Professor Ling San, Acting President, Deputy President and Provost of NTU,
Professor Louis Phee, Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Dean of the College of Engineering of NTU,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good afternoon. I am honoured to be back at my alma mater today to witness the launch of the new NTU Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Initiative.
2. Innovation and entrepreneurship form the vital lifeblood of a vibrant economy. The quest to innovate, transform and start new businesses drive new potential and invigorate growth for Singapore’s healthy economy. Universities are the cradles of innovation and play a key role in our progress and development.
3. I am greatly heartened that NTU is embarking on this new initiative which attests to the university’s longstanding deep commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). NTU’s new I&E Plan will spur innovation, foster entrepreneurship and augment the commercialisation of research. Not only will this move create a nurturing platform for young entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists, but it will also engender a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem where exciting ideas, leading-edge discoveries and enterprising businesses converge.
4. I trust that NTU’s efforts will unlock a myriad of new possibilities that will further the goals we have set out under our national Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 plan (RIE2025). One of the aims is to scale up platforms that bring the power of research from the labs into our enterprises. Our vision of a knowledge-intensive and innovation-driven economy for Singapore is one where companies create globally-competitive products, services and business models. In today’s post-COVID-19 world, an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit is even more critical than ever, to stay relevant in a fast-changing and disruptive world.
Inspiring tomorrow’s innovators and entrepreneurs.
5. Indeed, this afternoon’s theme, “Creating Tomorrow”, aptly reflects how our budding student and faculty entrepreneurs have the potential to leap boundaries and turn their promising ideas into reality. You can set breakthroughs for tomorrow’s future.
6. For instance, Eureka Robotics, an NTU startup founded by Associate Professor Pham Quang Cuong from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is revolutionizing the way robots can be harnessed to perform intricate functions.
a. Eureka has developed robotics technologies or High Accuracy and High Agility robots which can perform extremely delicate tasks, such as picking up soft items like food or fragile camera lenses, which in the past can only be done by human hands.
b. The startup’s proprietary force feedback solutions that simulate real-world physical touch have been adopted by DENSO Robotics, a global leading robotics company. This means that thousands of robots in various precision-based industries, such as electronics and automotive, can sense the “hardness” of the items they are gripping and adjust the force of the grip. This breakthrough innovation enhances safety, reduces the risk of damage, lets companies automate operations more efficiently and free up workers to focus on higher-value activities.
Creating tomorrow requires a strong ecosystem.
7. I look forward to the multitude of innovations that you will create at NTU. To support entrepreneurship and innovation, the Government will continue to foster a vibrant ecosystem where start-ups and enterprises can thrive. For example, EnterpriseSG’s Startup SG umbrella of schemes and programmes provides mentorship, grant funding, equity co-investment, loans, networks and many forms of support to startups.
8. To the industry partners, venture capitalists, business angels and investors here, you form a vital part of our enterprise ecosystem, especially as examples, inspiration and mentors to our emerging inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs. I hope your presence, participation and continued partnership with NTU and the community of entrepreneurs will bring our levels of innovation to greater heights.
9. To conclude, I applaud NTU and commend each of you for your spirit of innovation and enterprise. With passion, boldness and inventiveness, we can create an exciting tomorrow where cutting-edge breakthroughs challenge the limits of today and set new paths to a better, brighter future for all.
10. Thank you.