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Seeking Automated Cabling Installation for Security System

Background / Description

The Open Innovation Platform (OIP), an initiative by the Info-Communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), aims to connect real business challenges to problem solvers. 

CONTEXT

Stroztech is a leading provider of security monitoring, control and access systems for office and commercial sites in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Their systems rely on ubiquitous connectivity between multiple sensing devices (cameras, card readers, alarm sensors etc) and the internet, to enable the system to function. Some of their notable clients include IBM Singapore, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Singapore and 80RR FinTech Innovation Hub.

The power and data requirements of these devices can range from up to 500kbps data, 24kW power (e.g., for high-end cameras) to minimal data, 3kW power for simple devices (e.g., card readers). Cables still provide the backbone for power and data in the home and office sites, with categories 5 or 6 cabling most commonly used. So far, wireless solutions have not been able to deliver the required data connectivity constantly and reliability, hence cable solutions are still preferred.

Currently, installation of the cables is time-consuming and expensive. Cabling is generally handled by subcontractors, and constitutes a substantial proportion of the overall cost of installing and running the security systems. It can involve working in cramped spaces, high levels and other hard-to-reach spaces, all of which escalate the costs involved. Here are some photos that show the areas where cabling work is required. 

The average cost to connect a single device by cable is currently about $100, but in extreme cases, this can go further than $1000. With complex systems comprising hundreds of devices, these costs can add up to a significant amount. Stroztech is looking for a solution to significantly automate and reduce the manpower cost of cabling (assuming cabling remains necessary), in order to provide data and power connectivity for security devices more cost-effectively.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

How might we significantly reduce the cost of cabling for security devices (and also other IoT devices), while ensuring reliability and effectiveness of the connection?

Technical Specifications

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR
  • Prototype of a solution that can largely automate the installation of category 5 and 6 cables or up to 10-gauge power/electrical cables (up to 100 metres at a time)
  • Solution (which may still require human operators) needs to be at least as fast as manual cabling, and halve the cost of installation or more. It roughly takes about:
    • 1 man hour for 2 men to run a cable in the ceiling for 10 meters;
    • 4 man hours for 2 men to run a cable in a ceiling for 50 meters;
    • 7-10 man hours for 2 men to run a cable in a ceiling for up to 100 meters
  • These are estimates based on less than 3.2m ceiling height with trunking provided. Work can be further delayed if the height of the works is higher, trunking is required or the work is more complex.
  • The solution needs to be usable at a majority of office, hotel and large apartment sites, to lay cables according to building codes, in a variety of use cases listed below

There are no restrictions on the geographic location of the problem solvers who may choose to apply to this challenge. However, the prototype needs to be demonstrated in Singapore.

 
POSSIBLE USE CASES
  • The solution will make the most impact if it can automate cable installation in the following use cases that currently involve high labour and equipment hire costs (e.g. scissor lifts):
  • Working at height: cabling often needs to be laid along ceilings at heights of 3m or more, often within a false ceiling. The bracketing (the points of connection to the ceiling) needs to be according to building regulations.
  • Working in cramped, awkward spaces where humans cannot fit, including wall cavities, tunnels, trenches, false ceilings etc).
  • Outdoors: some devices, or some cabling routes, need to be external to the building, which adds additional complexity (weather proofing, working in high places, or using utility tunnels and trenches).
 
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU
  • SGD 35,000 of prize money for each winner of this challenge
  • Able to co-develop solution with Stroztech and tap on its deep knowledge of the industry, building codes and legislation, and cable installation requirements
  • Stroztech will provide access to facilities and use cases to test and refine the solution for commercialisation
  • If successful, there is a potential to access markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand through Stroztech’s existing channels

 

Award Model

30% of the prize money will be awarded to each selected finalist at the start of the prototype development process, with the remainder 70% to be awarded during the prototype development process, based on milestones agreed between Stroztech and the solver.

Note that a finalist who is selected to undertake the prototype development process will be required to enter into an agreement with Stroztech that will include more detailed conditions pertaining to the prototype development.

 

Eligibility

We are open to global and Singapore-based individuals, research providers and companies that have digital technology expertise and innovation capabilities. Some of these include Info-Comm and Media (ICM) start-ups, SMEs and larger companies. Problem Solvers should have the ability and desire to co-create and innovate with Problem Owners or/and other partners to translate their ideas into solutions that can address real business needs. 

Global solvers may apply for challenges on the OIP. However, from time to time, some Problem Owners may require applicants to have a physical presence in Singapore in order to perform a demonstration of the Proof-of-Concept or Prototype. Global applicants must be prepared to bear the additional cost of travel. Applicants are encouraged to check the respective challenges if there are such requirements before applying.

 

Further Details

Technical details of the problem statements as well as information related to the innovation calls can be found on the IMDA Open Innovation Platform (OIP) which you will be redirected to after clicking on the 'Proceed To Details' button below and filling up a short form with your basic information.

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)

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