Premier technology-matching event catalyses technology and business collaborations
Singapore – TechInnovation 2014 opened on 23 September at Marina Bay Sands to its highest attendance record of over 1,500 delegates, almost 50 per cent more than that of the previous year. Organised by IPI, this annual two-day marketplace event aimed to connect international and local technology providers and facilitate cross-border technology matching and collaboration opportunities across industry sectors through open innovation and crowdsourcing. The event was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
Singapore is Asia’s most innovative economy, measured through indicators such as innovation infrastructure, presence of skilled workers, and innovation output such as creative goods and services, according to the Global Innovation Index 2014. TechInnovation aims to continue fuelling the innovation ecosystem by translating innovative inputs into observable outputs.
This year’s event saw a doubling of the number of exhibitors compared to last year. They represented 12 countries and span industry sectors such as info-communications and electronics, materials and nanotechnology, health and personal care, as well as energy and environment.
Among the plenary speakers for this year was Mr Erik Hansen, Senior Director of Technology and Open Innovation at the LEGO Group. Mr Hansen and his team collaborate with leading universities and companies to create processes and tools that strengthen the innovation culture. During his talk, Mr Hansen spoke more about how the team embraces open innovation and how LEGO re-invents itself to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. Ms. Michelle Bellanca from 3M New Business Ventures highlighted how 3M’s corporate thinking and partnership models help to develop innovative technology, products and ideas for 3M. Mr. Ivan Leong from Grand Hyatt shared on how Hyatt embarks on innovation initiatives that build a caring environment and experience for Hyatt’s customers.
Mr Tan Kai Hoe, Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore and Co-Chair of IPI Steering Committee said, “Open innovation encourages innovators to leverage on one another’s ideas, improve on these ideas, and integrate them for greater impact. The in-sourcing of technology, for example, can help enterprises jump-start this process, to shorten the time-to-market and accelerate their growth in a more cost-effective way”.
Enabling successful partnerships
Since 2011, more than 300 technology matches and projects have been completed by IPI. These were facilitated through TechInnovation as well as other technology-matching opportunities. Professor Lam Khin Yong, Executive Director of IPI, said, “IPI is dedicated to helping SMEs enhance their capabilities and to creating a marketplace for technology providers and seekers to connect and find collaboration opportunities.”
For the third year running, TechInnovation and Techventure were held in partnership. Techventure is a showcase of Singapore’s entrepreneurial and technology innovation eco-system, seeking to promote Singapore based start-ups to global investment community and industry leaders for business partnerships.
Through the two events, enterprises and entrepreneurs can reach out to a larger set of international technology providers, leading global corporations, innovators and investors. Techventure 2014 was held from 24th to 25th September.