Five new licenses signed at inaugural joint ACE-ETPL Investor Forum 2012
1. SINGAPORE, 1 JUNE 2012 – Five start-ups have signed licensing agreements with Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) for the latest technology from the Agency for Science, Research and Technology (A*STAR). The signing ceremony was part of the inaugural joint Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) – ETPL Investor Forum 2012 graced by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry. With the legal transfer of A*STAR’s technologies, these companies will be better positioned to compete in the market, increase revenue and expand their offerings. These five start-ups add to the increasing trend of start-ups that have licensed A*STAR technologies to a total of 30 in the last three years.
2. Among them is Learning and Development Resources Pte Ltd (LDR), a local start-up that develops teaching resources and training programs on the mobile platform. Earlier this year, the company licensed an image recognition technology from A*STAR to create and deploy a mobile app called the “Battle for Singapore” trail to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. Encouraged by the positive response to the app, the company took on a second license for a more advanced authoring platform from A*STAR to roll out more trails that give a richer self-directed discovery and learning experience.
3. “We are very pleased to be back again for the most advanced version of A*STAR’s image recognition technology. Taking on the first license was key to our progress in advancing the learning landscape from lectures to e-learning and now to m-learning, or mobile learning. The new license will allow our business model to be even more competitive and expand to markets outside of Singapore”, said Png Bee Hin, Chief Executive Officer of LDR.
4. Another start-up that signed a licensing agreement for A*STAR technology is Sofshell. The company, a spin-off from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, has developed a unique soft, flexible “smart” padding which hardens only upon impact. The lightweight and flexible composite material can reduce the blunt force of a bullet from a handgun up to 60 per cent better than bulletproof fabrics. A soft, protective prototype suit has been developed for the elderly in response to Singapore’s growing silver industry needs. Other potential applications are in sports and sensitive equipment protection markets. As a validation of the technology and its relevance in today’s market, Sofshell won the Coolest Innovation Award at TechVenture in 2011 and a prestigious DEMO Guru Award at the inaugural DEMO Asia event in Singapore this year.
5. “Exploit Technologies funded the development of the technology when we were still scientists in the laboratory at the A*STAR Institute for Materials Research and Engineering. We were hence able to bring this technology to a better state of readiness to start our company with a viable and relevant product,” said Elgin Yap, Founder of Sofshell.
6. LDR and Sofshell are two examples of start-ups which now bring with them innovative solutions for tapping on markets in diverse areas. The other three companies are iRad Solutions which delivers image atlases for medical education; Baldr Biosystems for disease diagnosis, and I3 Precision for imaging solutions in drug tracking.
7. “These five companies that have signed licensing agreements today all have great market potential. They are examples of how good A*STAR technology can be successfully translated into the marketplace, providing novel solutions and applications that are relevant to different industry sectors and beneficial to society at large”, said Philip Lim, Chief Executive Officer of ETPL.
Inaugural ACE-ETPL Investor Forum 2012
8. These startups, along with more than 15 other new technology and start-up teams were part of the joint ACE–ETPL Investor Forum held at Biopolis today. Aimed at encouraging more budding entrepreneurs and start-ups to embrace technology, the forum attracted more than 300 participants that included angel investors, entrepreneurs, incubators and academics. This event is a multi-agency initiative to support local enterprise with a meaningful platform for local technology start-ups and enterprise to meet, work and draw on the collective knowledge of experienced entrepreneurs, business mentors and investors.
9. Philip added, “Platforms like these allow public and private start-ups to come together, enable interested parties to look at early stage technology and for scientists to receive validation on the industry relevance of their work. We are pleased to partner ACE to expand the reach of the Investor Forums that we have organised since 2006. We believe more of such collaborations among agencies and companies will enhance the vibrancy of the ecosystem and inspire more entrepreneurial mindsets and improve start-up success”.
10. Previous editions of Investor Forums by ETPL have been successful in attracting follow-on investor funding for start-ups such as Linkstar and MP4SLS which went on to secure more than US$2.5 million and S$1 million of external funding respectively.
For more information, please contact:
Ms Amanda Lee
Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL)
DID: (65) 6478 8443
Mobile: (65) 9776 4218
About Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL)
Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) is the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Its mission is to support A*STAR in transforming the economy through commercializing R&D. Exploit Technologies enhances the research output of A*STAR scientists by translating their inventions into marketable products or processes.
Through licensing deals and spin-offs with industry partners, Exploit Technologies is a key driver of technology transfer in Singapore. It actively engages industry leaders and players to commercialise A*STAR’s technologies and capabilities, bridging the gap from Mind to Market. Exploit Technologies’ charter is to identify, protect and exploit promising intellectual property (IP) created by A*STAR’s research institutes.
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and six consortia & centres, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their immediate vicinity. A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, and with other local and international partners.
About the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE)
The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) was launched in 26 May 2003 as a national effort to foster Singapore into a creative and entrepreneurial nation where innovation and enterprise can be translated into wealth creation and where diversity of ideas thrives.
Relaunched on 18 January 2012, ACE's efforts are focused on supporting aspiring Singaporean entrepreneurs in taking their first steps in starting up. A public-private collaboration, ACE aims to seed and nurture entrepreneurial start-ups to create good jobs for Singaporeans.
ACE is currently led by Mr Teo Ser Luck, who is the Minister-in-charge of Entrepreneurship and the Minister of State for Trade and Industry
Factsheet on Spin-off and Licensee Companies – Appendix A
FACTSHEET ON SPIN-OFF AND LICENSEE COMPANIES
The company, a spin-off from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), has pioneered a responsive soft-shell armour that hardens upon sudden impact. Unlike the rest of the impact protectors on the market, Sofshell’s flexible impact protection solution not only absorbs impact but dissipates force. Target markets are growing industries such as anti-ballistics, sports, elder care protection and sensitive equipment protection markets. The company is currently in discussion with local hospitals and nursing homes to introduce the impact protection solution in the form of hip protectors.
The company has attracted interest from investors and collaborators, having won The Coolest Innovation Award at TechVenture 2011 and a DEMO Guru award at this year’s inaugural DEMO Asia event.
2. iRad Solutions
iRad Solutions is a spin-off from the Singapore Bio-imaging Consortium (SBIC) that develops computer assisted diagnosis and reporting solutions for radiology, medical image management and education tools.
The team improved on the 2D print images normally used in Medical diagnosis by scanning images of a healthy human brain and then enhancing and organizing them into a well-structured atlas of images.
iRad Solutions has received awards from leading international radiological societies for their Brain Atlas libraries. Workstation manufacturers have already adopted these libraries and embedded them with their clinical applications. The company is now looking to expand their range of atlas-based services aimed at the clinical and medical education markets.
3. Baldr Biosystems
Named after the German God of Light, the company was set up by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) for a portable system that provides laboratory-quality testing for the developing market. The Virtual Reaction Chamber (VRC) is a compact, low-cost, portable and highly accurate pathogen detection device that has been industry validated and coupled with a novel low powered thermal management system. Only 10W of power is needed to perform quantitative, real-time, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and as little as 2W for isothermal amplification protocols.
Working with a US Health Foundation, the company plans to bring the system to Africa and India where optimal HIV and Tuberculosis testing cannot be done at decentralized centres. The VRC system makes NGO funding more effective with efficient testing, leading to more effective diagnosis and administration of medication and care.
4. I3 Precision
i3 Precision was jointly set up by researchers at the A*STAR joint-lab with University of Illinois, the Advanced Digital Sciences Centre (ADSC) with investors to address safety and productivity issues in the healthcare industry.
Their novel Medication Tracking System (MTS) enables accurate identification of medication via application of imaging technologies for safe management from hospitals to homes. The system can be used when preparing and dispensing medication in the wards, and also for patients who need to consume medication at home. Currently, devices like medicine carts and pill boxes depend heavily on the healthcare workers and patients themselves to ensure safety in dispensing.
MTS is intuitive and healthcare users can now have another layer of safety check in daily operations, thus complementing or bypass existing technologies like barcode and RFID.
The company has started working with hospitals and government agencies on the implementation of the technologies.
5. Learning and Development Resources Pte Ltd (LDR)
LDR is a start-up foundedin 2008 with the aim of using location-based technology and rapid authoring tools to develop educational, team building and leadership development programs using mobile devices. After adopting the A*STAR image recognition technology, they built a “Battle for Singapore” mobile app for the National Heritage Board to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. The company also developed a Learning-On-The-Move (LOTM) tool that has helped the Ministry of Education customize highly interactive digital trails in self-directed and collaborative learning activities. To date, LDR has created more than 45 mobile learning trails for private and government organisations in Singapore.
LDR has taken on another technology license for an advanced image recognition technology from A*STAR to expand their work overseas and into other consumer segments for self-directed discovery and learning.