From young blood cells for medical research, to transferring digital currency via a chat app. TechInnovation 2017 saw some exciting developments being presented at the event’s Crowdpitching sessions. A mainstay segment at the annual TechInnovation, it allows budding entrepreneurs and innovators to pitch technologies for commercialisation or co-development to technology seekers.
Dr J Prachumsri from the Centre of Excellence for Malaria Research at Thailand’s Mahidol University is on a quest to prevent malaria and other parasitic diseases once and for all. The researcher is working on a method to produce young red blood cells for the in vitro continuous culture of Plasmodium vivax, the malaria parasite that is the most widely distributed in humans.
The major limitation for the establishment of in vitro culture of P. Vivax is its preference to invade and develop in young red cells thus there is a need for its continual supply.
“Malaria is a disease that kills more than a million people a year. And most of them are young kids. 300 million people are affected globally. In the last 10 years we still don’t have a fully effective vaccine, we need a new platform to speed up vaccine research,” said Dr Prachumsri, at TechInnovation Day 1’s Crowdpitching session on technology opportunities in Health & Personal Care.
Dr J Prachumsri leads a research team of 30 staff including junior scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research technologists. She is just one of the many speakers taking the stage to showcase their work and to seek out potential collaborators and partners among the audience.
Other Technology & Innovation Opportunities from Services & Digital Economy to Urban Solutions & Sustainability
In the digital economy technology space, Whizpace Pte Ltd brings about the affordable distribution of internet services to rural areas underserved by existing telecom companies. It enables wireless data transmission over long distances of up to 10 km using TV White Space, which are unused radio frequencies in TV broadcast bands.
“Traditionally, connecting rural areas to the internet is difficult and costly. Leveraging TV White Space, we are able to bring affordable internet connectivity to communities in remote areas and help bridge the rural digital divide,” said CEO and co-founder of Whizpace Dr Oh Ser Wah.
Commenting further on opportunities in urban cities, Dr Oh believes that Whizpace’s technology is well-positioned to address the low-power, low-cost connectivity of IoT-enabled devices distributed over a large area.
Xnergy Autonomous Power Technologies demonstrated the need for a wireless charger for mobile devices, robots, and vehicles at TechInnovation’s Urban Solutions & Sustainability Crowdpitching session.
Electric Vehicles (EV) and Autonomous Electric Vehicle (AEVs) may be poised to disrupt the automotive industry, but charging the batteries that power these machines remain a key issue. Current methods require human intervention to swap batteries or to dock the vehicle at a battery charging station.
Xnergy’s solution involves a charger with a transmitter power unit and a receiver power unit, both equipped with coil modules. Its modularity also allows mass production of converters while still maintaining customisation of coil design.
And for augmented reality engineers from Tag Team Inc., founder Tony Tan intends to bring virtual reality to a whole new level. Tag Team not only runs its own laser tag centre it designs and integrates hardware that wirelessly connects to augmented reality and mobile devices for gaming, simulation and training.
Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, the hardware understands spatial movement, gestures and orientation, and has vision and auditory capabilities. Tag Team’s applications can be used in training, particularly those that requires the mobilisation of costly resources such as heavy equipment or personnel. It can also be applied to training that can be dangerous or life-threatening if a mistake is made, said Tan.