Sunday, 20th June 2021

RDA completes seed fund round to commercialise tech to improve data centre sustainability

Red Dot Analytics, a NTU spin-off, has successfully raised seed funds to commercialise their proprietary technology that helps digitalise, optimise, and automate Data Centre operations, improving the data center’s CAPEX, OPEX, and sustainability.

Red Dot Analytics (RDA), a spin-off from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, has completed a seed fund round with investment from IMO Ventures, Avior Capital, and GSR Ventures. The investment will enable RDA to commercialise its award-winning research into commercially viable services and applications.

RDA has pioneered an artificial intelligence (AI) driven digital twin solution, also known as a cognitive digital twin, that helps transform data center operations and management. The technology pivots on a network of industry-grade digital twins, cross-calibrated with operational data from existing IoT devices by an AI agent. The network of twins serves two purposes to synthesize a large volume of self-labeled operational data for AI model training and validate control policies derived from well-trained AI models, in a dual cycle loop manner.

Ms Yutong Zhang, Managing Director of GSR Ventures remarked that, “The digital twin technology models critical infrastructure in the physical world and optimises operations through AI. RDA’s core team has been on the cutting edge of digital twin research for many years, specialising in automation solutions for dynamic cooling optimisation, predictive maintenance, and capacity management. They’ve helped leading data center customers to significantly reduce their energy cost and breakdown risk.”

The research and development work is led by Prof. Wen Yonggang, a full Professor and President’s Chair of Computer Science and Engineering at NTU, who has won multiple industry accolades including the Data Centre Dynamic Award (2015), the ASEAN ICT Medal Award (2016), and the IEEE Industrial Technical Excellence Award (2020). Prof Wen says that “surging demand for digital services translates to more data centres being built, which naturally brings about concerns as to their associated energy consumption and consequent impact on climate change.”

The digital twin technology enables data centre operators to apply AI-driven digital transformation to solve a big dilemma in the industry: how to achieve energy efficiency without compromising its availability. “Our technology improves the sustainability of data centers in terms of their energy and carbon footprint, as it greatly increases the productivity, efficiency, and resiliency of a data center’s facilities,” Prof Wen added. “Another benefit is that capital and operational expenditure investment in a data center can be reduced.”

The investors cited the team of researchers, the importance of the data centre industry and its increasing impact on climate change, along with the brilliance of RDA’s technology as their reasons to invest in commercialising RDA’s technology.

Mr. Hai Liu, a partner of IMO Ventures says, “Red Dot Analytics, led by Professor Yonggang Wen, has a world-class team of the most brilliant researchers from MIT, NTU, and USTC. They are one of the earliest pioneers in optimising data centre operations, with profound understanding and award-winning achievements.

Ms Zhang added, “In 2021, end user spending on data center infrastructure is expected to hit $200 billion, accelerated by the post-pandemic growth in demand for digital transformation. And we believe that RDA will be able to expand to more industries in the future.”

Mr. Simon Sun, the president of Avior Capital said, “We are proud to be involved in the growth of RDA and look forward to more cooperation.”

Calvin Sun, who is the VP Business Strategy and Development at RDA, says that, “By commercialising the digital twin technology, RDA hopes to collaborate and partner with more data centre operators and equipment vendors to transform the future of data centers into a much greener and sustainable one.”

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