The Singapore-based non-profit company IPI and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday 26 April, making NTNU IPI’s first Network Partner in the Nordic region. The alliance also gives NTNU, Norway’s main technological university, premier access to Singapore industries that could commercialize the university’s innovative research.

The partners chose to sign their two-year agreement on World Intellectual Property Day, to underscore the importance of intellectual property to the MOU and to the two organizations. They also signed the agreement “virtually,” via live feeds and Smart Boards for the actual signing. IPI’s executive director, Dr Lim Khiang Wee, says his organization sees tremendous potential in the MOU signed with NTNU, based on NTNU’s leading position in offshore and maritime technology, among other strengths. 

 “IPI builds and works with a network of international technology partners and intermediaries to search for the right technology to fulfil industry’s requirements. NTNU is recognised as one of the foremost technology universities in the world with particular strengths in the offshore & maritime, ICT and healthcare sectors,” Dr Lim said. “IPI is very honoured to have formed a partnership with NTNU and gain access to its portfolio of technologies.”

NTNU’s Pro-Rector for Innovation, Dr Johan E. Hustad, said he also has high hopes for NTNU’s collaboration with IPI. 

“NTNU recognizes Singapore’s position as a central gateway to South-East Asia. We have also made note of the fact that Singapore has high ambitions related to making the city a leading IP hub in Asia. I am deeply impressed by what IPI has achieved since the company was established in 2011,” Dr Hustad said. “NTNU will use our position as an IPI Network partner primarily to present and make available selected NTNU technologies and innovations to relevant industries based in Singapore.”


Dr Lim pointed out that the alliance gives NTNU access to IPI’s extensive industry network, which is of great benefit to both partners.

NTNU will be able to leverage IPI’s strong and close connection to the industry here to commercialize its innovations,” Dr Lim said. “I am confident that IPI can play a catalysing role in opening doors for opportunities for cross-border technology licensing and collaborations between NTNU and the Singapore-based enterprises.”  

NTNU’s Dr Hustad noted that NTNU can use its position in the alliance to build or expand connections with Norwegian companies already established in Singapore.

“We will also use the collaboration with IPI as a platform to revitalize and strengthen ties to Norwegian companies with a strong presence in Singapore, in the short term in particular companies involved in shipping or other maritime areas,” Dr Hustad said. “We feel confident that such future efforts will be actively supported by the relevant public authorities in Norway, such as the Ministry of Trade and Commerce and Innovation Norway”.

IPI is a non-profit company established by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Research, Innovation & Enterprise 2015 Plan (RIE2015) to help Singapore-based enterprises source, acquire and adopt enabling technology and know-how. IPI assists enterprises in translating innovation objectives into specific intellectual property and technology requirements that enhance their business processes, products and services. 

One of the key initiatives of IPI is to create a platform for technology and needs matching. IPI organises the TECHINNOVATION which is a premier technology marketplace and industry-technology matching event. It provides excellent opportunities for technology seekers and technology providers to gain access to a large and diversified pool of IP, technologies, technology needs and most of all to enterprises primed for innovation and collaboration.

NTNU is Norway’s second largest university and the only university in Norway with a technological main profile. As a concrete follow-up of the Norwegian governments recently published White Paper on IPRs, NTNU is in the process of establishing the “Norwegian Academy for Intellectual Property” (NAIP), which main focus will be on education and research related to the role of IP in innovation processes and value creation. In a recent European ranking, NTNU was ranked as the 4th best university in the world when it comes to collaboration with industry (based on the frequency and totality of joint publications).



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