EmTech Singapore is a community, a network, and a meeting place for over 500 business leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change makers based in APAC who are passionate about turning ideas into solutions and addressing major global issues.
It is an opportunity to glimpse the future and begin to understand the technologies that matter and how they will change the face of business and drive the new global economy. It is where technology, business, and culture converge. It is the showcase for emerging technologies with the greatest potential to change our lives. It is an access point to the most innovative people and companies in the world.
Join us on 27-28 January 2015 for two days of intelligent conversation as we bring MIT Technology Review’s editorial content to life.
The world’s most influential thinkers and innovators are coming to EmTech Singapore. Get inspired and hear from leaders who are driving the next generation of technological breakthroughs and changing the world.
Scott Farquhar is the cofounder and co-CEO of Atlassian – an award-winning enterprise software company that helps innovators everywhere plan, build, and launch great software. Sydney-based Atlassian counts some of the world’s largest organizations as clients—including some of the biggest names in media, manufacturing and technology—such as eBay, Coca-Cola, Netflix, United Airlines, Cisco, Proctor & Gamble, BMW and NASA. Atlassian currently has over 33,000 customers globally and has been named one of the "Fastest Growing Companies" by both Deloitte and BRW Magazine. Scott was awarded the ‘Australian IT Professional of the Year’ in 2004, and in 2006 was the youngest person ever to be awarded the ‘Australian Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Ernst & Young alongside co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes.
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Steve Isakowitz is President of Virgin Galactic, a company committed to providing any individual the opportunity to experience space travel through their unique design of spaceship vehicles. Moreover, the company is developing an innovative, low-cost air-launched rocket to service the burgeoning small satellite market. Previously, he worked at NASA, where he served as an executive for space exploration, and Lockheed Martin where he was a senior manager for space launch. He was also appointed by President Bush and President Obama to serve as Chief Financial Officer at the U.S. Department of Energy and served in the Clinton White House budget office as lead for science and space programs. He holds aerospace engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Steven Feiner is Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, where he directs the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab, and co-directs the Columbia Vision and Graphics Center. His lab has been doing augmented reality (AR) research for over 20 years, creating the first outdoor mobile AR system using a see-through display, and pioneering experimental applications of AR to fields such as tourism, journalism, maintenance, and construction. Steve is coauthor of Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, received the IEEE VGTC 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award, and was elected to the CHI Academy. Together with his students, he has won the ACM UIST Lasting Impact Award and best paper awards at ACM UIST, ACM CHI, ACM VRST, and IEEE ISMAR. Steve is lead advisor to Meta, which is developing 3D AR eyewear.
Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University
Lead Advisor at META
Dr. Kai YU is a Senior Director of Baidu, leading Baidu IDL (Institute of Deep Learning) and Baidu Image Search. Before joining Baidu, he worked at Microsoft, Siemens, NEC, and was an Adjunct Faculty at Department of Computer Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Yu has received many prestigious awards including Best Paper Runner-up Award of ICML-2013, First Prize of PASCAL VOC 2009，and First Prize of ImageNet Challenge 2010. In 2013 and 2014, his team has won Baidu Highest Achievement Award for 3 times, for making significant contributions to speech recognition, computer vision, online ads, and web search ranking. Since 2014, he has led several AI projects, including Baidu Brain, Autonomous Driving, BaiduEye, DuBike etc. Dr. Yu is elected to China “Top 1000 Talents”, a prestigious group of technology leaders of the country. He received his B.Sc and M.Sc degree from Nanjing University and his Ph.D. degree from University of Munich, Germany
Deputy Director of IDL / Distinguished Scientist
Dr. Alex Dickinson is the senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Illumina (the world's leading DNA sequencing company and recently named the #1 smartest company by Tech Review). His responsibilities include establishing nation-scale population sequencing programs and developing software for innovative sequencing applications. Previously he directed the team that built Illumina’s cloud-based bioinformatics platform, BaseSpace, now one of the world's largest stores of genomic data. Alex joined Illumina in 2010 when the company acquired Helixis, a molecular diagnostics company that he co-founded and led as CEO.
Alex was previously the founder and CEO of Luxtera, a leading supercomputer chip company. Alex began his career in AT&T Bell Labs' research division and has been awarded over 30 patents. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and an MBA from Columbia University in New York.
Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
2012 Young Australian of the Year Marita Cheng is dedicated to encouraging young women to pursue careers in engineering. She founded Robogals Global in 2008 as a response to the traditionally low levels of participation by women in engineering and technology. Already Robogals has run robotics workshops for 7,000 girls across 90 schools in Australia and now has 16 chapters across Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan. For her work with Robogals, in October 2012 Marita was named one of 100 Women of Influence by The Australian Financial Review and Westpac. A former panelist on ABC TV's New Inventors, Marita serves as a Board Member for the Foundation for Young Australians. She founded 2Mar Robotics in 2012, creating robots that will take care of many every day and mundane tasks, including robotic arms for whelechair users. In 2013, 2Mar Robotoics swept the fifth annual Tech23 awards, winning top honours - the Innovation Excellence Award - in addition to four other awards.
CEO, 2Mar Robotics
Li Yingrui is a recognized thought leader in the field of applied bioinformatics and a key contributor to establishing BGI as a world-class bioinformatics research and services center. Yingrui has played an instrumental role at BGI in enabling the translation of “Big Data” to useful biological knowledge, including the development of SOAP (Short Oligonucleotide Alignment Program), proprietary software widely used today for alignment of short oligonucleotides onto reference sequences, providing full solution to next generation sequencing data analysis. A graduate from the College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Yingrui has engaged in or organized a number of national projects, including Yan Huang Project, 1000 Genomes Project, Yan Huang Whole Genome Methylation, and the Cancer Genome Project, among others. He has more than 60 papers published in numerous high-impact peer reviewed scientific journals, including Nature, Science, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology and BMC Bioinformatics.
Dr. Guyue Zhou is Director of New Technology at DJI, which is the global leader in developing and manufacturing high performance, reliable, and easy to use small unmanned aerial systems (UAS), for commercial and recreational use. He is in charge of leading a R&D team to develop the next generation technology for consumer drones. Guyue won the champion of Hong Kong & Macau & Shenzhen local collegiate entrepreneurship competition in 2013. His work was awarded as the best poster in IEEE Embedded Vision Workshop 2014. He holds a Ph.D. from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in the area of robotics.
Director of New Technology
Vinnie is an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He is a founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early-stage VC firm in Southeast Asia with over 17 investments to date. He is a Kauffman Fellow, and a guest lecturer at the National University of Singapore. Passionate about building startup ecosystems, Vinnie was rated by the Founder Institute as highest startup mentor in Asia from a pool of 2,500 mentors. Prior to setting up Golden Gate Ventures, Vinnie spent four years within IBM and built two startups in Silicon Valley: Meetro, a location-based chat service which was dissolved with many lessons learned in 2007; and Lefora, a forum-hosting platform which grew to over 100,000 communities and was acquired by CrowdGather in 2010. He founded the Silicon Valley NewTech meetup, featuring hundreds of startups to a monthly audience with over 10,000 members. He joined his first startup while still in high school.
Golden Gate Ventures
Mr Steve Leonard is an industry veteran with more than 28 years of experience working in leading global technology companies. In his position as Executive Deputy Chairman, he holds executive leadership responsibility for IDA, with a special focus in industry promotion and development. This includes spearheading the building of innovative start-ups and local enterprises, overseeing various national cross-sectoral programmes, technology and communications infrastructure development and the strategic planning and development of qualified professionals for the ICT sector. Prior to joining IDA, Mr Leonard was the President of EMC Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) where he was responsible for driving EMC’s growth and market share leadership in APJ, enhancing partner and channel relationships and contributing to product-development efforts throughout the region. Before joining EMC, he served as President of the Asia Pacific and Japan business for Symantec and Veritas. Prior to those executive management positions, Mr Leonard spent 18 years with EDS, where he focused on European and Asian operations for 12 years, ultimately rising to the position within EDS of President of Solutions Consulting for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Mr Leonard currently sits on the Boards of IDA Singapore, IDA International and Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd.
Executive Deputy Chairman
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Sumeet Jain joined Intel Capital in 2013 and focused on Internet and Mobile enabled Consumer products and services. His primary interest areas are Data Driven Consumer Experiences, Innovative Ecommerce, Marketplaces, Wearable Technologies & Internet of things, Marketing Services, and lightweight SaaS software. Sumeet brings a perspective to investing that comes from having been intimately involved with entrepreneurship and technology from multiple angles - as a startup executive and operator, an engineer, a strategy consultant, and an investment banker. Prior to Intel Captial, Sumeet was a Partner with CMEA Capital. At CMEA, Sumeet invested and worked with disruptive technology companies and was intimately involved in the firm’s investments in companies such as Liveops, Intermolecular (Nasdaq: IMI), Cafe Press (Nasdaq: PRSS), Blekko, Apriso (Acq by Dassault), AWR (Acq by National Instruments), Baxano (Acq by Trans1) and Surgiquest. Prior to CMEA he was with Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he focused on mergers and acquisitions as well as equity and debt financing transactions for many venture and private equity backed companies across several sectors.
Edward Jung founded Intellectual Ventures in 1999 after leaving Microsoft Corporation where he was chief architect and advisor to executive staff. At Intellectual Ventures, he also serves as the chief technology officer, setting strategic technology and new business models for the company. At Microsoft, Mr. Jung managed projects relating to web platforms, semantic web technology, intelligent operating systems, adaptive user interfaces and artificial intelligence. He co-founded many Microsoft teams including Windows NT, Microsoft Research, mobile and consumer products, and web services. Before joining Microsoft in February 1990, Mr. Jung founded the Deep Thought Group, working on neural network chips for learning and parallel computation. His biomedical research work in the 1980s in protein structure and function was published in several journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Biochemistry. An avid inventor, Mr. Jung holds more than 500 patents worldwide and has over 1,200 patents pending. His inventions are in the areas of biomedicine, computing, networking, energy, and material sciences. Mr. Jung has served as an advisor to Harvard Medical School, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Institute for Systems Biology and consulted to the Asia Pacific Federation, the Aspen Institute, the China Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization.
Founder & Chief Technology Officer
Sonny is a co-founder of Misfit Wearables, makers of wearable sensor products, and a co-founder of AgaMatrix, which made the world¹s first hardware medical device (a glucose meter) that works with the iPhone, winner of the Red Dot Design Award and the GOOD Design Award, and has sold over 3M+ glucose meters and 1B+ biosensors for people with diabetes. Previously, he was CTO of a software start-up where he invented a number of machine learning-assisted natural language processing technologies. He studied math (BS) at UIUC and linguistics (PhD) under Noam Chomsky at MIT.
Carlo Ratti is at the forefront of thinking about the way in which technology can be used to rewire cities, making them more energy efficient, reducing traffic congestion and stimulating new entrepreneurial activity. With half of the world's population now living in urban areas, Ratti's work could have an impact on the lives of billions of people in the years ahead. His Digital Water Pavilion at the 2008 World Expo was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the Best Inventions of the Year. He has been included in Esquire Magazine’s Best and Brightest list, in Blueprint Magazine’s 25 People who will Change the World of Design and in Forbes Magazine’s People you need to know in 2011. Ratti is serving as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Urban Management.
SENSEable City Laboratory
As editor in chief, Jason Pontin is responsible for the editorial direction, media platforms, and business strategy of MIT Technology Review, including the rapidly expanding U.S. and international websites, the award-winning print magazine, videos, newsletters, business reports, and live events such as EmTech, the company’s annual conference focused on emerging technologies. He also serves as chairman of its international entrepreneurial network, MIT Enterprise Forum. Mr. Pontin joined MIT Technology Review in 2004 as its editor and was named publisher in August 2005. From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Pontin was the editor of Red Herring, a business and technology publication. From 2002 to 2004 he served as editor in chief of the Acumen Journal, which he founded, covering the business, economic, and policy implications of discoveries in biotechnology and the life sciences. He has written for national and international publications, including the New York Times, the Economist, the Financial Times, Wired, and the Believer. He is a frequent guest on television and radio.
Editor in Chief & Publisher
MIT Technology Review
Dr. Daniela Schiller earned both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy and a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from Tel Aviv University. In 2004 she began working as a postdoctoral fellow at New York University, where she conducted a groundbreaking study that focused on memory reconsolidation and the blocking or erasure of fearful memories. Dr. Schiller’s work has been published in numerous scholarly journals, including Nature, Neuron and Nature Neuroscience. She has also served as a contributing author for books, such as The Human Amygdala. Schiller has been the recipient of several awards, including the New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists (2010) for her research on how to rewire the brain to eradicate fear as a response to memory. Dr. Schiller is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she directs the cognitive and affective neuroscience laboratory.
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience
Mount Sinai Hospital
Kay-Soon is the centre director of satellite research centre (SaRC) of Nanyang Technological University. He has worked in the academia as well as in the industry. He joined the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University in 1994 first as a lecturer and subsequently became an Associate Professor. He has successfully supervised 38 graduate theses and delivered 37 funded projects. He has served as Consultants to many companies and had a number of patents on nonlinear circuits, UWB systems, and imaging sensor. His present funded projects are in the field of control system and satellite development. The SaRC has successfully completed the first four Singapore built satellites. They are all concurrently orbiting in space now. The first satellite is named X-SAT which is a 105 kg micro-satellite. It has captured 8000 pictures since it was in service from 20 April 2011. The second satellite is a student built 1.3kg pico-satellite named VELOX-PII which was launched on 21 Nov 2013. The most recent two satellites are VELOX-I nano-satellite and VELOX-PIII pico-satellite launched on 30 June 2014. He is currently leading his satellite team to work on a micro-satellite for tropical climate study and a nano-satellite for communication application. He received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New South Wales.
Satellite Research Centre
Nanyang Technological University
David is a Physiotherapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He has worked as a clinician in the US, UK and Australia, studied computational neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and designed prostheses for Brain Machine Interface devices at NYU. He is an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Weill Cornell Medical College, and the Director of Telemedicine and Virtual Rehabilitation at Burke Medical Research Institute, where he works to develop low-cost and accessible patient monitoring, assessment and treatment systems that are designed to decrease healthcare costs whilst improving the standard of patient care. David is a co-founder and the Chief Medical Officer of GesTherapy, a telerehabilitation software company that works to improve the standard of care patients who require rehabilitation. David also volunteers for Not Impossible Labs, a group that crowd-sources accessible technological solutions for high-impact humanitarian problems. He is currently leading or contributing to multiple Not Impossible projects, including the Brainwriter and Project Daniel.
Brainwriter Guru & Project Daniel Team Member
Not Impossible Labs
Jean-Christophe Baillie started his career in Science at the Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris, and then founded and directed the Cognitive Robotics Lab in ENSTA/ParisTech, where he worked on the emergence of language between robots, and on a new operating system for robotics. These technologies became the starting point of Gostai, a startup company that he founded in 2006 and which has been acquired by the Aldebaran Group in 2012. He has recently launched an ambitious project in the field of advanced virtual reality by founding Novaquark, to develop a next generation MMO game. Jean-Christophe is also Chief Science Officer of Aldebaran Robotics (www.aldebaran.com) in charge of the AI Lab. He received in 2007 the Pierre Faurre award from the Polytechnique Foundation, the ACES Microsoft ICT award in 2009 and the Glavieux Award from SEE/IEEE in 2013.
Founder & President
Chris Boshuizen is Co-Founder and CTO of Plant Labs. He is responsible for the system architecture and oversees the engineering teams. Prior to Planet, Chris was a Space Mission Architect at NASA Ames Research, where he co-created the PhoneSat Project --- PhoneSat was the cheapest and fastest built spacecraft at NASA --- and lead multiple partnership projects between NASA and private space exploration companies. Prior to NASA, Chris was appointed Interim executive Director of Singularity University, coordinated the founding of the University and raised over $2.5 million of initial funding from Silicon Valley sources. In 2014 Chris was awarded the Advance Global Award as Expatriate Australian of the Year. Chris received his Ph.D. in Physics and Bachelors of Science with Honours from the University of Sydney.
Co-Founder & CTO
Planet Labs Inc
Serial entrepreneur, named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Business Intelligence Group in 2013, Rudy Mazzocchi heads PULSE Evolution’s medical arm, PULSE BioLogic. In conjunction with PULSE Evolution’s holographic technology, PULSE BioLogic will produce holographic simulations of the human body, providing a state-of-the-art simulation model for the medical industry.
Xu Mingen invented the Regenovo 3D Bioprinter which can print biomaterials and cells. Regenovo can print in a sterilized environment with temperatures ranging between 23 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 90 percent of the printed tissue cells can survive in the process. He also printed different tissues with functions; some tissues have been used in drug discovery.
Oskar Levander joined Rolls-Royce in 2012 as VP Innovation, Engineering & Technology, Marine. Before this, he has worked most of his career in Wärtsilä where he held various roles, most recently as Director, Concept Design, Marine Lifecycle Solutions. He graduated with honours from Helsinki University of Technology in 2000, with a MSc in Naval Architecture.
Oskar has been working mostly with the development of new ship designs, machinery and propulsion concepts for various ship types and emerging marine technologies. He has been deeply involved in the development of more energy efficient ships and he has been an active force in promoting the marine use of LNG. He is also driving the development of ship intelligence and the introduction of remote controlled unmanned ships.
Vice President of Innovation, Engineering & Technology – Marine
Professor Daniel Hastings is currently director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). Before joining SMART, Hastings completed a seven-and-a-half-year tenure as MIT’s dean of undergraduate education. Hastings, the Cecil and Ida Green Education Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, joined the MIT faculty in 1985 and became a full professor in 1993. From 1997 to 1999, Hastings served as the U.S. Air Force’s chief scientist, leading influential studies of Air Force investments in space and of preparations for a 21st-century science and technology workforce. From 2002 to 2008, he was a member of the National Science Board. He became director of the MIT Technology and Policy Program in 2000, director of the Engineering Systems Division in 2004, and dean for undergraduate education in 2006.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology
Robert Nicol is Director of high throughput sequencing at the Broad Institute. He oversees technology development, operations, supply chain, and special projects groups for the genome sequencing platform. Robert was previously a project manager for Fluor Corporation, the largest US based publicly traded engineering and construction firm. In this capacity he was responsible for large scale overseas projects for major petrochemical companies. In 1999, Robert moved to MIT, where he was a fellow in the Leaders for Manufacturing program performing research on manufacturing systems and processes. Upon completing his fellowship at MIT in 2001, he moved to the Broad Institute to implement industrial process design, control, and improvement techniques to biological research.
Director of Sequencing Operations
The Broad Institute
Dr. Leslie Dewan graduated from MIT in 2013 with a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, with a research focus on computational nuclear materials. She also holds S.B. degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked for a robotics company in Cambridge, MA, where she designed search-and-rescue robots and equipment for in-field identification of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Leslie has been awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and an MIT Presidential Fellowship. She was named a TIME Magazine "30 People Under 30 Changing the World" in December 2013, an MIT Technology Review "Innovator Under 35" in September 2013, and a Forbes "30 Under 30" in Energy in December 2012.
Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer
Former NASA mission specialist astronaut, engineer and veteran of five space flights
UH STEM Centre
University of Houston
Antoine Hubert is President CEO and Co-Founder of YNSECT – The Insect Company – which is supported by two Ecotech European leading venture capital funds – Emertec and Demeter Partners.
Antoine Hubert was previously senior scientist at TOTAL and ALTRAN where he managed R&D programs on Sustainable Development applied on bioresources, soil remediation, waste-to-energy and recycled resources. He also launched in 2007 and led the non-profit organization WORGAMIC, dealing with food sustainability, promoting urban agriculture and organic waste recycling within cities, and in 2011 the company ORGANEO operating on biowaste management.
He is also Guest Lecturer in different Agro Schools and Universities, like AgroParisTech.
He has a background in agronomy and life sciences from AgroCampus Rennes and AgroParisTech Engineering schools.
Yi-Hsen currently serves as the Director for four divisions within the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). They are: Industry Identification and Incubation (i3) - which looks at new impactful economic opportunities in the 3 to 10 year timeframe for Singapore; the Safety & Security Industry Programme Office (SSIPO) - a joint effort with the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs to develop Singapore into a global hub where safety and security solutions are co-defined with leading global industry players; Office for Space Technology & Industry (OSTIn) – a whole of government effort to develop Singapore’s space industry. He is also the Chief Information Officer for EDB.
Prior to this Yi-Hsen was based in Tokyo leading EDB’s engagement of Japanese and Korean companies. Yi-Hsen graduated from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor’s of Electrical Engineering.
i3, SSIPO and Office for Space Technology and Industry
Chief Information Officer
Economic Development Board (EDB)
Chief Executive Officer
Cortera Neurotechnologies, Inc.
Electronics that Heal and Connect the Brain
Neural interfaces stand to revolutionize healthcare. In the future, implantable devices will enable prosthetics that feel and act natural, cure psychiatric disorders and enable completely new user-computer interfaces. For example, Brain Machine Interface (BMI) systems have enabled control of artificial limbs through electronic signals recorded from the brain, providing hope for patients with spinal cord injuries. However, today’s large and wired neural interfaces require substantial improvements in size, safety and longevity to transition from research labs to clinical practice. In this talk, I will discuss how microsystem-based implants greatly reduce size, infection risk and surgical complications, while enabling a lifetime of safe chronic use. Wireless, fully implantable and miniaturized technologies will bring in a new generation of neural interfaces that can seamlessly integrate into patients’ bodies and daily lives.
About Rikky Muller
Dr. Rikky Muller is the CEO and Co-founder of Cortera Neurotechnologies, a medical device company founded in 2013 and based on her Ph.D. research in neurological implant microsystems. At Cortera, Dr. Muller is leading the development of next-generation implant systems for treating neurological disorders and is a principal investigator in the first major project of the Obama BRAIN Initiative. She received her Ph.D. in 2013 from the University of California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering (EE), and was then a McKenzie Fellow and Lecturer of EE at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Muller received the bachelors and masters degrees in EE from MIT in 2004. She then designed integrated circuits for mobile devices at Analog Devices 2004-2007. Dr. Muller is the recipient of numerous awards including the McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship, the MAP Entrepreneurial Fellowship, the Berkeley EE Graduate Fellowship, and the CNEP Graduate Fellowship.
Peh Ruey Feng
Program Director of Singapore-Stanford Biodesign (SSB)
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Advent Access: Preserving Vascular Health, Reducing Dialysis Cost
End-stage kidney failure is a debilitating and one of today’s most financially crippling chronic diseases to treat, costing healthcare systems a staggering $67B annually. Hemodialysis is the predominant mode of treatment for these patients. Ironically, as much as a third of the overall cost of this therapy is not on dialysis per se, but surgeries to obtain blood access and repair vascular complications before dialysis can commence. Project Advent Access aims to significantly reduce the overall cost of hemodialysis through preserving vascular health, and to save patients from the morbidity of needing multiple surgeries to sustain their lives.
Advent Access is developing an access device, the av-Guardian that could preserve the lifespan of an arteriovenous fistula – the gold standard in obtaining hemodialysis access, and reduce preventable complications. av-Guardian further reduces cannulation skill and minimizes needling pain, thereby improving comfort and empowering more patients the option of emerging home/frequent hemodialysis therapies.
About Peh Ruey Feng
Ruey is the Program Director of the Singapore-Stanford Biodesign office, and concurrently the Principal Investigator of Advent Access, a project funded under A*STAR’s commercialization arm ETPL. Previously, Ruey was the Entrepreneur-in-Residence of A*STAR’s Healthcare & Lifestyle office. Ruey began his medical device career in the trenches of Silicon Valley startups, first as R&D Engineer of USGI Medical, then as founding member and IP & R&D Manager of Voyage Medical. Ruey is an inventor on >45 patents, and the winner of both the Silicon Valley Boomers and Stanford E-Challenge business plan competitions. Ruey graduated from the National University of Singapore with a BEng (Hons) and a minor in Technopreneurship. He is also a graduate of the Stanford University Biodesign Fellowship where innovations he and his team developed led to 2 spin-offs - Orpheus Medical and Pelvalon Inc. Ruey was named Singapore’s “Top 50 Youths to Watch” by Straits Times in 2005.
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
MiRXES Pte. Ltd.
Small Molecules With Big Impact: How Microrna Shapes The Future Of Non-Invasive Cancer Detection
MicroRNA is a novel class of genetic material discovered only at the dawn of the 21st century but has continuously made headlines in biomedical research worldwide. Unlike its elder brothers DNA and mRNA, microRNA is exceptionally stable and accessible in body fluids and provides real-time information of the epigenetic changes in the body, including the presence of disease at its early and asymptomatic stage. It has attracted so much clinical interests that Frost and Sullivan bullishly projected that “advance in microRNA is predicting future in vitro diagnostic market”. At the EmTech conference, Lihan will present the development of a technology platform capable of accurately detecting minute amount of cancer specific circulating microRNA from merely drops of blood. He will summarize data from several on-going cancer studies involving thousands of patients and share his thoughts on how microRNA tests can shape the future of cancer care.
About Zhou Lihan
Lihan cofounded MIRXES with three like-minded partners with the vision of creating accurate, affordable and non-invasive cancer detection tests. His research centers around a novel class of genetic material called the microRNA. At MIRXES, Lihan and team developed an assay platform 100 times more sensitive than existing technologies in identifying specific patterns of blood borne microRNA that correlate with cancer at its early and asymptomatic stage. The technology has gained significant tractions worldwide with numerous clinical consortiums and multinational pharmaceutical companies engaging Lihan and the MIRXES team to co-develop novel diagnostic tests. Lihan was trained as a molecular neurobiologist with a broad mastery in other biotechnology domains including gene delivery and tumor targeting nanoparticles. He received his Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore with 16 publications and 2 patent applications. As CTO of MIRXES, he is constantly engaged in developing the science, technology and business of microRNA.
Yeung Ying Yeung
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
National University of Singapore
Asymmetric Reaction For Drug Synthesis
The ability to design elegant and economical synthesis routes is a major factor in the eventual viability and commercial success of a drug. In modern drug synthesis, an equally important target is to make only one hand of the mirror-image pair of molecules through asymmetric synthesis since in many cases one hand can be life-saving and the opposite hand can be fatal. Halogenation reaction, a well-developed and key organic transformation, plays a crucial role in pharmaceutical industry. However, the asymmetric variant of halogenation remains uncommon due to some inherent difficulties and it challenges chemists over the past 50 years. Yeung will present a simple solution to the asymmetric halogenation. In addition, he will demonstrate the utilities of this type of reaction in the preparation of many drug molecules.
About Yeung Ying Yeung
Dr. Ying-Yeung YEUNG received his B.Sc. (2001) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He continued his graduate research in the same university under the supervision of Prof. Tony K. M. Shing. After four years research dedicated on natural product synthesis, Dr. Yeung moved to USA to conduct postdoctoral research with Prof. E. J. Corey at Harvard University (2005-2008). In 2008, he joined National University of Singapore, Department of Chemistry as Assistant Professor (2008-2013) and Associate Professor (2014-now). He is also the Assistant Head in the department since 2014. His research interests include asymmetric catalysis and methodology development.
Koch Membrane Systems, Inc.
Advanced Membrane Technology: The Future of Clean Energy and Clean Water Production & Sustainability
The world is advancing towards a new era where our demand for clean water and clean energy is constantly burgeoning due to the rapid growth in population and modern lifestyle of people as well as the increasing awareness of global warming and climate changes. Among several potential solutions, membrane-based separation technology provides the most direct, effective and environmentally-conscious approaches for future clean energy and water sustainability. One of the major challenges to the membrane technology is the lack of effective membranes, which is the heart of the system. What is the desired membrane and how to make it? Panu will present and share his research on designing novel and high separation membrane materials and technologies to harvest clean energy and water in specific areas of renewable biofuel energy (from waste or non-food biomass), clean water production via forward osmosis desalination process, and membrane-based osmotic power generation.
About Panu Sukitpaneenit
Panu Sukitpaneenit is a Membrane Scientist at Koch Membrane Systems, Inc. in Boston, United States. His research innovation and contribution focuses on the design and engineering of novel and high performance membrane materials and separation technologies for clean energy and water sustainability. He received Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from National University of Singapore. Panu was the recipient of President’s Graduate Fellowship during his study. His work has earned many honors, including the World Future Foundation Ph.D. Prize in Environmental and Sustainability Research, and IES Prestigious Engineering Achievements Award from The Institution of Engineering, Singapore. He received a bachelor’s degree with first-class honors in Petrochemical and Polymeric Materials from Silpakorn University, Thailand, one of the nation’s top engineering programs in its field, and a master’s degree in Polymer Science from The Petroleum and Petrochemical College, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
Chua Pei Wen Vivien
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Co-Program Director, NUS-TUDelft Double M.Sc. Degree Program
National University of Singapore
Coupled Ocean-Hydrologic Modeling for Coastal Urban Settings
In a complex coastal urban setting, models are required to simulate a wide range of physical processes that span a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. Because of the complexity associated with each of these processes, no model to date captures all of these processes on its own. My approach is to combine a coastal ocean model and a hydrologic model, and apply the coupled model to investigate land-sea linkages in Singapore waters. An integrated approach is also employed in this study by assessing the forcing components of the system (environmental inputs), intermediate outcomes (models results) and overall project outcomes (adaptation strategies) in a systematic manner. This study will lead to an improved understanding of flow and transport in coastal urban environments, and the results will assist planners and policy makers in formulating adaptation strategies to cope with climate change and anthropogenic influences.
About Chua Pei Wen Vivien
Dr. Vivien Pei Wen Chua is an assistant professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore and co-Program Director for the NUS-TUD Double M.Sc. Degree Program. Her research interests lie in environmental hydraulics and the study of processes that influence the dynamics of the coastal ocean, rivers, lakes and estuaries. Most of her research thus far focuses on developing a state-of-the-art coupled ocean-hydrologic modeling tool for investigating the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic influences in the coastal zone. She is also involved in various initiatives for public engagement in science and is active in philanthropic causes. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University, and her B.S. degree (Highest Honors) from Georgia Institute of Technology. She was a recipient of the Singapore National Research Foundation (EWT) PhD scholarship.
Co-Founder & CTO
Simplying the Visual Web
Every second, thousands of images and videos are uploaded online through different devices in the world. The demand of understanding the visual content for search, browsing and recommendation become more and more strong. Dr. Li Guangda will present his R&D work on visual search and recognition platform. He will share his thoughts about unlocking the intelligence captured in any rich visual content using sophisticated visual recognition technology, providing real examples from different domains ranging from product recommendation to mobile ecommerce.
About Li Guangda
A technologist by training, GuangDa is a strong believer of creating great but simple-to-use web products. As CTO, GuangDa leads the development team and is principal technology driver for product development. He and his team build ViSenze’s visual search and recognition platform, with the focus on building scalability, latency and performance robustness in a highly distributed architecture; serving hundreds of millions of queries each day. He has published over 19 international publications in video and image analysis, search and browsing and was Principal Investigator behind the patent-pending visual recognition technology that ViSenze uses. GuangDa obtained his PhD in media computing from National University of Singapore, and graduated with B.E. and B.A. from Tianjin University in China.
Stanford Biodesign Global Innovation Fellow (Singapore-Stanford)
Stanford University / Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Electronic Sensor Skins for Robotics and Smart Environments
As electronics have evolved from brittle materials to flexible materials in order to advance next generation wearable technologies, skin-like sensors that can possess the amazing capabilities of human skin become increasingly important. Such sensors can empower future robotic interfaces for telemedicine, remote health monitoring, prosthetics and smart surfaces. Benjamin will present his work on flexible and stretchable electronic skin-like sensors that captures some of the high mechanical sensitivity and self-healing capability of human skin. He will also share his thoughts on where such technologies can play a role in the coming decades.
About Benjamin Tee
Benjamin Tee did his doctoral research on wearable, flexible sensors, circuits and electronics at Stanford University. His research work in flexible electronic sensor skins is highly cited and has been widely featured in various news media, including Discover Magazine, Science News, ABC news, BBC radio and National Geographic. During his graduate student career, he has won several prestigious international graduate research awards such as the TSMC Outstanding Research Gold and Academy Award, and the MRS Graduate Student Gold Award. He is deeply passionate about making an impact on healthcare through medical device innovations and commercialization. He is a Singapore-Stanford Biodesign 2014 Global Innovation Fellow, where he spends his time trying to find and solve big unmet healthcare needs.
Deputy Head of Patterning & Fabrication
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Nanoplasmonics: Redefining the Limits of Colour Printing
Imagine the vibrant beauty and the subtle brush strokes of Claude Monet’s “Impression Sunrise” masterpiece that could fit, not just in the palm of your hands, but in the width of a single strand of your hair. This is now possible with plasmonic colour printing, which relies on the phenomenon of plasmons in metal nanostructures rather than decades-old technology involving dyes and pigments. How is this achieved and what might be possible with such technology? Shawn will highlight the key aspects of plasmonic colour printing, share his work and perspective on where it is now, and discuss where it may be headed in the future.
About Shawn Tan
Shawn is a scientist and principal investigator at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR. He brings his hybrid thinking from a background in bio-engineering to the field of nanoplasmonics. He currently focuses on cutting-edge research in nanoplasmonics – understanding and manipulating how light behaves at the nanometer-scale. His work at IMRE has advanced super-resolution plasmonic colour printing, recently demonstrating the world’s smallest reproduction of a painting in full-colour, which represents a leap in resolution beyond the state-of-the-art. A recipient of the National Science Scholarship awarded by A*STAR, Shawn received his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and both his master’s and doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University, where he developed novel ways to understand and engineer DNA-based nanoparticle assembly. Taking his diverse expertise and experience to the next level, Shawn is now leading a cross-disciplinary effort on interfacing DNA programmability with high-resolution patterning and addressability.
Engineering Product Development Pillar
Singapore University of Technology and Design
SUTD-MIT International Design Centre
Quantum Emulators and Quantum Heat Engines: Tackling Energy Problems from the “Bottom”
“There is plenty of room at the bottom” is a famous quote by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman which has inspired many generations of scientists and engineers. Indeed the nano and quantum worlds offer an incredible amount of opportunities to tackle the problems we face at our “normal” scale. It is from the nano scale that Dario addresses energy related issues, searching for fundamental and general design principles for the next generation of energy efficient nano devices. In particular, by investigating quantum emulators (systems made of extremely cold atoms trapped by lasers and magnetic fields), he studies the flow of heat and energy and the functioning of nanoscopic heat engines.
About Dario Poletti
Dario Poletti is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Product Development Pillar of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He obtained a double Master in Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano (Nuclear Engineering) and from the Ecole Centrale Paris (Applied Physics). Subsequently he earned a Joint-PhD in Physics from the National University of Singapore and the Australian National University. In 2010 he was awarded the Medal of the Material Research Society of Singapore for the best PhD thesis in the Physics Department. Prior to joining SUTD, he pursued his research interests at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (Singapore), at the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and at the University of Geneva. His research in theoretical quantum mechanics focuses on many-body quantum dynamics and quantum open systems for applications to quantum simulation and nano-energetics.
Healthcare & Life Sciences
Space 3.0, the Next Frontier
Sustainable innovations addressing real world challenges
We are looking for 10 innovators under the age of 35 who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology. Organized by MIT Technology Review since 1999, the prestigious Innovators Under 35 competition has honored some of the world’s most brilliant minds such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, JB Straubel of Tesla, Silicon Valley veteran investor Marc Andreessen and Nobel laureate Konstantin Novoselov.
We encourage you to nominate young researchers and entrepreneurs who are using technology to come up with creative and inspirational projects to provide solutions to global problems. The 10 honorees are recognized not only for their advances in a field of research, but also for their capacity to make an impact on society as a whole, and to lead the future of technology.