TechInnovation 2017, a leading event that welcomes innovators as well as potential partners and investors from all over the world, kicked off today at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. The two-day conference and exhibition, organised by IPI Singapore, gathered over 400 licensable technologies in four key areas – services and digital economy, advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and personal care, and urban solutions and sustainability.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S. Iswaran graced the event as the Guest-of-Honour and delivered the opening address.
"Singapore enterprises must seize the initiative to tap on each other's technology capabilities and exploit adjacencies in production processes, to access new opportunities and address complex business challenges," said Mr Iswaran.
One example he cited is Singapore Medtech Consortium (SMC). Considered a first-of-its-kind industry-led consortium in Singapore, it is led by precision engineering firm Racer Technology. Its members comprise manufacturing firms Cutter Technologies, Grantech, Haxalyst and Cragar Industries. The SMC offers medtech firms competitively-priced high mix low-volume manufacturing to assist in their early-stage product development.
He added that the establishment of Enterprise Singapore, a new entity formed from the merger of SPRING Singapore and IE Singapore, will enable more of such partnerships through comprehensive support for collaborating companies for technology development and innovation, while concurrently developing strategies for internationalization and export.
Global firms seeking partnerships
Returning for the second time to look for potential collaborations at TechInnovation is Unilab. One of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines with over 20 percent market share, Innovation Director of Consumer Health, Dennis Dizon said that Unilab is looking for partnerships in areas such as over-the-counter medication, wellness and alternative treatments.
“Unilab was established in 1945 in post-war Philippines. Their mission was to provide affordable healthcare to more Filipinos. That’s the spirit we have lived by through the last 72 years,” said Dizon.
“Today, Filipinos face health risks that pose a threat to the quality of living. We want to have continued strong presence in solutions for common ailments and prevention of illness. We also want broaden participation in promotive solutions to support a healthier lifestyle,” he continued. We want to look the potential of alternative platforms, like functional food and other supplements that may or may not come in pill format, for areas like ageing, pain-management, improving mobility,” he said.
At the European Pavillion, a group of entrepreneurs from various European countries showcase their latest technologies in areas such as additive manufacturing, Big Data analytics, medical diagnostics, eco-friendly solutions and fintech.
One such company is Helbio. Hailing from Greece, Helbio intends to reduce the world’s carbon emissions and pollutants by using fuel cells. Its flagship product is the Prometheus 5, a multi-fuel power and heat generation system that generates electricity and thermal energy from a wide range of fuel sources based on low temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology. Helbio states that the Prometheus 5 is 35 percent more electrically efficient than conventional diesel generators.
Gearing up for the digital economy
TechInnovation’s Crowdpitching sessions in Services and Digital Economy gave entrepreneurs seven minutes to talk about their novel technologies and ideas. One such firm is FreshTurf, a Singapore-based startup that enables smart lockers for last-mile delivery.
It leverages blockchain technology to securely manage transactions between e-commerce merchants, logistic firms, locker companies, and customers. All stakeholders can access, record and manage their respective transactions without the need for a centralised agent. FreshTurf’s platform enables secure tracking and distribution of each parcel from its origin to delivery among a large network of participants.