TechInnovation 2023: Paving the Path to Innovation Excellence
TechInnovation 2023: Paving the Path to Innovation Excellence
SINGAPORE, November 6, 2023 – TechInnovation 2023, IPI's flagship event and a premier technology-matching platform, successfully concluded on Thursday, 2 November 2023, profoundly impacting audiences with insights into Sustainability, Health & Well-being, and AI in Healthcare. Over 5,000 people registered to attend TechInnovation, which brought together industry leaders, innovators, and technology experts alike to share and discover opportunities to partner and collaborate to create a sustainable future.
IPI CEO, Wong Lup Wai, warmly welcomed delegates to TechInnovation 2023, which officially opened on Tuesday 31 October 2023, with an address delivered by Guest of Honour Alvin Tan, Singapore's Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth. Minister Tan underscored the paramount urgency to undertake sustainable urban measures, stating, "We must use less water, energy, and materials, reduce waste and emissions, enhance green spaces, and promote healthier living."
On the second day, Mr Ted Tan, Chairman of IPI, opened the Health & Well-being discussion stating how collaboration, technological innovation platforms, and transformation are important to benefitting the health and well-being of Singaporeans. He lauded TechInnovation as a platform for fostering collaboration and converting ideas into global solutions and how those measures help develop varied industries through international partnerships, keeping Singapore at the forefront of innovation.
At TechInnovation 2023, IPI formalised strategic partnerships with Thailand and Japan by signing two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). The first, with Thailand's Intellectual Property Acceleration Commercialization Enterprise (IPACE), aims to co-market innovative technologies across various industry sectors. The second, with Panasonic, is geared towards promoting collaboration between Singaporean and Japanese companies through IPI's Corporate Open Innovation Programme.
Keynote speaker Lucia Cioffi, Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at the LEGO Group, discussed LEGO's commitment to slash GHG emissions to net zero by 2050. She elaborated as to how LEGO’s principles are in line with the principles that TechInnovation strives for, in terms of creating collaborative opportunities and partnerships to build sustainability: “It is a strong belief that the company can succeed together with collaboration. The partner promise is about generating mutual value… The planet promise is at the base of everything we do around sustainability. We want to leave behind a positive impact on the planet.”
Yoshiaki Tokuda, Director, Intellectual Property Department, Panasonic Holdings Corporation, described how Panasonic has set up an Intellectual Property Centre in Singapore to, “...expand intellectual property (IP) activity from conventional activities to open innovation activities in cooperation with a variety of external parties, especially with IPI.”
Christopher Robinson, Senior Director, Lux Research, presented on what Lux Research deems the essential sustainability technologies for the next decade, categorising innovations into climate tech, circular tech, and future consumer tech. He insisted that, “Sustainability must be thought of as a process for managing consumption and disruptors to future generations, rather than trying to find the next big product.”
Health & Well-being
Dr. Sharon Chan, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS Asia Pacific, spoke of how JLABS is coming to Singapore to help progress open innovation in healthcare. “[We are helping] by bringing an open mindset, an open innovation platform, [and knowledge of] how to actually progress startups, who in healthcare have a very, very small percentage of succeeding when they come to us. There's only 2% chance they will actually make it to commercialisation work.” She remarked that 25% of the startups JLABS supports get deals with Johnson & Johnson, who help invest in the millions and sometimes billions of dollars it costs to get innovations through clinical trials and to the patient.
AI In Healthcare
Associate Prof. Tan Cher Heng, Executive Director at the Centre for Healthcare Innovation: "We are at the tipping point of adoption of AI into routine clinical care.” He later sparked discussion (within the later Panel discussion) about the challenges of deploying artificial intelligence into the healthcare field, due to credibility issues. He highlighted the requirement for standardised technical evaluation of AI solutions, and how you need to ask questions such as “Is this a robust model? Is it generalisable?” And about the cost effectiveness of AI, and how, “It needs to be shown in order for the AI models to be sustained within healthcare.”
Chris Hardesty, Partner at venture capital firm Pureland Venture, said, “I don't know how many people are familiar with this kind of concept of One Health, a sort of a public health concept, but the idea is, human health is just one piece of the puzzle. We also need to look at planetary health, animal health, and I say that because we're very interested in how some of these technologies could apply potentially to all areas and we've been seeing a lot of traction now.
Elizabeth Han, Group Head of Innovation at IHH Healthcare, remarked, “My broader aspiration for where I see AI healthcare is ultimately to move away from sick care into well-care. And what I mean by that is, for all of us to be able to use AI in a way where we don't actually have to go to the hospital or become get sick, where we can healthcare done in the home setting, and where we may not even need to see a doctor but we can have solutions or even problems alerted to us.”
OPEN INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Ace Water is seeking cutting-edge technologies for sustainable wastewater treatments that minimise energy and chemical use while reducing carbon emissions. The company wants to extract valuable materials from sludge and hopes to harness computer vision, AI, and data analytics to enhance operational efficiency.
Sustainability innovators from SMEs, corporations, and academic institutions pitching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to address environmental and social challenges, from an eco-friendly coating for lithium-ion batteries and intelligent IoT-based irrigation systems to WiFi wave-based presence detection and digital twins to manage community sustainability, as well as smart variable-shade windows and biodegradable eco-friendly adhesives.
Healthcare and Well-being innovators demonstrated how the shelf life of food can be extended by using magnetic interference, how to automate edible insect protein fractionation. The event also showcased cutting-edge inventions such as revolutionary cell therapy cultivation platforms, flexible neural probes for brain activity monitoring, next-gen flood detection with environmental intelligence, and personalised wearable cooling devices.
AI in Healthcare innovators demonstrated an AI can drive drug discovery from human microbiome data, an AI system on mobile phones that can evaluate cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and BMI from a selfie or by putting your finger up against the phone camera; an AI-enabled diagnostic systems for male infertility, that can be delivered in home-testing kits for fertility analysis; and how a longitudinal data analysis tool for healthcare providers could enhance preventative care, resource allocation, and patient outcomes by deriving insights on metabolic health, fatigue, and lifestyle factors.
At a PUB-sponsored
Water Technology Showcase, held on 31 October, researchers demonstrated groundbreaking technologies aimed at efficient water recovery from wastewater streams and seawater, which included advanced desalination techniques that use less energy consumption, improved processes to pre-treat seawater, smart sensors to detect fouling of membrane material, and a pioneering material to create membranes that stay cleaner for longer.
And at a special Emerging Technology Showcase, Chinese researchers unveiled how they are using AI to craft precision therapeutics for Central Nervous System disorders like Alzheimer's, a digital product that uses augmented reality to control myopia and mitigate nearsightedness, and a one-stop robotic solution for robots aiding in logistics, retail, and manufacturing.
Wrapping Up TechInnovation 2023
In conclusion, Wong Lup Wai, CEO of IPI, expressed his hope that TechInnovation provided valuable experiences to benefit all participants and that will pave a way for a brighter, sustainable future.
“TechInnovation 2023 is just the beginning of an enduring journey,” he said. “Our mission extends far beyond the event itself: IPI seeks ways to continuously drive innovation and forge a path towards a sustainable and transformative future. In that spirit, we are committed to not only empowering Singapore's companies, enabling them to thrive and take the lead on the global stage, but also enriching the global innovation landscape.”
IPI extends its heartfelt gratitude to all sponsors, exhibitors, partners and attendees at TechInnovation 2023 for their support and invaluable contributions to make this event a success.
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