The award-winning innovfest unbound – which took place on 5-6 June 2018 at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre – is the anchor event of Smart Nation Innovations, a week-long series of events that showcase Asia’s most innovative developments. In 2018, over 12,000 entrepreneurs, brands, corporates, investors and tech start-ups from 100+ countries met and shared new ideas, build partnerships and celebrate digital disruption. In partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), innovfest unbound is organised by NUS Enterprise and unbound and is Southeast Asia’s most exciting innovation festival.
The event first started as the Technology Commercialisation Forum in 2006, the conference was originally focused on university innovation and technology transfer. The Innovfest name began in 2010, when an Enterprise Connection dinner was added to the programme to provide an entrepreneurial angle. With additional initiatives incorporated over the years, Innovfest was rebranded in 2013 to reflect the overall breadth of NUS Enterprise’s activities- from technology commercialisation and entrepreneurial support to research in academic entrepreneurship. In 2015, Innovfest unbound was born – a partnership between NUS Enterprise and London-based company unbound, which runs a series of events across the world. By bringing together both the Asian and Western community of researchers and academia, corporates, start-ups and policy makers, InnovFest unbound brought new perspectives into the technology and innovation space.
One of the many packed break out sessions on various tech topics
Urban Experience, the customary evening event after Day One. This year there’s some lion dancing.
Loads of people of all sorts. Who’s the investor in there?
There was good representation from Indonesia, and with their drive for local innovation spurred by government policies (JKN – Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional) and initiatives (TKDN – Tingkat Komponen Dalam Negeri). Further info here, here and an older but still relevant slide deck here
Some of the startups from Indonesia. Tacking an almost taboo subject of mental health, I enjoyed the convo with Pijar Psikologi
Remote ObGyn innovation from indonesia. This product is close to launch!
Of course our focus was in medical technology. We saw less of repeating entrants from previous years, and new teams and companies formed to pitch their ideas to potential investors, collaborators, customers and team members (hint: it’s a good place for recruitment too!).
The bespeckled gentleman somehow slipped into the picture! Not sure if he’s connected to the booth 🙂 I challenged the researchers to shrink their wireless sensor down to 25% of the size, 15g and 5 mm thick. They accepted the challenge – see them next year!
This is one of my favorite teams (BICEPS) – Al, Fann, Kris, JZ from QuantumTX
This year there was a strong showing from Japan – led by JETRO
The event also had me bumping (almost literally) into some ex-colleagues and friends that I’ve not met for quite a long time – very pleasant surprises and reconnected with them.
It’s always important to stay in the forefront of science and innovation – to remember how to be curious, to ask, to learn – not just for the latest and greatest, but understanding their progress, international benchmarking, networking in the truest sense. Just plain fun being a curious engineer all over again. Keeps my brain cells alive, I guess!