Researchers from the Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore (Bears) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are looking at a fascinating new material known as perovskite, which can capture and convert more light energy into electricity than traditional silicon solar cells. This presents an opportunity for Singapore to develop expertise that may create new industries based on a solar energy value chain. If this is deployed on our island, it will also reduce Singapore's reliance on conventional energy sources. Likewise, as the Energy Market Authority pilots renewable energy sources on its micro-grid test beds, it is working with Bears to develop a sensor system capable of online, real-time monitoring of the micro-grid's performance.
The Singapore-ETH Centre and the Singapore Land Authority have recently embarked on a "Digital Underground: Guidelines for 3D Mapping of Utility Networks" project to develop a road map for mapping existing and future utility networks in Singapore. The road map will lead to guidelines on how to acquire data of existing as well as new networks, and how to maintain permanent digital records of underground infrastructure. These records will eventually be integrated into the Virtual Singapore platform, for decision-making by government agencies and businesses.
Researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (Smart) Future Urban Mobility team and National University of Singapore (NUS) introduced Singapore's first self-driving wheelchair that was piloted at Changi General Hospital last year. Studies show that nurses spend a significant amount of time looking for wheelchairs for their patients. A self-driving wheelchair will free up the nurses for other tasks, while giving patients autonomy in movement.
ROBOTIC AUTOMATION OF THE CARGO-HANDLING PROCESS
The Technical University of Munich Create is working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on robotic automation of the cargo-handling process at Changi Airport. The goal is to incorporate technology into ground-handling operations to alleviate the manpower crunch in a traditionally labour-intensive sector.
Quickcharge - from the Singapore-Hebrew University of Jerusalem Alliance for Research and Enterprise (Share) Nanomaterials for Energy and Water Management (NEW) programme - has developed technologies for rapid-charging batteries. It was acquired by Ultracharge last year.
WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS
Visenti, a spin-off from a Smart collaboration, developed wireless sensor networks that allow the remote detection of leaks and pipe bursts in urban water distribution systems.
National water agency PUB has deployed this technology in Singapore and its intellectual property rights are licensed to 10 countries around the world.
ADVANCED FORM OF LIQUID BIOPSY
Clearbridge Biomedics is using an advanced form of liquid biopsy that is paving the way for the next generation of non-invasive cancer diagnosis.
This technology is licensed from NUS and Smart. An estimated one in three individuals is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in his or her lifetime.
STRESS-FREE DIAGNOSTICS KIT
NTU-affiliated biotech start-up Biosensorix is creating a thumb-size device that provides stress-free diagnostics for various viruses. The kit can determine if someone has been infected with viruses such as dengue or Zika, and how serious it is.
Ecoworth Tech, another NTU-affiliated company, is using patented carbon-fibre aerogel (CFA) technology to reduce the environmental impact of contaminated wastewater, by removing organic contaminants and turning waste into value-added products. CFA is poised to transform the food recycling industry as it can efficiently separate grease and oils from food sludge, and use it for applications such as biofuels.