one-north Festival opens with focus on sustainability

Held in conjunction with the Singapore Science Festival, the theme for this year's one-north Festival is "The Future of Everyone: Innovating for a Sustainable Planet". ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - The one-north Festival opened at Fusionopolis One on Friday (Sept 13) around the theme of sustainability.

The festival, which ends on Saturday, is being held in conjunction with Singapore Science Festival.

It features exhibition booths, science demonstrations, talks and interactive displays and activities.

One of the booths explores insect farming systems for protein production while a "Magic Lab" set up by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*Star) Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences allows children from six to 12 to experiment.

Talks cover a range of themes with speakers from the private and public sectors.

Dr Loh Xian Jun, a senior scientist from A*Star, discusses newly biodegradable materials for green technology, Dr Sandhya Sriram, co-founder of Shiok Meats, tackles seafood grown from cells with no animals while A*Star researcher Lim Yee Fun looks at innovative systems that can help cool Singapore without contributing to carbon emissions or consuming excessive energy.

Professor Lisa Ng, executive director of A*Star Graduate Academy, said the festival has a clear mission: "We want the public to know about what will happen in their futures (shaped by climate change), so we know what we can do now to ensure our security."

The Senior Minister of State for Transport and Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary, told the opening ceremony that it is important to cultivate an ecosystem of innovation, research, and business in Singapore to tackle the challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability.

Dr Janil later awarded the winners of the Innovation Pitch Competition 2019, co-organised by A*Star and ESSEC Business School.

The competition encouraged students from polytechnics, junior colleges, independent and international schools to pitch business ideas that would create a sustainable living environment.

A team from St Joseph's International who suggested a way to convert food waste and cooking oil into biofuel, fertiliser and glycerin took the top prize.

Students Kyle Tan, 18, and Tara Kripalani, 18, said the competition helped deepen their appreciation for making their big ideas actionable.

Mr Tan said: "When we have to look at the issue in terms of feasibility, and really try to outline the idea to someone else, it really makes a difference to how much detail we put into it."

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