Smart Campuses: A Big Step Towards Smart Cities

Singapore, July 6, 2016

Learn about the steps that organisations can take to turn their university campus, hospital cluster, neighbourhoods and industrial park into Smart Campuses. Find out how smart technologies can power a Smart Campus to achieve operational efficiency, situational awareness, improve engagement between operators and users, and enable data visualisation.

Intelligent technologies that power a Smart Campus are the same ones that make cities smart. Be it one floor of office space, an entire building, or a campus-like environment with multiple buildings or locations, organisations can benefit greatly from transforming into Smart Campuses.

The intelligent technologies that power an entire Smart City can also be applied to Smart Campuses – such as business analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, social networking and cloud computing.


Most times, the challenges of a smart city are akin to that of organisations, where disparate data points from disparate systems mean decision-making might not be as swift, or well informed. 

A Smart Campus can help organisations solve the frustration of managing and operating from multiple systems/platforms, which can mean more administrative overhead, as well as having to manage multiple system integrators.

An example of a Smart Campus is Singapore Polytechnic. The polytechnic aims to use sensors, devices, networks and data to deliver innovative services that will boost teaching, learning and operational efficiency. The digitalisation of the campus will also make possible the highly secure collection, analysis and evaluation of rich data to provide insights and intelligence that will help the institute to fine-tune its service offerings. 

A Smart Campus does not only refer to educational institutes. Instead, it refers to any campus-like environment comprising multiple sites and buildings, such as airport terminals, universities and hospital grounds.


The journey to a Smart Campus is a progressive one: 

  1. Changing mindsets. 

    Digital transformation lays the foundation for a smart campus. It begins with a change in the mindset and culture from the organisation’s leadership and governance layer. This can mean a redefinition of how it views its current policies, standards and processes.

    For campuses to become smart, they need to have top management that encourages a culture of smart thinking, collaboration, innovation and where its people are on a constant look out for cost-effective and efficient solutions.

  2. Connecting the right dots. 

    With the flood of data and web of technologies, organisations need to cut through the noise to connect the right dots. They need to make sense of millions of relevant data points in real-time and then route them to the right personnel at the right time – so that action can be taken swiftly and decisively.

    Organisations also need to consider going a step further and harnessing cross-domain actionable insights to make more intelligent and informed decisions.

    A modular Command and Control Platform like NCS’ IntelliSURF™ allows different modules to be added for the purpose of smart building management.

    While each module has its own set of features, organisations can harness cross-domain actionable insights when select modules interact together.

    For instance, the Crowd Detection Module, would allow insights into crowd density to be mapped out (as heat maps) upon the interactive visualisation interface of IntelliSURF™.

    For smart metering and lighting, the building management would be able to ascertain which of the areas or walkways are under-utilised at specific times of the day. They could use the i-Light Module to remotely schedule the switching on/off or brightening/dimming of lights in a more effective and granular manner.

    The Meter Data Management Module could then be used to monitor and track the energy consumption of the lights and the data collected can help building management take follow-up action in a more informed manner.

  3. Choosing the right open platform. 

    Organisations should choose an open platform that will allow disparate sensors and devices to be integrated and enable users to make sense of the data points from just one platform, instead of accessing, viewing and operating from many disparate systems.

    An open platform will also provide an open framework that allows more functionality to be added as the needs of the Smart Campus evolve and grow.

    More than just the usual command and control platform, NCS’ IntelliSURF™ is designed to connect with a suite of modules categorised in these five key pillars: Security, Facilities, Administration, Utilities and Analytics. This modular approach allows for a growing ecosystem of functionalities that could be streamlined and operated from a single dashboard.

    Ultimately, technology has the potential to transform the operation of Smart Campuses to make it more efficient and effective. In addition, these Smart Campuses can serve as a test-bed for technologies that will shape sustainable and smart cities of the future.

To learn more about IntelliSURF™ and our Smart Campus suite of modules, visit