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Campus test-bed to boost app commercialisation

17 May 2013

(From left) Dr Chan, Chairman of the NUS Entrepreneurship Committee Mr Lucas Chow and Ms Indranee making a stop at the NUS Living Lab booth to find out more about its initiatives

Entrepreneurial developers will now be able to get help in accelerating the commercialisation of their digital products with the announcement of a new initiative at InnovFest 2013. Launched by NUS Enterprise and the NUS Interactive and Digital Media Institute (IDMI), the NUS Living Lab will provide a major test-bed with infrastructure support for new interactive digital media or infocommunication solutions that can then be brought to the global market.

The NUS Kent Ridge campus, with more than 40,000 staff and students as potential pilot users, will serve as an ideal setting to test out the trial applications.

Professor Lawrence Wong, Deputy Director of NUS IDMI, said that researchers and developers typically test new solutions on a small scale or within a laboratory setting not representative of the real world. "Through the NUS Living Lab, we have created a pervasive and extensive test-bed for commercialising projects to be scaled up in a live environment," he said.

Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise, pointed out that researchers, tech start-ups and small enterprises creating new applications will benefit from the resource as they and potential business partners can see their solutions working in an actual setting. "This could be instrumental in sealing business deals, commercialising novel technologies and bringing new solutions to global markets," she said.

The NUS Living Lab will prioritise solutions in the area of mobility, education and lifestyle, providing sensing technologies, shareware, coordination and support. IDMI has started a few pilot projects, which include crowd density estimation, indoor navigation and flu outbreak detection.

Organised by NUS Enterprise, InnovFest 2013 which was held from 14 to 16 May brought together some 600 participants from Asia's business, academic, technology and investment communities to promote entrepreneurial interaction and technology transfer.

At the opening ceremony, Guest-of-Honour Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry for Law and Ministry of Education, underscored the importance of innovation, technology commercialisation and enterprise to Singapore.

She noted in her address that NUS Enterprise's initiatives "to institute a thriving entrepreneurial environment that supports researchers, faculty and students at all stages of the innovation", has propelled the University to be among the top 10 universities that "created/supported the world's most successful technology innovation ecosystems", according to a survey by MIT-Skoltech.

At the event, the Promising NUS Start-up Award was presented to AWAK Technologies which engineered the world's first wearable, artificial kidney based on sorbent regenerative technology, to address end-stage renal disease. Mr Neo Kok Beng, co-founder, President and CEO of the firm, is an NUS alumnus and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the NUS Business School and Faculty of Engineering.

Dr Pete Kellock, an Adjunct Professor from the NUS School of Computing, received the Outstanding NUS Innovator Award for his contributions in creating a unique video production product for consumers. He is the co-founder of muvee Technologies, a firm providing automated video editing software to leading multinational corporations.