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Singapore’s Pan-University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has launched a new initiative to boost its innovation capabilities and accelerate research commercialisation to support Singapore’s drive toward an economy based on innovation and knowledge.

The University will ramp up its educational programmes to nurture entrepreneurs and create a more conducive environment for mentoring and supporting students, faculty, and alumni looking to turn their ideas into market-ready products through its NTU Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NTU I&E) initiative.

“Our vision is to create a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem covering the entire spectrum of activity, from cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset through holistic education and experiential learning to starting a business,” says Professor Louis Phee, Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Dean of the College of Engineering.

Prof Louis, who leads the NTU I&E initiative, stated that they aspire to be a fertile breeding ground where innovative ideas, supported by a solid foundation in education and research, blossom into successful commercial entities that ultimately benefit Singapore’s economy. With digitalisation and sustainability at the forefront of new industries, NTU believes that the skills and knowledge students require to be successful are also evolving rapidly.

The North and South Spines of the University’s main campus will house the new NTU Innovation Port, a physical and digital one-stop shop for all things innovation-related. The centre will provide a forum for the NTU community and external partners to discuss start-up and innovation concepts, as well as assist industry partners seeking to collaborate or license technologies.

NTU I&E consists of both the revamped NTU Entrepreneurship Academy (NTUpreneur) and the University’s existing innovation and enterprise company NTUitive, which focuses on commercialising innovations and incubating start-ups.

The I&E initiative is part of the NTU 2025 Strategic Plan, an ambitious road map announced in 2021 that guides NTU toward becoming a global university founded on science and technology and that cultivates leaders capable of making a positive societal impact through interdisciplinary education and research.

The Overseas Entrepreneurship Programme is one of NTU’s most successful entrepreneurship plans. More than 320 students participated in the programme, travelling to the United States, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, and Australia to work with start-ups and accelerators. After graduating, 45 of these students have been inspired to start their own businesses or join a start-up.

The NTU I&E initiative aims to build on these achievements. Students from all disciplines will benefit from improved and easier access to mentorship, entrepreneurship modules and courses, and more internships through NTUpreneur.

Students will participate in experiential learning programmes such as innovation challenges, training boot camps, and workshops as part of their journey of exploration and discovery. In addition, the Overseas Entrepreneurship Programme will be expanded to include more countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sweden, and Finland. The number of available placements will also be increased.

Recently, over 40 NTU innovations and start-ups were showcased at the exhibition area of the I&E launch event to inspire students and faculty. Deep tech software powered by blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to robotics, food technology, and health and biomedical devices were among them.

NTU’s I&E efforts align with Singapore’s Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2025 Plan and will contribute to the city-upcoming state’s Jurong Innovation District. Many of NTU’s start-ups and spin-offs are currently housed at the NTU Innovation Centre on the NTU Smart Campus and the nearby CleanTech Park, putting them at the epicentre of Singapore’s Industry 4.0 transformation.


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