Singapore – TechInnovation 2014 opened today 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 aims 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 (see Annex A for examples). 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 is held from 24th to 25th September this year at Marina Bay Sands.
For more information, please contact:
Ms Vithya Selvam
Senior Officer, Corporate Communications Department, (A*STAR)
DID: +65 6826 6291
Email: [email protected]
Mr. Lim Ming Khai
Deputy Director, IPI
Tel: 6419 6607
Email: [email protected]
IPI assists enterprises in matching enabling technology and capability to meet their innovation needs. Established under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, IPI focuses on industry needs and translates their innovation objectives into specific technology requirements to enable enterprises to develop new processes, products and services.
IPI connects enterprises to innovation through its team of technology specialists with diverse backgrounds, online and physical technology marketplaces and network of global technology partners. Our personalised support brings together the right people and organisations for collaboration and turns innovation objectives into commercial opportunity.
ANNEX A – IPI’S SUCCESS STORIES
The following are some examples of collaborations made possible through IPI’s personalised technology sourcing services and technology marketplace:
1) Matex International
Matex International is a home-grown SGX-Main board listed Specialty Chemicals Company that makes, formulates and distributes its products and services across various industries globally.
“From inception in 1989, we have recognised the need to develop sustainable, low-carbon impact and effective dye and chemical solutions to vastly reduce the negative impacts on environment, as textile dyeing processes are a major cause of industrial fresh water pollution around the world,” said Dr Alex Tan, CEO and Managing Director of Matex.
Of recent, its flagship product range, Megapro System, can help reduce more than 25 per cent water usage, and can result in at least 33 per cent less time spent compared to conventional systems. In its relentless mission to develop eco-friendly products, it was awarded “Specialty Chemicals Company of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan in their Singapore Excellence Awards 2013 and named a finalist in the Singapore Sustainability Award (Green Technology) in 2012.
Coupled with its strong in-house R&D capability, Matex’s success today is also attributed to its willingness to co-invest and collaborate with partners to find solutions. “Nowadays, the world is so connected and innovation happens at a much faster pace. It is not enough to rely solely on company’s own R&D activities to develop new co-innovate to reduce the time-to-market and business risk,” said Mr Dro Tan, Executive Director of Matex.
Matex currently has multiple projects with external collaborators in the pipeline to develop eco-friendly products and processes. For example, through the technology sourcing and assessment assistance of IPI Singapore, Matex was matched with a start-up company to develop and trial on wastewater treatment technologies.
“IPI’s facilitation and crowdsourcing solutions have helped the company unlock new capabilities which can create multiple and rewarding business opportunities for Matex to grow,” said Dr Alex Tan.
2) V3 Teletech
V3 Teletech is a home-grown SME that specialises in Location-Based Services & Applications and Intelligent Transport System. It developed the first Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Telematics Platform in Singapore that allows enterprises to use telematics & real time data to optimise & manage scarce resources. Over the past 12 years, it has established itself as a leading provider of innovative mobility solutions and technology in the region.
“With an aging workforce and rising labour costs, service robots are set to play a vital role in the service sectors such as cleaning & maintenance and security & surveillance. To complement our strength in wireless M2M sensors, navigation and mobility system, we sought to collaborate and in-license enabling technology such as human detection analytics to make the robots smarter,” said Mr Wong Shih Jon, Executive Director of V3 Teletech.
At TechInnovation last year, IPI successfully matched V3 Teletech to TNO, a renowned research organisation from the Netherlands, for one of its enabling technologies. After a few rounds of discussion, they started a co-development project to implement video surveillance capability for the robots. The collaboration with TNO and the use of automated human detection have greatly helped to enhance the cognitive intelligence of V3 Teletech’s robots.
“The outcome of the collaboration has resulted in the successful development of our first cloud robotics solution for surveillance. This enables us to enter the market for service robots much quicker than if we were to develop the technology from scratch in-house,” said Mr Adrian Long, General Manager of V3 Teletech.