initial problem.

2. About the partnerships forged with Singapore Universities

To strengthen the Innovation Hub in Singapore, Thales is forging a strong partnership with the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD). SUTD, established in close partnership with MIT in the U.S., has incorporated into its curriculum inputs from the industry to meet the needs of the world. By hosting interns from SUTD and participating in SUTD’s Capstone Programme (an integrated design project for senior year undergraduate students), Thales hopes to inject fresh perspectives into our innovation challenges and grow the pool of Design-aware engineering talents in Singapore.