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NUS Edison Workshop Room

The Edison Room

Powered by NUS Enterprise

Curated by NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, the Edison stage is an extension of the FutureNow series, featuring sessions that showcases the breakthrough technologies being researched or applied in universities, corporations and start-ups, as well as provides insights into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in ASEAN and further abroad.

Join leading experts from across a wide range of domains, including AI, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, Aviation and Travel, Fashion and Retail, Healthcare and Wellness, Maritime, PropTech, and Sustainability. We will also be discussing the opportunities for startups in ASEAN and beyond; and the key role universities play in building a vibrant start-up ecosystem in these regions. Last but not least, attend our pitching sessions and challenge finales to hear from exciting and promising start-ups in the healthcare, life sciences, food sciences and maritime space.

All Innovfest Unbound ticket holders will have access to the Edison Room. Don't have a pass yet? Secure yours today before it's too late or scroll down to view the speakers and agenda. 

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Mark Your Diaries for These Groundbreaking Sessions

Edison Room
    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” -  George Bernard Shaw. It is indeed true that humans are causing climate change especially in pursuit of economic growth. Many would concur that such pursuit is reasonable given the prevailing contexts of poverty and the need for reasonable living standards. Therefore, we are looking into technologies that can build  more sustainable cities. This search for innovations is relevant not only to city states – but for all cities. This is because cities exert significant pressure on the supporting ecosystems, which are not isolated systems. While we often talk about reuse, reduce and recycle, we are also exploring emerging trends and implementing initiatives that drive this movement to lay the foundation for a circular economy.

    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    Customer experiences are no longer defined solely by a single end point of either a store or ecommerce site. Today, a smartphone-enabled consumer engages with a brand at multiple virtual and physical touchpoints, often repeatedly, and in a world where everything touchable is shoppable, a purchasing transaction can occur anywhere. Multi-channel and omnichannel have now been superseded by mono-channel, and that channel is the customer. 

    This  session examines how smart fashion and lifestyle brands reinvent the concept of immersive experience, and at the same time glean rich data insights that enable increasingly personalised conversations. But don’t look for gimmicks or screens without a raison d’être; hear instead about intelligent and powerful solutions that seamlessly enrich the customer journey.

    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    The increasing number of applications enabled by direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, ranging from predicting disease risk, pharmacogenomics to DNA-based beauty and wellness testing coupled with the widespread availability of testing kits across multiple retail channels has led to mushrooming opportunity in this area.  

    This session organised by Thermo Fisher Scientific, the leading vendor for genomics solutions will begin with a short overview of the DTC segment and brief presentations by executives of DTC companies. It will be followed by a panel discussion with the leaders from DTC companies operating across Asia on their business strategies, obstacles they face in bringing their service to the market and how increasing consumer appetite for pharmacogenomic and other types of testing is helping foster current and future DTC opportunities. The session will also delve into how Thermo-Fisher has enabled start-up and established DTC companies with customized solutions to meet diverse requirements spanning ethnicities, applications and DNA testing needs across the globe. The session will conclude with the announcement of a contest for DTC start-ups to submit a business proposal.

    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    For the uninitiated, Cisco is not Certis Cisco. Cisco isn't only a worldwide leader in IT and networking. It also happens to be one of the most prominent strategic investors in technology start-ups globally, with an investment and acquisition history that goes back more than two decades. Today, Cisco Investments boasts a global portfolio of more than 120 active investments across early to late stage start-ups, as well as over 45 limited partner positions in venture funds over 27 countries. Come join our forum to gather perspectives and insights on what to look out for in venture building and investing from our experts.

    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    Baby monitors are no longer just cameras that let you observe your babies from another room. Modern technologies are being applied to baby monitoring, allowing parent to know what is going on inside their babies. What are the implications of such information to both parents and the baby care and health industries in the future? Join us in the finale of the D2Hack Challenge to discover the top start-up innovations for baby products and the panel session that will discuss more about the future of baby care. 

    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    Taken as a single entity, ASEAN is the third largest economy in Asia.  Rising spending power, increased urbanisation, a young population and strong mobile/internet penetration translate into lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs.  However, the countries that make up ASEAN are also highly fragmented, differing along lines of language, culture, politics, economic development, and more.  For start-ups, this means going regional often means going multi-local.  How can start-ups capture a diverse market?  What pitfalls should they avoid?  This panel session brings together experienced entrepreneurs and investors to help you navigate the challenges and identify the key strategies needed to succeed in Southeast Asia. 

Edison Room
    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    Join the experts as they share the latest developments in the medical field and how technology can drive future breakthroughs in oncology. Learn about the advancement of cancer and pain treatment in the ever-changing medical environment. The Mundipharma Cancer Care Challenge will be featuring the top six healthcare start-ups solving the most pressing issues in the industry.



    9.30am:         Welcome Address by NUS Enterprise and Introduction to                                           Mundipharma Cancer Care Challenge     

    9.40am:         Pitching Session (6 Teams) 

    10.40am:       Panel Discussion 

    11.15am:       Announcement of Winners


    This session is supported by Mundipharma.

    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    In the age of social media, smart cities and big data, data privacy has become an increasingly important issue. Policy and regulation on data protection has been articulated, debated, and adopted to protect and empower individual data privacy, as well as reshape the way organisations approach data privacy. However, this is an ongoing process due to technological developments that raise new concerns.

    In this forum, we would like to explore the future of data privacy from two adversarial perspectives, namely individual interest and organisational interest, and how we approach general data protection while achieving harmony between local and global perspectives. For example, multiple organisations may collaborate to gain insights for complex operational needs, should a data breach occur as results of information sharing, individuals might be denied services like insurance or credit cards.

    In this forum, we bring together experts from government, academia, and industry. Through the unique and diverse viewpoints from the panelists, this forum aims to gain insights on this matter and to spark discussion on the future needs and research directions.

    Keynote Address:

    • Yeong Zee Kin  
      Deputy Commissioner 
      Personal Data Protection Commission 



    • Prof Mohan Kankanhalli 
      NUS Centre for Research in Privacy Technologies (N-CRiPT)  



    • Prof Seng Kiat Boon, Daniel 
      Associate Professor, Faculty of Law 
      National University of Singapore  
    • Prof Xiao Xiaokui
      Associate Professor, School of Computing  
      National University of Singapore  
    • Prof Reza Shokri
      Assistant Professor, School of Computing 
      National University of Singapore  
    • Dominic Sartorio
      Senior Vice President,  Products and Development
    • Mr Tho Yeong Chien
      Executive Director
    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    How can Asian Start-ups Plug into Vibrant Entrepreneurial Hubs in Europe and North America?  

    Asian start-ups seeking to make global impact are increasingly looking beyond Silicon Valley as their first point of expansion. Emerging tech powerhouses outside of the US stand as attractive alternatives, luring promising foreign entrepreneurs through start-up-friendly tax incentives, liberal immigration policies, access to affordable talent and white space in the market.   

    This interactive session will take you on a tour of three dynamic tech start-up hubs – Stockholm, Toronto, and Munich, with specific emphasis on each hub’s distinctive clusters of tech capabilities, local government support policies, incubator/accelerator infrastructure, and international collaborative opportunities that make their respective locales ideal for Asian entry.  Join us to meet the key players in these tech hubs, tap onto their networks, and explore new pathways for your start-up’s international growth.


    • Edison Room
    Edison Room

    The concept of retirement – and old age itself – is being reshaped by a record number of baby boomers who are living longer and are technologically savvier than ever before. How are  the silver generation and their caregivers embracing technology to improve quality of life and financially prepare for retirement and eldercare costs? How are businesses including the banking, employee benefits and insurance sector innovating for the ageing society?  This session brings together leading industry experts, foundations and start-ups to share insights on successful initiatives and potential avenues for innovation in Asia.

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