Singapore dominates EmTech’s regional under-35 innovators’ list

  • Eligible for 15th annual MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35 list
  • From nanotechnology and medical implants, to ViSenze CTO
Singapore dominates EmTech’s regional under-35 innovators’ list

EIGHT of the 10 regional finalists from South-East Asia and Australia/ New Zealand for EmTech Singapore are either based in Singapore or work in Singaporean research institutes, the conference organiser said in a statement.
These finalists are now eligible for consideration on the 15th annual MIT Technology Review magazine’s 35 Innovators Under 35 (TR35) list, due in October 2015.
Their work showcases how the nation is trailblazing the next generation of state-of-the-art scientific and technological innovation in the region, MIT Technology Review said.
As a finalist, each has the opportunity to present a three-minute elevator pitch about their research to an elite audience of market leaders, researchers and investors at EmTech Singapore, whose second edition will be held Jan 27-28 2015 in the city-state. Digital News Asia (DNA) is a media partner.
From a pool of over 100 applicants from 16 countries, the finalists selected by an esteemed panel of judges are:

1) Rikky Muller, Cortera Neurotechnologies Inc chief executive officer, who founded the company to develop implantable devices that will enable prosthetics to feel and act natural, provide a cure for psychiatric disorders, and also enable completely new user-computer interfaces.
2) Peh Ruey Feng, programme director of Singapore-Stanford Biodesign (SSB) at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star). He is the principal investigator of Advent Access which aims to significantly reduce the overall cost of hemodialysis at end-stage kidney failure, to preserve vascular health, and to save patients from the morbidity of needing multiple surgeries to sustain their lives.
3) Zhou Lihan, MiRXES Pte Ltd cofounder and chief technology officer who with three colleagues founded MIRXES with the vision of creating accurate, affordable and non-invasive cancer detection tests. He has developed an assay platform that is 100 times more sensitive than existing technologies to identify specific patterns of blood borne microRNA that correlate with cancer at its early and asymptomatic stage.
4) Yeung Ying Yeung, associate professor at the Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore, who has developed a novel asymmetric halogenation reaction for the preparation of drugs molecules which will help in making only one hand of a mirror-image pair of molecules that can be life-saving; especially in situations where the presence of the opposite hand’s molecules can be fatal.
5) Panu Sukitpaneenit, a membrane scientist at Koch Membrane Systems Inc. Membrane-based separation technology provides the most direct, effective and environmentally-conscious approach for clean energy and water sustainability. Panu's research centres on designing novel and high separation membrane materials and technologies to harvest clean energy and water in specific areas of renewable biofuel energy (from waste or non-food biomass), clean water production via forward osmosis desalination process, and membrane-based osmotic power generation.
6) Chua Pei Wen Vivien, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, National University of Singapore, who is developing a state-of-the-art coupled ocean-hydrologic modelling tool for investigating the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic influences in coastal zones.
7) Li Guangda, founder and chief technology officer at ViSenze, which provides a sophisticated visual search and recognition platform serving hundreds of millions of queries each day. He has extensively researched how to unlock intelligence captured in rich visual content by using sophisticated visual recognition technology, and its application to recommend products through to mobile e-commerce.
8) Benjamin Tee, Stanford Biodesign Global Innovation Fellow (Singapore-Stanford), Stanford University/ A*Star, who has developed flexible and stretchable electronic skin-like sensors that capture some of the high mechanical sensitivity and self-healing capabilities of human skin; his work is highly cited by the media and at EmTech Singapore he will present where he believes these technologies can play a role in the coming decades.
9) Shawn Tan, research scientist and deputy head of Patterning & Fabrication at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*Star, who brings a background in bio-engineering to nanoplasmonics; his research is promoting the understanding and manipulation of how light behaves at the nanometre-scale. His research has advanced super-resolution plasmonic colour printing and he recently demonstrated the world’s smallest reproduction of a painting in full-colour, which represents a leap in resolution beyond the state-of-the-art.
10) Dario Poletti, Engineering Product Development Pillar, Singapore University of Technology and Design & SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, who addresses energy-related issues at the nano scale, searching for fundamental and general design principles for the next generation of energy efficient nano devices. His research in theoretical quantum mechanics focuses on many-body quantum dynamics and quantum open systems for applications to quantum simulation and nano-energetics.

The Global TR35 list will be celebrated at the EmTech 2015 event held in Boston, Massachusetts. The global winners will be showcased in the September/ October 2015 issue of the magazine, and online at
Learn more about the Asia Pacific finalists at the website.
Related Stories:
MIT Technology Review looking for regional innovators under 35
Stellar speaker list grows for MIT’s EmTech Singapore conference
Malaysia, Singapore firms make little impact in Deloitte’s Tech Fast 500
ViSenze's mission is to make sense of the visual web
‘Wearable’ artificial kidney wins innovation award in Singapore
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