Innovation & Enterprise Award
Jointly organised by NUS Enterprise and National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), the Innovation and Enterprise Award consists of two portions – the NUS Outstanding Innovator Award and Promising NUS Start-Up Award.
Both awards aim to recognise individuals and companies within the NUS community who have achieved significant accomplishments in entrepreneurship and innovation, or who have contributed to the development of entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore in recent years.
So what we do look for in our award finalists?
- Innovative Idea – Novelty of technology
- Commercial Feasibility – Number of licenses or stage of commercial development of technology market demand.
- Social Impact – Benefits to society by the research or invention
- International Recognition – Any awards or accolades received by international organisations
Selected finalists are put through a rigorous judging process by a distinguished panel comprising prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders, experience investors, as well as accomplished NUS academia.
Winners can expect to receive:
Outstanding NUS Innovator Award
As part of the selection criteria, the judging panel will look for factors such as the innovativeness of the technology, commercial and social impact, and whether the individual has received any international awards or other forms of recognition.
How To Apply
To be eligible, nominees must be NUS staff, ex-staff, students or alumni. In addition, they should have been involved in licensing or commercialisation of innovations in recent years. Entries for this award must be nominated by a third party. The nomination must be acknowledged and accepted by the nominee.
Commercialisation of licensed inventions in the recent years
Number of licenses, stage of commercial development, impact of research collaboration with industry, etc.
Licensing or royalties generated, potential royalty income, etc.
Novelty of technologies, patents awarded, etc.
Market demand and market penetration, track record of attracting follow-on funding to further develop the technology, attracted industry or equity investment
Other awards or recognition received
Impact on society by the research or innovation
The finalists for the Outstanding NUS Innovator Award may be required to be present for an interview on their invention and commercialisation with the judging panel.
Promising NUS Start-up Award
For this award, we are looking for companies that demonstrate a high degree of innovation, market validation of their product or service, scalability of their business model, international recognition and their commercial/social impact.
How to Apply
To be eligible, the companies should be innovation-based ventures with some NUS linkage, which would include utilising NUS technology, being founded by NUS staff/ex-staff, student or alumni or being incubated by NUS. The company should also be revenue-generating.
Download the application form here and submit it here
Degree of innovation
New product or product enhancement - technology or design or new business model, etc.
Validation of business model
Revenue, profitability, customers, corporate partnerships, etc.
Scalability and growth potential
What does it take to scale up the business and growth rate, etc.
Other awards or recognition received
Impact on the society by the research or innovation
The finalists for the Promising NUS Start-up Award may be expected to present their company's accomplishments to the judging panel.
Past Winners in 2012
The following winners were selected for the Promising NUS Start-Up Award:
A medical device company, BioMers uses a patented manufacturing process for the fabrication of novel polymer composite products with orthodontic applications. Its flagship product is SimpliClear, the world’s only completely translucent orthodontic braces system that can be used to treat a wide range of teeth misalignment cases.
The SimpliClear Full solution was launched in 2010 and since then BioMers have recruited over 130 orthodontists in the U.S., Spain and Singapore. Some 500 patients have benefited from the SimpliClear solution. BioMers was established in 2005 as an NUS spin-off company, licensing a technology that arose from a research project between the Faculty of Dentistry, National University Health System (NUHS) and Department of Mechanical Engineering.
With their prize money, BioMers plans to digitise the ordering process of SimpliClear. This will help to streamline its processes, improve customers’ experience and hasten product lead time.
Launched in 2010, Clearbridge BioMedics is developing microfluidics-based research tools and in-vitro diagnostics for the detection of circulating tumour cells (CTCs). This has resulted in applications in drug discovery, cancer research, cancer management and patient care.
Within 18 months of incorporation, Clearbridge BioMedics developed the ClearCell system, which comprises the CTChip and ClearCell unit. The CTChip is a disposable biochip that isolates, enumerates and retrieves CTCs, and this biochip runs on the ClearCell unit. Clearbridge BioMedics launched the ClearCell system earlier this year for the research market. The company has also achieved ISO13485 certification for the development of cell-based in-vitro diagnostic devices.
Clearbridge BioMedics intends to use its prize money to further accelerate the development of its next-generation microfluidics biochips. This will allow the company to access a wider number of applications in life sciences and medical diagnostics, capitalising on the growing interest from the medical community in adopting microfluidic approaches to tackle diagnostic challenges.
The Outstanding NUS Innovator Award was given out to the following team:
Professor Ding Jeak Ling and Associate Professor Ho Bow
Horseshoe crab blood clots when it comes into contact with bacteria due to presence of an enzyme called ‘Factor C’. This phenomenon has been used by the pharmaceutical industry to test the purity of sterilised medical equipment or human injectable products for presence of bacterial endotoxins. Factor C has been traditionally purified directly from horseshoe crab blood.
The award-winning NUS team of Jeak Ling and Ho Bow developed a recombinant-DNA based system to produce active Factor C enzyme in the laboratory. The recombinant Factor C or ‘rFC’ enzyme produced by NUS technology reacts with bacteria and endotoxins at extremely low levels and is more stable and chemically-consistent than the natural form.
Using rFC enzyme means horseshoe crabs, which are an endangered species, do not have to be bled. This technology has been licensed exclusively to Swiss multinational Lonza. The NUS technology is incorporated into several Lonza products in endotoxin detection kits and in an online endotoxin monitoring system. This license commenced in 2000 and licensing revenues will continue till the patent expires in 2018.
A related technology based on Factor C derived ‘sushi peptides’ has been licensed to US-based company BioDtech Inc., which has commercialised the technology to make products for the removal of bacterial endotoxins from pharmaceuticals /fluids. The patent for this technology will expire in 2020.
The two individuals who received the Outstanding NUS Innovator Award were Mr Tan Min Liang, CEO and Chief Gamer of Razer, and Dr Steven Zhou, Founder & Director of MXR Corporation Pte Ltd.
An NUS graduate, Min Liang founded Razer in 1998. From a two-employee company, Razer has grown to more than 225 staff, with 7 offices worldwide. The company is a world leader in computer gaming accessories and in 2010, Razer captured 42% of the game peripheral market share. Razer is the only gaming peripherals company to have dedicated R&D teams, with 3 R&D laboratories, based in Singapore, the U.S. and China.
Dr Zhou, an Assistant Professor at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, founded MXR Corporation, a spin-off company that has been commercialising his research in the field of augmented reality. The company’s product, wIzQubes, is a 3-dimensional interactive mixed reality storytelling media, which improves children’s psychological development, extends their concentration in reading and fosters the learning process.
While the judges did not award a winner for the Promising NUS Start-Up Award, they identified KAI Square as a merit winner. Five other finalists were 2359 Media, Double Helix Tracking Technologies, Smoov, Stream Media and Zopim Technologies.
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