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IBM in conjunction with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is to set up a Center for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore in which IBM researchers will work with government, industries and academia to develop applications and solutions based on enterprise blockchain, cyber-security, and cognitive computing technologies.

IBM says the center will also engage with small and medium enterprises to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade.

The vice president of IBM Global Labs, Robert Morris, said: 'This is IBM's first collaboration with the private sector and multiple government agencies within the same country to explore the use of blockchain and cognitive technologies to improve business transactions across several different industries.'

Morris said the center would enable companies across industries to partner with IBM to co-create cutting edge digital solutions for global markets from Singapore.

'Now with new cloud services that make these technologies more accessible, leaders from all industries are beginning to take note of the resulting profound and disruptive implications in a range of settings including finance, banking, IoT, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, technology, government, the legal system, and more.'

The center's first projects will focus on using blockchain to improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions. These projects, which could also involve global banks and emerging financial technology companies, are aligned with the vision of Singapore's Central Bank, MAS, to further develop Singapore as a smart financial center, according to IBM.

IBM will also work with PSA Singapore Terminals, the world's largest container transhipment port, and others to create a trade ecosystem that will connect emerging financial technologies with the physical world of global trade and logistics. This, IBM says, will lead to new business models and attract more global trade and finance to Singapore.