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The National University of Singapore (NUS) is looking to maximise innovation, seamlessly blending the physical and the digital realms through the Campus as A Living Lab at NUS (CALL@NUS) initiative. NUS is positioning itself as a digital crucible, fusing the tangible with the intangible to propel research innovations into real-world solutions.

Image credit: news.nus.edu.sg

By leveraging the NUS Digital Twin platform, CALL@NUS is not merely a concept but a living and operational environment where researchers and industry partners merge to birth impactful and scalable sustainability solutions.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye envisions the campus as more than just a place of learning, “At NUS, we are presenting the campus as a Living Lab, where our physical infrastructure and operational systems serve as an integrative test-bed for sustainability solutions. This opens up a myriad of possibilities for impactful discoveries, game-changing innovations, and transformative education.”

In the field of sustainable energy projects, a Low Carbon Living Laboratory stands as a testament to the potential of digitalisation. NUS researchers together with a sustainability-related solutions company are embarking on a journey, utilising the unique CALL@NUS initiative to breathe life into a multi-faceted project that aims not only to advance NUS’ Campus Sustainability Roadmap 2030 but also to align with the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

Digitalisation takes centre stage with the integration of a smart AC/DC hybrid microgrid, a brainchild of the collaboration hosted on the NUS Kent Ridge campus through a Master Research Collaboration Agreement (MRCA) signed between NUS and sustainability-related solutions company early last year.

The marriage of NUS’ expertise in energy and sustainability research with technological prowess is set to birth cutting-edge technologies for smart grid management and district cooling, with global applicability once validated.

Through the implementation of a digital twin and leveraging comprehensive sensing technologies and modelling, NUS researchers and sustainability-related solutions companies are set to innovate distributed energy management solutions.

This digital orchestration aims to seamlessly integrate and optimise diverse sustainable energy technologies, from renewable energy resources to smart electric vehicle charging solutions, creating an infrastructure network that not only reduces energy consumption but also enhances grid reliability and climate resilience.

In another digital frontier, the project under the MRCA focuses on the implementation of an innovative district-wide cooling network. This involves deploying a proprietary material-based thermal energy storage technology, techniques utilising outdoor air for cooling, and real-time AI-based optimisations. Further, the integration of these digital technologies with the AC/DC hybrid microgrid holds the promise of significantly reducing the carbon footprint and energy consumption for cooling at NUS.

According to NUS President Professor Eng Chye, this multi-pronged project is designed to scale across the entire NUS campus in different phases, showcasing the potential for replication for third-party customers locally and abroad.

These collaborative projects are nurturing the next generation of sustainability leaders. NUS students are not merely spectators but active participants in the digital revolution, with projects like the smart AC/DC hybrid microgrid seamlessly woven into the curriculum at the NUS College of Design and Engineering.

As the digital symphony continues, NUS and sustainability-related solutions companies are exploring partnerships in other energy and sustainability-related areas, such as ammonia cracking and solar energy research, the collaboration exemplifies the forward-thinking spirit needed to build a resilient and sustainable future.

MIT researchers have introduced medical technology advancements, a wearable ultrasound monitor fashioned as a patch. This innovative device can image internal organs without an ultrasound operator or gel application. Researchers demonstrated the patch’s effectiveness in accurately imaging the bladder and determining its fullness. This holds promising implications for individuals with bladder or kidney disorders, offering a more accessible means to monitor organ functionality.

Image credits: news.mit.edu

Ultrasound, a widely used imaging method employing sound waves, has provided diagnostic insights and guided treatment across various diseases and conditions. This adaptability is achieved by manipulating the location of the ultrasound array and tuning the signal frequency. Such versatility opens the door to earlier detection of deep-seated cancers, including challenging cases like ovarian cancer.

Canan Dagdeviren, an associate professor in MIT’s Media Lab and the senior author of the study, emphasised the versatility of this technology, asserting that it can be applied not only to the bladder but to any deep tissue within the body. She described it as a novel platform capable of identifying and characterising numerous diseases within the human body.

Dagdeviren’s lab, specialising in designing flexible, wearable electronic devices, previously garnered attention for developing an ultrasound monitor incorporated into a bra for breast cancer screening. Building on this expertise, the research team embarked on a new study to create a wearable patch that adheres to the skin and can capture ultrasound images of internal organs.

Dagdeviren’s connection to the cause partly inspired the decision to focus the initial demonstration on the bladder. Her younger brother’s diagnosis of kidney cancer, followed by the surgical removal of one kidney, led to challenges in fully emptying the bladder. The researchers aimed to address such post-surgical complications by developing an ultrasound monitor capable of revealing bladder fullness, potentially benefiting those with similar bladder or kidney issues.

Dagdeviren emphasised the prevalence of bladder dysfunction and related diseases, highlighting the significance of monitoring bladder volume as an effective indicator of kidney health and overall wellness. Currently, measuring bladder volume involves using a traditional, bulky ultrasound probe, necessitating a visit to a medical facility. The MIT team sought to provide a more convenient alternative with a wearable patch that patients could use in the comfort of their homes.

To realise this vision, the researchers crafted a flexible patch using silicone rubber embedded with five ultrasound arrays made from a newly developed piezoelectric material. Arranged in a cross, these arrays enable the patch to comprehensively image the entire bladder, which is approximately 12 by 8 centimetres when complete. The naturally sticky polymer ensures gentle adhesion to the skin, facilitating easy attachment and detachment. Securing the patch in place is further aided by using underwear or leggings.

Collaborating with the Centre for Ultrasound Research and Translation and the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, the researchers conducted a study demonstrating that their wearable patch produced images comparable to those obtained with a traditional ultrasound probe. These images proved instrumental in tracking changes in bladder volume.

Initially, the researchers connected their ultrasound arrays to a standard ultrasound machine used in medical imaging centres to view the captured images. However, recognising the need for portability, the MIT team is actively developing a compact, smartphone-sized device dedicated to viewing these ultrasound images.

In the next stage, the MIT researchers envision extending their ultrasound technology to image other organs such as the pancreas, liver, and ovaries. Achieving this requires altering the ultrasound signal frequency based on the location and depth of each organ, necessitating the design of new piezoelectric materials. In some cases, particularly for organs situated deep within the body, the researchers contemplate the possibility of the device functioning as an implant rather than a wearable patch.

Dagdeviren outlined the systematic approach they follow in developing these ultrasound devices. It involves selecting the suitable materials, devising the appropriate device design, and fabricating the components accordingly, followed by testing and clinical trials.

Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of MIT’s School of Engineering, sees this work as a potential focal point in ultrasound research, inspiring a fresh approach to future medical device designs. He anticipates collaborations between materials scientists, electrical engineers, and biomedical researchers, underlining the significance of interdisciplinary efforts in advancing medical technology.

A groundbreaking Python learning chatbot developed by a team of enterprising female students from the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) has clinched a Silver Medal in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Multimedia category at the esteemed International Borneo Innovation, Exhibition & Competition (IBIEC) 2023.

Image Credits: APU, Press Release

The competition, themed ‘Fostering Innovative Concepts for Enhanced Sustainable Entrepreneurship,’ was hosted virtually at Kolej Komuniti Miri, Sarawak, from the 14th to the 16th of August 2023. Pietonne, comprised of Lai Tsi Syuen Susanne, Tan Jia Ling, and Teoh Huey Ying, spearheaded the creation of ‘Learning Python Programming Language with Mr. Pytor Bot’ to facilitate the teaching of Python programming to university students.

Their brainchild, Mr. Pytor Bot, is a testament to technological innovation. It serves as a centralised educational tool, offering a cohesive learning experience through its conversational interface – an innovative departure from the scattered online resources currently available.

This AI-driven chatbot serves as an ideal companion for those delving into the realm of Python programming. Its capabilities include personalised guidance and support across various proficiency levels, from foundational concepts to more advanced topics.

Beyond mere guidance, Mr. Pytor Bot navigates users through Natural Language Processing (NLP) nuances and assists in transforming inquiries into actionable lines of code, augmenting the learning process significantly.

Susanne, the team leader, expressed the challenges encountered during the competition. They faced technological constraints necessitating the migration of software to code, culminating in creation of their chatbot. She emphasised the invaluable lessons in teamwork, adaptability, and unwavering belief in their project that were integral to their success.

Jia Ling echoed gratitude for the competition experience, acknowledging the fun and wealth of knowledge gained during the development phase of Mr. Pytor Bot. Meanwhile, Huey Ying highlighted the project’s significance as an exceptional learning opportunity. The team attributes their success to the guidance and support of their mentors, Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Vinothini Kasinathan, and Ms. Asiah Abdollah.

Pietonne’s Mr. Pytor Bot project earned high acclaim from the IBIEC 2023 judging panel for its transformative potential in reshaping Python programming education. With its ability to offer personalised coaching and support, this innovation stands as a valuable asset for Python learners at all levels.

This pioneering project is poised to revolutionise the educational landscape, promising a substantial impact on Python programming instruction. As Pietonne looks ahead, their innovative strides suggest the likelihood of even greater accomplishments in the future.

OpenGov Asia has highlighted the global trend toward prioritising Python in technological advancements. One such instance is observed at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur), where they’ve introduced a professional certificate course focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

This comprehensive curriculum encompasses various domains, including applied data science using Python, fundamental ML courses, an extensive study of deep learning employing Keras and TensorFlow, as well as an introduction to essential concepts such as GenAI, prompt engineering, and ChatGPT.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the HKPC Academy has joined forces with a specialist in STEM and Coding Education to unveil the “HKPC Academy x STEM Instructor Training Certificate Programme Cohort V.” This innovative programme caters to a diverse array of topics, featuring fundamental modules like Micro:bit Basics, Cospaces VR, Python Codebooks, and Microsoft Azure AI-900, providing participants with a well-rounded understanding of cutting-edge technologies.

In a significant collaboration, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has joined forces with industry heavyweights to forge a path into the realm of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) with Project MindForge.

This ambitious initiative seeks not only to unravel the complexities of GenAI but also to draft a risk framework that will guide its responsible integration into the financial sector. The recently unveiled executive summary of this impending whitepaper sheds light on the initiative’s successful completion of phase one.

Image adapted from www.mas.gov.sg

GenAI, a transformative yet potentially disruptive force, promises to reshape the financial landscape. From enhancing operational efficiency and tailoring customer experiences to spawning innovative product ideas, the possibilities are vast. However, the flip side unveils some risks, ranging from cyber threats and copyright quandaries to data vulnerabilities and biases.

One notable exception is Project MindForge, which provides direction as it navigates the uncharted territory of GenAI in the financial industry. Its primary objectives include crafting a concise and transparent framework for GenAI’s responsible deployment and fueling innovation that addresses industry-wide challenges while fortifying risk management.

The consortium steering this venture comprises prominent entities. In the initial phase, the consortium’s brain trust conceived a comprehensive GenAI risk framework. This blueprint spans seven critical risk dimensions, addressing Accountability and Governance, Monitoring and Stability, Transparency and Explainability, Fairness and Bias, Legal and Regulatory, Ethics and Impact, and Cyber and Data Security.

It’s more than a theoretical guide; it’s a tool designed to empower financial institutions to wield GenAI responsibly. Complementing this, a platform-agnostic GenAI reference architecture was crafted, outlining the building blocks and components for organisations to construct robust GenAI capabilities.

Besides, the consortium now sets its sights on expanding its reach to include financial institutions from the insurance and asset management sectors in the upcoming phase. The goal is to refine and extend the GenAI risk framework across the financial industry. As the project evolves, experiments will be conducted to explore GenAI applications in critical areas such as anti-money laundering, sustainability, and cybersecurity.

Chief FinTech Officer at MAS Sopnendu Mohanty stressed the critical role MindForge plays in guiding the financial sector through Generative AI’s uncharted territory and the significance of creating a framework that addresses obstacles and drives the sector’s adoption of AI responsibly and sustainably. In his vision, Project MindForge will act as a catalyst, bringing innovation to the financial sector and preserving moral behaviour at the same time.

In the grand scheme of technological evolution, Project MindForge emerges as a pioneer in technological advancement and responsible stewardship. As the financial industry harnesses the potential of Generative AI, MindForge stands as a testament to the commitment of its collaborators to a future where innovation and responsibility coexist harmoniously.

In addition, MAS announced a groundbreaking Minimum Viable Product (MVP) through Project NovA! to aid banks in issuing Sustainability-Linked Loans (SLLs) in the real estate sector. The MVP, developed in collaboration with the NovA! consortium addresses challenges such as inaccurate targets and greenwashing.

Key features include benchmarking for setting performance targets, continuous monitoring to prevent greenwashing, and an Autonomous Documentation Insights Engine (ADIE) for streamlined processing. In the next phase, MAS collaborates with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), leveraging BCA’s Super Low Energy Building (SLEB) database to access country-wide green building data.

The initiative aims to combat greenwashing, enhance transparency, and align with Singapore’s net-zero goals. The collaboration underscores a data-centric approach to sustainability, advancing green financing and building standards.

Sensor-based decision-making has long been the cornerstone of robotics, propelling machines through environments by relying on discrete inputs. While machines excel in processing specific inputs, they fall short in recreating the intricate synergy witnessed in human perception. However, recent strides in artificial intelligence, particularly in the realm of sensor integration, have sparked a paradigm shift, challenging the traditional linear approach to decision-making in robotics.

In the realm of robotics, sensor-based decisions traditionally follow a linear path. However, a pioneering development by Penn State researchers, led by Saptarshi Das, is rewriting the rules of artificial intelligence. The creation of the inaugural artificial, multisensory integrated neuron aligns with the complex and interconnected nature of biological systems.

Their work challenges the traditional approach to robotics, aspiring to bridge the gap between the compartmentalised sensor-based decision-making in machines and the comprehensive integration of senses in the human brain. It delves into understanding and replicating the biological synergy of sensory inputs that collectively form human perception.

The underlying idea behind their innovation is to create an artificial neuron that mirrors the function of biological neurons in the human brain. Neurons in the human brain are not independent entities. However, they work collectively, communicating and sharing information to process a comprehensive understanding of the world.

In contrast, conventional artificial intelligence relies on a hierarchical structure, where sensors feed information to a central unit that then makes decisions. Its approach lacks the nuanced interplay seen in biological systems. This conventional method tends to consume more energy, especially when dealing with faint or ambiguous inputs.

The new paradigm proposed by Das and his team seeks to create a system where the various sensors directly communicate with each other, mirroring the complex network of biological neurons. By allowing these sensors to interact and exchange information, akin to different senses working in tandem, the goal is to enable more nuanced decision-making in AI systems.

For instance, in an autonomous vehicle, instead of a centralised system receiving inputs from sensors about obstacles and light intensity, the sensors might directly influence each other to determine the vehicle’s actions. This streamlined communication between sensors not only enhances efficiency but also mirrors the parallel processing seen in human sensory perception.

This research not only signals a technological landmark but also hints at a fundamental shift in how to approach artificial intelligence. The quest to mimic the human brain’s sensory integration offers a pathway to more adaptable, perceptive, and eco-friendly AI systems.

The potential implications of this breakthrough are vast. The envisaged artificial multisensory neuron system promises to revolutionise sensor technology, leading to eco-conscious advancements in robotics, drones, and autonomous vehicles. Picture a future where these intelligent systems navigate their surroundings with precision and consume less energy. It marks a stride toward sustainability and efficiency in artificial intelligence utilisation.

The achievements of this research not only anticipate a transformation in the technological realm but also signify the efficiency of nature and its contribution to technological progress. The endeavour to emulate nature’s sensory capabilities holds the potential for a fundamental transformation in the functioning of AI systems, ushering in an era of heightened environmental consciousness in technological innovation.

Advanced Earth Observation (EO) technologies and datasets offer the Australian mining sector fresh possibilities. These encompass the use of cutting-edge technologies like synthetic aperture radar imaging, hyperspectral imaging, and machine learning tools for image analysis.

The Queensland Earth Observation Hub, operated by SmartSat, ran a workshop to explore how EO can support Australia’s Critical Minerals sector. With EO technology now offering a significant role in Australian mining, the workshop brought together experts from mineral resources and EO industries to tackle complex challenges and develop innovative solutions.

Image Credits: SmartSat, Press Release

A range of mining-related activities was examined, from early exploration to post-mining rehabilitation and management, and how satellite EO can enhance efficiency in discovery, assessment, and monitoring. The workshop fostered discussions on industry-specific issues, and participants collaborated to brainstorm potential solutions.

The workshop aims to foster new partnerships, encouraging attendees to further develop their ideas and apply for the Queensland Earth Observation Hub’s funding program, which has a special focus on critical minerals in the upcoming round.

In line with the workshop’s objectives, the call for applications for the Queensland Earth Observation Hub funding program is now open. EO technology is increasingly influential in Queensland’s critical minerals sector, offering opportunities for innovation and efficiency across the entire mining process, from exploration to rehabilitation. New technologies and datasets, including SAR and hyperspectral imaging and machine learning, open exciting prospects in these activities.

The Queensland Earth Observation Hub invites industry and research organisations in Queensland to collaborate and explore these opportunities by submitting applications for the funding program. While the program prioritises critical minerals, it also welcomes proposals from other sectors.

OpenGov Asia reported earlier that to situate Western Australia as a prominent hub for space operations and exploration in the Southern Hemisphere, the state’s Premier unveiled an investment of AU$5 million in the Perth-based facility.

This financial infusion is strategically aimed at enhancing the facility’s technological capabilities for space missions and, importantly, attracting leading global experts to Western Australia. Such a move strategically positions Fugro SpAARC to support a wide array of international space endeavours from its base in Perth.

In addition, this funding injection promises to fortify an existing partnership with the reputable US company which is actively engaged in supporting forthcoming lunar missions as part of NASA’s ambitious Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative. This collaboration represents a promising synergy in the realm of space exploration and technology development.

The investment itself is facilitated through the Government’s Investment Attraction Fund; a vital resource dedicated to fostering projects that not only encourage substantial investments in Western Australia but also actively stimulate the creation of local jobs. In addition, this initiative plays a pivotal role in diversifying the region’s economy, an aspect that is increasingly critical in a dynamic global landscape.

This financial support stands as a powerful addition to the AU$3.5 million previously allocated by the Western Australian Government. Additionally, the Australian Space Agency had already contributed AU$4.5 million towards the establishment of SpAARC in 2022, further underscoring the significance of this initiative on both a regional and national scale.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their collaborators have constructed a superconducting camera featuring 400,000 pixels. Superconducting cameras are instrumental in capturing faint light signals, whether originating from distant celestial objects or intricate regions of the human brain. The increased pixel count can unlock numerous fresh possibilities in scientific and biomedical research.

Image credits: nist.gov

The NIST camera comprises grids of ultrathin electrical wires cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, enabling the flow of electrical current without resistance. In this realm of superconducting nanowire cameras, the impact of a single photon is discernible as it disrupts superconductivity at a specific grid location, known as a pixel. Integrating data from all pixel locations, including the respective photon intensities, forms a complete image.

The earliest superconducting cameras that detect individual photons were developed over two decades ago. However, these devices were confined to a mere few thousand pixels, limiting their utility in various applications.

Creating a superconducting camera with a significantly increased pixel count presented multiple challenges. This was primarily due to the immense difficulty in connecting each chilled pixel to its unique readout wire when dealing with many pixels.

The reason behind this challenge lies in the necessity to cool each camera component to ultralow temperatures for proper functioning. Establishing individual connections for hundreds of thousands of pixels to the cooling system was deemed practically unfeasible.

To overcome this obstacle, researchers at NIST, including Adam McCaughan and Bakhrom Oripov, collaborated with scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the University of Colorado Boulder, devised an innovative solution. They opted to consolidate the signals from multiple pixels onto just a few readout wires operating at room temperature.

Superconducting wires handle current up to a critical max without resistance. Researchers applied a current just below this level to sensors. A single photon disrupts superconductivity, redirecting the wind to generate a detectable electrical signal.

The NIST team utilised a grid of intersecting superconducting nanowires resembling a tic-tac-toe board. Pixels, marked by the intersections of vertical and horizontal nanowires, enabled simultaneous signal measurement in rows and columns. This design reduced the need for individual readout wires. They placed superconducting cables parallel to the rows and columns to achieve this.

This approach reduced the required readout wires by measuring entire rows or columns of pixels concurrently. Superconducting wires ran parallel to the rows and columns, with a single photon creating a hotspot, generating two voltage pulses in opposite directions. This allowed the detection of the pixel’s location within the column. A second superconducting wire parallel to the columns served a similar role.

The detectors detected signals with a 50-trillionth-of-a-second precision and counted up to 100,000 photons per second. After adopting the new architecture, they quickly increased the pixel count from 20,000 to 400,000. In the upcoming year, the team’s objectives include enhancing the sensitivity of the prototype camera to the point where it can capture virtually every incoming photon.

This advancement will empower the camera to address low-light tasks such as imaging faint galaxies or planets beyond the solar system, quantifying light in photon-based quantum computers, and contributing to biomedical investigations that utilise near-infrared light to delve into human tissue.

The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is strengthening its bonds with French organisations, forging ahead to explore the frontiers of science and innovation. This initiative involves a diverse range of fields, from quantum physics and nuclear energy to satellite engineering, remote sensing, sustainability, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and neural networks.

Image credit: ntu.edu.sg

At the heart of this collaboration lies the 3rd Singapore-France Joint Committee on Science and Innovation (JCSI), a platform designed to foster research cooperation between France and Singapore in the field of science and technology.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, and the Chairman of the National Research Foundation, Singapore witnessed the signing of several groundbreaking agreements that were a testament to the dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, a cornerstone of academic and scientific partnerships.

One noteworthy partnership, geared towards sustainability, involves a renewed injection of S$20 million into the NTU Singapore-CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy (SCARCE). This joint research centre, established in 2018, has already made significant strides in developing eco-friendly methods to recycle e-waste, including lithium-ion batteries, silicon solar panels, and printed circuit boards.

This Phase 2 funding, supported by Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA), NTU, and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) aims to expand these projects in collaboration with industry partners.

To usher in a cleaner future with reduced emissions from fossil fuels, NTU and CEA have joined forces to research fusion technologies through the Singapore Alliance with France for Fusion Energy (SAFE). Fusion, the process of producing energy by combining two atoms, holds the promise of emissions-free energy. By harnessing CEA’s expertise in plasma physics and NTU’s deep knowledge of AI and ML, this collaboration may pave the way for the development of fusion reactors.

In the field of quantum technologies, a joint project titled N-GAP will unite Singapore and France in the pursuit of quantum logic gates, a vital component of advanced computing. This collaboration, hosted by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) @ Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE), will leverage the unique properties of exciton-polaritons, particles that are both half-light and half-matter. These tiny structures at the nanoscale offer a pathway to revolutionise computing.

The JSCI also marked the renewal of Majulab, a joint research laboratory involving CNRS, Sorbonne University, University Cote de Azur, NTU, and NUS. Through Majulab, scientists have secured European grants to develop exciton-polaritons neural networks, which draw inspiration from the interconnected neurons in the human brain. These networks hold the potential for advanced ML, data processing, and pattern recognition, applicable to both classical and quantum physics.

The collaboration between NTU and Université PSL also signifies a significant development in the form of a joint PhD degree programme. This initiative aims to train scientists and engineers in fields such as electrical and electronic engineering, materials science and engineering, physics, photonics, quantum technologies, and sustainable technologies.

Further enhancing the spirit of collaboration, NTU together with technology corporations signed a collaboration agreement to renew the Smart Small Satellite Systems Thales in NTU (S4TIN) joint lab. S4TIN, the only Franco-Singapore academic-industry joint lab on space technologies, aims to tackle the challenges of space weather, specifically ionospheric effects, which impact the accuracy of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

Also, by improving models to predict ionospheric conditions, this research will provide crucial support to aviation and maritime operations. Also, by developing compact satellite payloads and data processing techniques, S4TIN will contribute to more accurate environmental models, benefiting applications like haze forecasts, volcanic threat prediction, and ocean and coast monitoring.

A significant initiative driving innovation in Australia is the CSIRO Kick-Start program, which fosters collaboration with inventive Australian startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This program extends financial support and offers access to their research expertise and capabilities, facilitating the growth and development of these businesses.

Celebrating their sponsorship of ‘Track 2050’ at the inaugural SXSW Sydney conference alongside their deep tech investment fund, Main Sequence Ventures, CSIRO is inviting a variety of stakeholders to explore what the world may look like in the year 2050.

Innovations in Health Science

One of the groundbreaking advancements made possible through CSIRO’s collaborations is the development of RealBrain® by a Pharmaceutical company in Southbank, Australia. This platform represents a substantial leap forward in the field of neurological research, as it allows for safe clinical trials without relying on animal testing. Traditional methods use animals like rats, mice, and primates to assess the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, often leading to the failure of human clinical trials for neurological diseases.

RealBrain® employs advanced three-dimensional in-vitro models with human cells arranged in a 3D architecture and functional neural networks, enabling more accurate predictions of human brain tissue responses. This revolutionary technology enhances the reliability and ethical nature of drug testing, accelerating the development of treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, ultimately impacting the lives of millions.

Revolutionising Blood Testing

Traditional blood collection tubes do not suffice for anticoagulated hospital patients or those taking blood-thinning medications. To address this challenge, an Australian medical technology startup collaborated with CSIRO to develop a blood collection tube capable of rapidly producing high-quality serum from all types of blood samples, including anticoagulated blood. This innovation employs patented formulations and pro-coagulant proteins from snake venom called ‘prothrombin activators,’ ensuring that blood testing becomes more effective and, in turn, saves lives.

Green and Cost-Effective Energy Solutions

In 2050, envision a world where urban landscapes are vibrant and eco-friendly, powered primarily by renewable energy sources. CSIRO has worked with a company that is helping to accelerate Australia’s hydrogen economy using renewable energy to develop sustainable and cost-competitive hydrogen solutions that use renewable energy sources like waste biogas. This innovation addresses the challenge of efficient and cost-effective storage and transportation, particularly in the transport sector.

Furthermore, to combat the significant energy-related CO2 emissions from the commercial shipping industry, CSIRO collaborated with a Hobart-based company to provide accurate oceanographic data to the commercial shipping sector, enabling them to save fuel and reduce emissions.

Additionally, CSIRO supported a local start-up in developing a predictive model for forecasting wholesale electricity prices, empowering consumers to adapt their energy consumption for cost savings.

Functional Food

The gastronomic landscape in 2050 is set to be transformed with healthy and sustainable products, such as fortified and functional foods. Two Australian companies have merged nutritional science and food technology to create products enriched with healthy ingredients and nutrients.

The first firm, a health food company based in Queensland, partnered with CSIRO to understand the unique benefits of their ‘super-cereal’ product, Blend11, which was known to promote healthy gut microbiome fermentation and increase the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid crucial for bowel health. This discovery gained the attention of health professionals working with gut issues like IBS.

Through a CSIRO Kick-Start project, the other firm is addressing the growing demand for plant-based protein sources by optimising the protein content extracted from fava beans to exceed 80%.

Sustainable Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

Thanks to collaborative efforts with CSIRO Kick-Start, a range of sustainable solutions to single-use plastics is on the horizon. An Australian impact enterprise has worked with CSIRO to develop FABtec, a novel material made from recycled school uniforms that can be used in creating furniture, kitchen benches, and more, offering an eco-friendly alternative to conventional materials.

Furthermore, a start-up based in Western Australia is producing an alternative to petroleum-based plastic using seaweed. They create a class of biomaterials known as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) through a process involving sugar conversion and fermentation, closely mimicking petrochemical plastics but in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.

OpenGov Asia reported earlier that the Tech Council of Australia (TCA) is working towards the establishment of the bipartisan Parliamentary Friendship Group on Tech and Innovation. This group was formally introduced during an event co-hosted by TCA and the Business Council of Australia, where they discussed the potential and challenges associated with the development and adoption of AI in Australia.

In recent years, Auckland’s tech industry has faced a challenge — retaining homegrown talent as many sought opportunities abroad. This brain drain, where local talents migrate to other countries, has created skill gaps that Auckland’s tech companies have had to address creatively.

While Auckland has experienced a brain drain, it is important to highlight how the tech companies have managed to thrive. With nearly half of New Zealand’s tech businesses based in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), these firms are determined to find high-quality talent to support their growth and innovation.

With the world becoming increasingly interconnected through digital technology, Auckland-based companies have realised the potential of tapping into a diverse international talent pool. This influx of international talent fills skill gaps and contributes to the city’s vibrant and culturally diverse tech ecosystem. Auckland is embracing and leveraging this diversity as a competitive advantage in the global tech industry.

The tech industry, driven by digital technologies, offers flexible career opportunities. This allows talented individuals to work for New Zealand companies from overseas or join international organisations while residing in Auckland. This shift towards a more global tech ecosystem sustains Auckland’s tech industry and propels it to new heights.

Auckland’s tech industry is witnessing a positive transformation in attracting talent and securing investment. In light of this, the New Zealand government recognises the opportunity to advance the nation’s digital technology sector further. They have developed strategies and initiatives to harness the potential of technology-driven growth.

In 2021, the government introduced an International Migration Plan with a multifaceted aim, focusing on strategically managing and leveraging international migration for the country’s benefit. It is essential to clarify that while there isn’t a specific plan called “International Migration to NZ Plan,” New Zealand has several policies and initiatives related to international migration, all geared toward achieving specific objectives.

One of the primary goals of New Zealand’s international migration strategy is to support and stimulate economic growth. This involves attracting skilled migrants and entrepreneurs who can fill skill gaps and drive industry growth in the healthcare, IT, and engineering sectors.

Its digital infrastructure, education, and innovation investments reflect the government’s commitment to the tech sector. Initiatives like the “Digital Technologies for All Equity Fund” aim to bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion and equity, contributing to a more vibrant tech industry.

With a collaborative approach that welcomes global talent and diverse perspectives, Auckland’s tech sector is evolving into a dynamic, inclusive, and globally competitive ecosystem. As the industry continues to grow, it is obvious that Auckland’s tech industry has a future locally and on the world stage.

The city’s commitment to diverse voices is a crucial advantage, creating a melting pot of fresh ideas. Digital careers offer flexibility and global reach, sustaining the tech sector. New Zealand’s government chips in with the “Digital Technologies for All Equity Fund,” ensuring no one gets left behind, fostering inclusivity in New Zealand.

Auckland’s tech ecosystem offers jobs in various sectors, enriching professionals and the community. Diverse international migration boosts innovation and economic growth, making Auckland a global tech hub to watch


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Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.