Start-ups, student teams among 11 winners of Singapore Digital Techblazer Awards

(From left) Mr Daryl Low from GovTech, IMDA's chief executive Lew Chuen Hong, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran, SGTech chairman Wong Wai Meng, Mr Max Tiong from NTUC Income, Ms Wendy Wang from Hong Ye Group. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

SINGAPORE - A biomedical start-up that uses artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy of antibody drug discovery. A robotics start-up that developed a solution allowing non-technical users to programme robots easily.

These tech firms numbered among the winners of the third annual Singapore Digital Techblazer Awards on Wednesday (Jan 27).

The awards recognise Singapore's best in tech innovation, and are jointly organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech.

This year's awards drew more than 400 submissions across the Most Promising Innovation, Best Adoption, and Student Techblazer categories, up from 304 last year.

From these, seven companies and four student projects emerged as the winners.

"This year's awards showcase an impressive range of ideas and applications, with finalists from many different sectors," said Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran during the awards ceremony held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"And that is how it should be - we want to be able to galvanise the breadth and depth of our economy in this important endeavour (to)... harness technological innovation both to address immediate challenges and to seize new opportunities."

Hummingbird Bioscience was the winner in the Most Promising Innovation category.

"The traditional antibody discovery process involves a lot of trial and error and can be lengthy and inefficient. Our platform uses AI to predict how and where to target drug treatments to more precisely engineer drugs and get the best possible outcome," said Hummingbird Bioscience chief scientific officer Jerome Boyd-Kirkup.

The winner in the Student Techblazer category was simplified robotics start-up Augmentus, which was founded by National University of Singapore undergraduates in 2019.

The company's solution allows users to draw on an iPad the paths they want an industrial robot, such as a robotic welder, to take. This could potentially shorten a weeks-long process involving copious amounts of code and design files to a matter of minutes.

"Winning the award gives us the validation that you don't have to stop at just being a student. You can do so much more," said Augmentus co-founder and chief operating officer Daryl Lim, who is a final-year economics and computing undergraduate at NUS.

"We are still very early-stage but we have been already working with clients in the advanced manufacturing space and I believe we are progressing pretty fast relative to many of the other players in this field."

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