TechInnovation 2013 aims to enhance innovation in Singapore-based industries through different forms of collaborations; Successful partnerships for ITE, NYP and NTU.

Following a successful debut last year, premier industry-technology matching event TechInnovation 2013 kicked off to an equally rousing start this year at the Suntec Singapore International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Guest-of-Honour Professor Low Teck Seng, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Research Foundation opened this year’s event to an audience of over 800 local and international delegates and exhibitors. The annual event is organised by Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI) to connect international and local technology providers to meet industry technological needs and explore cross-border business opportunities.

With Singapore ranking 9th globally in innovation at the recently announced 2013 World Economic Forum Competitive Report, TechInnovation aims to be a platform that contributes to the national innovation and enterprise ecosystem. The event focuses on matching emerging and ready-to-market technologies in the info-communications, electronics, materials, manufacturing, healthcare, and energy and environment industries.

One of this year’s highlights included IPI’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japan Science & Technology Agency and Politecnico di Torino (Italy’s oldest technical university). These partnerships give IPI access to their portfolio of innovative technologies, provide connections to Singapore-based enterprises and encourage cross-border technology commercialisation and collaborations.

Dr Masashi SHIMADA, Deputy Director General, Center for Intellectual Property Strategies (CIPS) of JST said, “"For JST, concluding this MOU with IPI is a very significant step in extending the use of Japanese intellectual property worldwide. With a view to expanding into other Asian markets in particular, cooperation with Singaporean institutions like IPI makes for far greater possibilities in the marketing of technology."

Professor Enrico Macii, Vice Rector for Research, Tech Transfer and Internationalization of Politecnico di Torino, Italy, “Extending and strengthening our presence in South-East Asia is one of the main objectives of Politecnico's internationalization strategy. TechInnovation offers us a terrific opportunity to present our portfolio of IPs in different technological domains. I am sure that we will be able to leverage our participation to the event by starting new businesses in cooperation with local firms and ventures, as well as by creating some kind of a bridge between our Italian industrial partners and companies operating in Singapore.”

Professor Lam Khin Yong, Executive Director of IPI and Chief of Staff of Nanyang Technological University, said, “Innovation cannot be contained within borders or disciplines. TechInnovation is a platform that encourages innovation by connecting leading technology providers and industry under one roof. Numerous companies have benefitted from IPI’s business matching and we are optimistic that our reach will continue to expand in the future.”

Success Stories

Returning this year is InnoPal, a local SME that was successfully matched up with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Technology Development Centre in College Central through last year’s TechInnovation to work on an Emergency Alert System (EAS). This system is able to detect falls automatically through sensors, and alert caregivers through signals transmitted wirelessly to a base station. The system enables seniors to lead fulfilling, independent lives without having to burden family members who may constantly worry for their safety, and improves care efficiency with timely alert to caregivers for immediate assistance. The joint effort has reduced the time taken to commercialise the system, facilitating plans for expansion to overseas markets.

“TechInnovation is a tremendous platform for matching technology innovation with commercialisation needs. In our case, we were able to identify a partner in ITE at the event. The collaboration has brought benefits to both ITE and InnoPal and importantly, the end product will benefit the growing needs of our ageing population. We look forward to collaborating with ITE on new versions of the EAS,” said Martin Lee, Managing Director of InnoPal.

Successful collaborations also take place outside the TechInnovation marketplace. IPI’s technology matching services resulted in a successful partnership for Intelligent Mobility Private Limited (IM), a local start-up that designs and develops foot care products for healthcare and sports applications. IM was matched up with the Centre of Innovation for Electronics (COIE) in Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), seeking assistance for its Dynamic 3D foot scanner algorithm. With the foot scanner, scanned images are uploaded to a cloud server, and can be made accessible through web applications. This collaboration has received positive feedback from doctors, as it can expand foot care into third world nations. Now, doctors are able to access information of a patient’s foot condition remotely, without having to take distance and location into consideration. Through IPI’s assistance in business matching, the capabilities found in Dynamic 3D foot scanner are further enhanced.

Mr Glen Hinshaw, CEO, Director of IM said, “IPI assisted IM with finding the right engineers for the Dynamic 3D foot scanner. The business matching continues beyond introduction to NYP. IM leveraged on IPI’s help in managing network in Singapore from suppliers, manufacturing and assembly. Together with the IP translation and development support from NYP’s COIE, this helped with IM’s start-up in Singapore.”

Another successful collaboration can be found in ERS Industries, an established SME that designs and makes electronic equipment racks for data centres. To meet increasing calls for data centres to be more energy efficient, it has developed the next generation racks with the help of IPI. ERS was matched up with an expert in thermal design and management from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and start-up company, Intraix, which has developed smart energy analytics and management software. The new product now allows data centre managers to monitor power utilisation and achieve better energy efficiency.

Within six months of IPI’s assistance, ERS rolled out [email protected] in March 2013. Mr CK Cheong, Managing Director of ERS said, “IPI has a strong technical team who understand business, technology and Intellectual Property issues. IPI’s technology sourcing services not only complemented our internal effort and enhanced our awareness to new technology; it also played a key role in accelerating our acquisition of new capabilities.”

Partner Event

For the second year running, TechInnovation and Techventure are held back-to-back as partner events. Techventure is a showcase of Singapore’s entrepreneurial and technology innovation eco-system. The event seeks to promote Singapore based start-ups to global investment community and industry leaders for business partnerships. Techventure 2013, to be held on 25 – 26 September this year at the same venue, is co-organised by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR’s Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) and SPRING Singapore. Through the two events, enterprises and entrepreneurs can reach out to a larger set of international technology providers, leading global corporations, innovators and investors.

Exhibitors who are interested to participate in TechInnovation 2014, please contact us at[email protected] for more information.