Financial institutions can incur losses in a variety of ways and these risks are becoming more complex as technology advances. With the growth of the digital enterprise, banks face challenges in maintaining data quality and security, as well as making data-driven decisions, because they deal with a vast amount of partially structured and unstructured data points.
Almost all risk management strategies are based on awareness and transparency. While data collection and analytics tools are now widely available, organisations still struggle to integrate several sources of data and outdated infrastructure to determine the best course of action.
To ease their digital transition, banks should shift from manual to automated, information-driven, real-time systems with the right partners and technologies. However, banks must have system design and controls in place to address the numerous operational and security risks associated with digital banking.
The OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 09 June 2022 focused on how to thrive in the digital banking environment to maintain its competitiveness and security and offer the best customer experience possible.
Robust Security Strategies
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia believes that business security breaches are making headlines emphasising data fragility and the absence of effective security policies in organisations of all sizes.
Data security is vital in both private and government sectors, and everything from financial data to employee information must be safeguarded. One’s reputation and finances could be harmed if one’s security is breached.
“As the pandemic spread around the world over the past years, most organisations have made it a top priority to manage their operations or services remotely. A lot of employees and employers have to adjust to the new normal of working from home,” observes Mohit. “As more individuals go cashless and more digital options are offered, activities and transactions are increasingly taking place online.”
With the rise of digitalisation, cybersecurity threats have also increased substantially. The fundamental goal of cybersecurity in digital banking is to protect the interests of its customers, their staff and their reputation.
Mohit opines that digital banking security must become far more robust and comprehensive because the banking industry has become increasingly susceptible to cyber strikes with the wider attack surface online transactions provide.
He acknowledged that an increasingly complicated digital workplace demands leaders who can foster an agile attitude to achieve long-term success. With the assistance of the right partnerships, banks and other financial institutions may be able to achieve flawless cybersecurity that does not expose their clients’ data and funds.
Mastering Digital Agility
Mike Hooper, Director, Digital Transformation (APAC), OpenText spoke on how to empower people and processes with a holistic approach to technology. He explained that people and processes will be more effective if they are provided with the information they require.
“A successful transformation should focus on establishing digital agility,” Mike states. “The ability to foresee and respond to rapidly changing situations is at the forefront of most business leaders’ minds considering tremendous technological advances and an increasingly disruptive operating environment.”
What is important for banks is satisfying their customers’ needs by ensuring a uniform banking experience regardless of platform or channel. In the future, financial institutions will need to determine the role of each entity.
Financial institutions must manage digital risk, enhance customer experience, transform their businesses to become future-ready and create a more resilient financial services ecosystem. They may have to rethink business models and alter customer relationships using digital technology and procedures.
Compliance with digital banking services must be prioritised to ensure that banks and other financial institutions can detect any fraudulent actions and continue to provide their services.
Banks and other financial institutions have made substantial investments in their services and products, and they must stay as close as possible to the emerging and latent demands of their clients. Even governments need to ensure the security of their digital transactions by taking a comprehensive picture of clients and services.
Both the private and public sectors can use metadata to better comprehend documents, and its archiving is the key to accessing the information. A partnership is the best solution for privacy protection.
Through Core for Federated Compliance, which provides cross-repository visibility and policy control for transparency and defensibility of organisational information governance processes and reporting, OpenText can assist any organisation in scaling up their current system without compromising the old one.
Digital Dialogue: Experts on Regulations Strategies in Digital Banking
In the next session Mohit engaged in an in-depth conversation with Nishy Ramos, First Vice President, IT Solutions Delivery, BDO Unibank and Dr David R. Hardoon, Chief Data and AI Officer, Union Bank of the Philippines.
Digital banking specialists have been brought in to examine how technology may help reduce the danger and cost of uncontrolled data while maintaining regulatory compliance.
Mohit invited the guests to share their opinions on the outlook of digital transformation from their perspective. The discussion centred around regulation plans, from a strategic standpoint, as well as the use of tools or technology by IT specialists from the banking sector.
According to Nishy Ramos, First Vice President, IT Solutions Delivery, BDO Unibank, it is critical to perform proactive interactions and understand where the organisation is heading and collaborate closely with an internal team.
She believes that understanding the customers’ demands digitally and employing technology is important for a bank, government or any industry, “We study our customer’s profile this helps us to understand their needs.”
The main issue that most firms face is that risk managers do not always understand data, and data managers do not always understand risk. These companies are giving their employees access to a more holistic approach to data management through data or knowledge portals. Instead of wasting time trying to make sense of vast amounts of disparate data, users can gain more accurate and timely insights.
Furthermore, as the world remains in the grips of the pandemic, the significance of holistic digital services in banking becomes clearer, which has further strengthened the case for why conversational banking is the game-changer in digital consumer engagement.
“Every organisation takes a different approach, but the most important is centralisation. It is the ability to comprehend your clients.” According to Dr David R. Hardoon, Chief Data and AI Officer, Union Bank of the Philippines. “Sharing is caring! Leveraging the skills from other experiences will strengthen the industry and can boost the digital economy.”
Banks and other financial institutions must continuously assess and manage cyber risks by monitoring their organisational information systems and operational environments. This will help to verify compliance, determine the effectiveness of risk response measures, and identify risk-impacting changes.
In addition to being compliant and supervised by regulatory agencies, data “centralisation is the key”, creating metadata that may benefit organisations in constructing an ecosystem.
Moreover, transparency both internally and publicly must be improved by clearly defined firm spending standards, which include pre-set thresholds for teams and individual employees. It also demands trust and accountability, as well as empowering people to take control of how they spend for the organisation.
Technology centralisation must be implemented and to improve security and cost, the banking industry must test cloud-based services and deploy testing tools. Big data analytics is used by banks to create customer-centric and customer-driven solutions. Because big data is synonymous with massive amounts of data, ensuring the app’s scalability and security is crucial.
Following the informative presentations, delegates engaged in interactive dialogues aided by polling questions. Through live audience interaction, participation, and the sharing of real-life experiences, this is intended to provide participants with professional learning and growth.
Delegates had the opportunity to learn from subject matter experts, exchange their experiences and bring back methods to their organisations.
The first poll asked the delegates what their top priority is when choosing the right technology. A majority (47%) went with providing the ability to consolidate information sources and reduce architecture complexity and costs. Just over a quarter (28%) indicated they adopt technology that supports business data – creation, management, delivery and analysis processes (28%) while a fourth (25%) support the creation of a holistic view of Information (Structured, Unstructured and Paper) across the organisation.
Clarence Goh, Senior Vice President, Head of Process Development & Data Management, HSBC Singapore said that it is a holistically view if they combine with the appropriate partners and serve their clients better. He also believes in the centralisation of digital space. Tawan Jitavech, Chief, Technology Officer, Kasikornbank concurred with this perspective.
Kok Foong Lee, Senior Vice President, Technology and Operations, DBS Bank said various organisations have different needs and agreed on the importance of centralising digital space. Gaurav Gupta, Senior Vice President, Head of IT Audit Management and IT Regulatory Management, United Overseas Bank said digitisation improves the economy.
Fransiscus Kaurrany, Executive, Chief Architect Officer, Bank Central Asia agreed that it is all about priority and execution and making sure that the technology they are using is appropriate for their organisations. He cited that people is the most important to them because they are the one who will choose the technology.
On what their IT department’s most important priority is, about 42% said that building more resilient infrastructure and enabling enterprise-wide business capability was a priority. Over a quarter (28%) chose to better innovation and agility through digital maturity while 14% went with digital record-keeping to better support government legislation and improve and reduce maintenance costs.
For Joko Christianto, Head of IT Strategic Planning & Development Division, PT Bank Tabungan Negara documentation is important. Robert Malabao, Section Head, Internal Audit Analytics, BDO Unibank, Inc., believes that technology can hasten the development of a more robust business future.
Andrew Ooi, Head of Disaster Risk Recovery, CIMB Bank Singapore shared that innovation is the key to being successful in their industry. Wei Ling Tan, Senior Data Scientist, Maybank felt that employees’ experiences are important for her because the people will utilise technology effectively if they have the right skill set.
Johan Suparto, Head of Business Automation System, PT Bank Mega Finance is convinced that infrastructure is most important since customers would leave if they are unsatisfied with the products. Zafirah Muhamad Zulkapley, Head, IT Audit, Bank Rakyat shared that they aim to move forward and find the whole balance in the digital ecosystem.
Merlyn Nuguid Section Head, Information System Audit BDO Unibank, Inc. mentioned that businesses need to be very competitive with the other organisations’ Infrastructure and there is a high demand to scale up to digital maturity.
Looking for the key challenge delegates face when managing change in data/business requirements, over a third (36%) felt that employee skillsets were an issue, The next two issues were a lack of flexibility/agility and data governance framework in current systems (26%) and a reluctance to consider or adopt new technologies (21%). The remaining 15% were concerned about the time involved in making changes.
Jittrakorn Juthakan, Head of Cybersecurity/ Chief Information Security Officer, HSBC Thailand said that data is a major challenge for them, but they are confident in employee skill sets since individuals will work for the company.
The Breakfast Insight concluded with remarks from Randy Goh, Regional Vice President, Southeast Asia OpenText, who believes that the lack of communication and shared understanding between data and risk teams is a big barrier in many organisations.
The first step in modifying the role of risk functions in a modern organisation is to encourage teamwork and shared work practices. In digital transformation, people and procedures are the most important aspects. This would result in a massive opportunity to create long-term financial value for private companies and government agencies.
Although technology may significantly alter how an organisation operates, digitalisation cannot reach its full potential without a strong emphasis on change management.
Placing the right individuals in the proper roles is critical to an organisation’s success. They are the ones who make a company operate, thus it’s best to always value their talents and be assisted in learning how to use new technologies by their respective organisations.
Furthermore, numerous procedures are automated to improve the efficacy and precision of digital banking, enabling financial institutions to optimise their services and business models through digitisation and new technologies. To optimise and expedite payment processes, the financial services sector is under pressure to comply with new regulations and security concerns.
“Consider what technology fits your organisation and would not only deliver but also manage your needs,” Randy said.
He concluded his remarks by thanking the delegates and offering the support of his organisation, encouraging delegates to reach out to him and his team to explore further steps.
Rehabilitation services have gained increasing significance, as highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat during RehabWeek 2023. The demand for rehab services is growing worldwide due to an ageing population and a rising incidence of chronic diseases. To meet this demand and improve outcomes, the field of rehabilitation is embracing innovation, particularly through advancements in technology, robotics, and digitalisation.
Rehabilitation plays a crucial role in enabling individuals, regardless of age, to regain independence and participate meaningfully in daily life. With the World Health Organisation estimating that 1 in 3 people globally may benefit from rehab services, the importance of this field cannot be overstated.
Beyond individual well-being, rehabilitation contributes to productive longevity and reduces downstream medical costs when integrated into holistic care plans. Thus, it aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of “healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.”
Deputy Prime Minister Heng shared his personal experience as a stroke survivor, emphasising the pivotal role that therapists and early rehabilitation played in his recovery journey. Early rehab interventions were instrumental in mitigating the debilitating effects of extended bed rest in the ICU. Dedicated therapists, combined with intensive rehab, enabled him to regain full functionality, underscoring the transformative potential of rehabilitation services.
Innovations in rehabilitation leverage broader trends like robotics and digitalisation. These innovations offer precision rehabilitation, tailoring treatment plans to individual needs. They also mitigate manpower constraints by augmenting human efforts with technology.
For instance, robotics-assisted physiotherapy and games-based cognitive exercises are becoming increasingly prevalent. Moreover, virtual rehabilitation has gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, enhancing convenience and empowering patients to take charge of their rehab journeys from home.
Many societies are facing the dual challenge of an ageing population and a declining workforce to provide rehabilitation services. Technology is critical in augmenting these efforts to meet growing demand. Innovations in rehabilitation enhance its effectiveness and accessibility, ensuring that patients follow through with and benefit from rehab programs.
Singapore is at the forefront of innovative rehabilitation practices. Its acute hospitals offer excellent rehab care services and conduct research to improve care. Notably, Tan Tock Seng Hospital is a pioneer in rehabilitation medicine. Changi General Hospital houses the Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technology (CHART), facilitating the synergy between clinical needs and technological innovation.
The One-Rehab Framework is a recent innovation in Singapore, ensuring timely access to rehabilitation care. This framework enables seamless care coordination across different settings and care team members through a common IT portal and harmonised clinical outcomes. It streamlines the sharing of relevant patient information and encourages right-siting of care within the community, reducing the burden on acute hospitals.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Heng, RehabWeek serves as a platform for delegates with diverse expertise and a shared commitment to advancing rehabilitation care. It encourages the sharing of best practices and useful technologies to strengthen collective impact, especially when addressing global challenges.
Singapore stands ready to collaborate with international partners, offering its strong ecosystem in research, innovation, and enterprise to advance the field of rehabilitation for the benefit of people worldwide.
He added that rehabilitation is evolving and embracing technological innovations to meet the increasing demand for its services, especially in ageing societies. “Collaboration, innovation, and a focus on the last-mile delivery of care are crucial for ensuring that individuals can live well and maximise their potential through effective rehabilitation,” Deputy Prime Minister Heng said. “Singapore’s commitment to these principles makes it a valuable partner in advancing the frontiers of rehabilitation on a global scale.”
The Vietnamese government has said that digital transformation and green transformation are inevitable global trends. They have a crucial role in enhancing economic growth, labour productivity, competitiveness, production, and business efficiency. They also reduce reliance on fuel sources that cause pollution and minimise carbon footprint.
To discuss digital and green transformation for sustainable development and to foster networking opportunities for businesses to accelerate their green transitions, the Ministry of Science and Technology held a forum in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
Domestic and international scientists, along with representatives from organisations and technology companies, deliberated on strategies to speed up green and digital transformations. They underscored the importance of advancing technological innovation and implementing reforms in human resource management, training, and quality enhancement to create new products and processes. This, in turn, will boost business value, aid in the delivery of better goods and services to society, and expedite Vietnam’s industrialisation and modernisation processes.
Participants suggested the establishment of a support mechanism for industries implementing green and digital transformation solutions in Vietnamese businesses. They also stressed that it is necessary to promote Horizon Europe’s international cooperation programme on joint research and innovation for Vietnam and have comprehensive digital transformation solutions for businesses.
During the forum, Quang Ninh province representatives, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), businesses, and organisations exchanged memoranda of understanding regarding collaboration in the domains of digital transformation and green transformation.
Vietnam has been introducing emerging technologies in the agricultural sector to promote sustainable growth. Earlier this year, the government announced plans to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) for the optimisation of farming practices, including weather prediction, monitoring of plant and livestock health, and enhancing product quality.
AI can improve crop productivity and help control pests, diseases, and cultivation conditions. It can improve the performance of farming-related tasks across food supply chains. Advancements in the manufacturing of AI-controlled robots are assisting farmers worldwide in utilising less land and labour while simultaneously boosting production output.
Vietnam’s commitment to technological advancements in agriculture extends beyond AI, as highlighted by the government’s plans to harness biotechnology. In September, the Politburo issued a resolution under which Vietnam aims to be among the top ten Asian countries in biotechnology production and services by 2030.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the biotechnology sector is on the verge of becoming a significant economic and technological industry, with an expected 50% rise in the number of companies in terms of investment size and growth rate. Additionally, it is projected that half of the imported biotechnology products will be substituted by domestic production. This sector is anticipated to make a 7% contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Vietnam aims to establish a thriving biotechnology sector by 2045, positioning itself as a prominent centre for smart production, services, biotechnology startups, and innovation in Asia. This sector is expected to contribute 10% to 15% to the GDP by that year.
As a result of its tropical climate and its economic shift away from agriculture, biotechnology plays a vital role in Vietnam’s industrialisation and modernisation efforts. It contributes significantly to ensuring food security, facilitating economic restructuring, and promoting sustainable development. Furthermore, in environmental conservation, biotechnology has brought forth numerous solutions. These include the breakdown of inorganic and organic pollutants, waste treatment, industrial waste processing, and the use of microorganisms to address oil spills and incidents of oil contamination.
Vietnam can focus on developing various aspects within the biotechnology sector, such as agricultural advancements in crop and animal breeding, manufacturing veterinary drugs, developing vaccines, and creating bio-fertilizers.
The agricultural sector continues to experience technological advancements. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a part of the modern agricultural industry. AI technology is used in various aspects, from production and management to marketing. Agriculture heavily relies on weather, soil, and the environment. Therefore, AI technology related to drones and sensors is essential to support precision agriculture
Drones’ ability to rapidly scan areas with high-quality sensors is beneficial in various applications, including crop mapping, soil analysis, environmental surveys, livestock monitoring, and infrastructure surveillance.
In light of this, the Food Crops Research Centre (PRTP) of the Agriculture and Food Research Organisation (ORPP) under the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) held an occasion regarding AI technology in the development of drones and sensors and its applications in agriculture.
Puji Lestari, the Head of ORPP BRIN, expressed that this occasion would benefit BRIN and other stakeholders. She emphasised that combining drone and sensor technology would create innovative solutions to address food availability challenges.
Furthermore, Puji also highlighted that precision agriculture is closely tied to the availability of tools. Implementing AI in rapid data analysis as a basis for decision-making, ranging from planting and feeding to irrigation and harvesting, is expected to benefit farmers.
The AI-based capabilities, including high-quality sensors and scanning, enable rapid work and real-time data processing, plant identification, and decision-making to support productivity targets. Therefore, the Food Crops Research Centre should provide more opportunities to utilise AI-based technology that supports increased crop productivity,” he emphasised.
At the same time, the Head of PRTP BRIN, Yudhistira Nugraha, also acknowledged that technological advancements have become inevitable. Through the science community, AI researchers are expected to actively contribute to utilising AI technology, turning it into a valuable science that can be applied to agricultural development in Indonesia.
“We can gain many benefits using AI technology for monitoring agricultural land, including fertiliser usage, fertility identification, plant growth, and with the help of AI technology, farmers can make decisions and take actions that can be applied in the farming system to increase productivity,” he explained.
Tri Surya Harapan, Research Manager at a company that provides sales of drones and surveillance services for agriculture, the environment, defence, forestry, and marine purposes, explained about multispectral cameras that provide information on plant health and management.
“AI is widely known for replicating human intelligence and can be simulated using computer systems. Automation sensors embedded in drones, such as camera sensors, LIDAR sensors, or other advanced sensors, provide valuable information as decision-makers in the field without direct human intervention,” he said.
“The use of AI with drone and sensor technology requires relatively high service costs, so in its implementation, collaboration with stakeholders on a large scale is needed,” Tri clarified.
Meanwhile, Senior Researcher at PRTP BRIN, Muhammad Aqil, discussed the Utilisation of Drone Technology in Food Crop Research. This is in line with the direction of the President of Indonesia in the 2021 National IPTEK Coordination Meeting, which emphasises the use of modern technology and contribution to the era of Industry 4.0, including the application of artificial intelligence technology to support all fields/activities, including agriculture.
“We have gone through several stages before reaching Industry 4.0, and now it’s time to use drone technology to monitor the nutrient status of plants, quickly detect pest attacks (OPT – Plant Pest Organisms), check strain contamination, inspect seed production data cells, and determine the harvest time,” said Aqil.
Aqil concluded that the vegetation index-based model developed for the selection of corn genotypes, which are tolerant to both NDVI and NDRE, has proven capable of predicting harvest yields and the best genotype types in corn variety selection in the field.
“By integrating drones and image analysis, it could support research activities, especially in the field,” Aqil added.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated several digital projects for the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) as part of its 276th Annual Day celebrations. The initiatives include:
The Summary of Accounts, Budget, and Expenditure for Raksha Mantralaya (the Ministry of Defence) tool aims to provide a more accurate and objective view of defence financial information like payment, accounting, and budgeting in India.
This analytics tool integrates, compiles, sanitises, and standardises financial data from various applications, data sources, and databases. It then offers a real-time, comprehensive platform with dashboard features, allowing users to visualise trends, display metrics, present graphs illustrating key performance indicators, and generate reports, among other functionalities.
SARANSH will function as a complete dashboard for higher management, offering a quick overview of all defence expenditures. It enables centralised monitoring and encourages data-driven decision-making for all defence organisations.
The Bill Information and Work Analysis System will function as a dashboard for various Principal Controllers of Defence Accounts (PCsDA)/ Controllers of Defence Accounts (CsDA), providing different infographics to monitor and analyse the whole process flow of bill management. It will also generate reports on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It provides real-time detailed analyses of bill processing, with interactive visualisations of granular data flowing through the various office automation systems within a controller office.
E-Raksha Awaas is a centralised and comprehensive software package designed to enhance and streamline the process of generating rent and related charges for rentable buildings within Defence Services. It also facilitates the prompt remission of these charges to government accounts. This package acts as a unified online platform for all stakeholders engaged in the generation, recovery, and remission of rent and allied charges.
Minister Singh described the DAD as the guardian of defence finance and commended its efforts to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities through transparent and efficient systems, praising its prudent resource management and output optimisation.
He suggested ways to improve the department’s efficiency such as encouraging DAD officials to enhance their professional skills to address the challenges posed by “constantly evolving times”. He urged them to partner with organisations like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to create and implement customised training modules, as per requirements.
Providing financial advice is one of the DAD’s most crucial responsibilities, the Minister noted. The DAD should consider two key aspects when offering financial advice: a realistic assessment of the demands of the user agency and a thorough understanding of the product’s market.
He explained that it is important to evaluate whether there is a need to purchase a product and whether a similar product of equal or greater effectiveness is available in the market at a lower cost. This understanding will enhance the quality of financial advice.
Furthermore, to foster such an understanding, Singh suggested establishing an in-house mechanism—a standing committee of experienced individuals who can research and analyse market forces and offer valuable insights to field officers. “Big banks and financial institutions develop in-house economic intelligence and research teams. On similar lines, the DAD needs to develop an in-house team for market research and intelligence,” he stated.
It is also vital to strengthen the internal vigilance mechanism to detect and review suspicious activity. This will not only expedite addressing issues but also enhance public trust in the department, the Minister said.
Scientists from Washington University in St. Louis have created a sonobiopsy method to diagnose brain disease. The Sonobiopsy method employs ultrasound and microbubbles to momentarily breach the barrier, enabling brain RNA, DNA, and proteins to enter the bloodstream for analysis. While this technique was initially tested on animals, a recent study demonstrates its safety and viability for human use. This innovation may pave the way for non-invasive brain disease and tumour diagnostics.
Eric Leuthardt, MD, co-senior author and co-inventor of the technology, stated that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) drastically transformed brain disease diagnosis in the 1980s and ’90s, offering structural and functional brain imaging capabilities.
Leuthardt, the Shi Hui Huang Professor of Neurosurgery and a professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering referred to sonobiopsy as the third revolution, emphasising its molecular aspect. This innovative technique allows blood sample collection reflecting gene expression and molecular characteristics at the brain lesion site, essentially performing a brain biopsy without the associated risks of surgery.
Eric Leuthardt and Hong Chen, PhD, Associate Professors of Biomedical Engineering at McKelvey Engineering and Neurosurgery at the School of Medicine, developed the groundbreaking technique, focusing on multidisciplinary research to create engineered solutions for neurological diseases.
The technique employs focused ultrasound to target a brain lesion at a millimetre scale. Subsequently, microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream, travelling to the designated area and bursting, creating minuscule, temporary openings in the blood-brain barrier. These openings naturally close within a few hours, causing no lasting harm. Within this time frame, brain lesion biomolecules can exit the bloodstream, facilitating their collection through a standard blood draw.
Hong Chen, another Senior Co-author and co-inventor of the technology described this innovation as initiating a new field for brain-related conditions. It offers the capability to noninvasively and nondestructively access all brain regions, enabling the retrieval of genetic information about tumours before surgical procedures.
This information aids neurosurgeons in determining the best approach to surgery, helping confirm the nature of suspicious findings on imaging. Furthermore, it paves the way for studying diseases that typically don’t undergo surgical biopsies, including neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders.
Initially, the researchers utilised a commercially available ultrasound device combined with an MRI scanner, a setup limited by cost and MRI availability. To streamline the procedure, Hong Chen’s team designed a portable, handheld ultrasound probe that could be attached to a stereotactic pointer commonly used by neurosurgeons for pinpointing brain lesions. This device was seamlessly integrated into the clinical workflow, requiring no additional training for neurosurgeons.
Eric Leuthardt emphasised the user-friendliness of this device, stating that it was efficiently utilised during the study in the operating room but could also be employed in a clinic or at a patient’s bedside in a hospital. He noted that this approach was a significant step toward making advanced diagnostics more accessible, enabling the examination of patients’ brains without needing a high-tech, multimillion-dollar scanner.
In their research, the team conducted sonobiopsies on five individuals with brain tumours using this device. Subsequently, the tumours were removed surgically following the standard care protocol.
The analysis of blood samples collected before and after sonication revealed that the technique increased circulating tumour DNA, ranging from 1.6-fold to 5.6-fold, depending on the specific type of DNA examined.
Circulating tumour DNA holds crucial information about genetic alterations in a patient’s tumour, which guides treatment decisions regarding the tumour’s aggressiveness. Notably, the procedure showed no signs of causing damage to brain tissue, affirming its safety.
A collaboration in science and technology has emerged as the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation of Thailand (MHESI) joined forces with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China. The two nations came together to review the progress of ongoing collaborative projects and chart a course for future technological innovations.
The meeting was attended by figures in the field of science and technology, including Prof Dr Sirirurg Songsivilai, Permanent Secretary of MHESI, and Mr Zhang Guang Jun, Deputy Minister of MOST. Notably, Executive Vice President Dr Uracha Ruktanonchai represented the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), underlining the significance of the collaboration.
One of the projects under this collaborative effort is centred around rail technology. It combines the expertise of the Rail and Modern Transport Research Centre of NSTDA, the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR), and the China Railway Company. Their goal is to establish the China-Thailand Belt and Road Joint Laboratory on Rail Transit.
Public transportation is vital to modern urban life, shaping how people move within cities, reducing traffic congestion, and minimising the environmental footprint. As Thailand and China embark on collaborative endeavours in rail technology, they contribute to enhancing public transportation systems, which stand as a cornerstone of sustainable mobility.
This laboratory will be a hub for cutting-edge research and testing on rail transit systems. With Thailand’s high-speed train project on the horizon, this laboratory is poised to play a crucial role in ensuring its successful implementation.
The Thailand-China Technology Transfer Centre (TCTTC), a collaborative initiative led by NSTDA, represents another milestone in this partnership. TCTTC has fostered collaboration by facilitating researcher exchanges, supporting training programmes, and enabling business matching between Thai and Chinese enterprises. These initiatives have yielded positive outcomes for both nations.
As the collaboration looks ahead to 2024, TCTTC has set its sights on ramping up technology transfer activities in several key areas. Notably, the focus will be on digital technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and technologies. These forward-looking endeavours are driven by a shared commitment to addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leveraging innovation for sustainable growth and development.
The plans for 2024 reflect the landscape of technology and innovation. They also underscore Thailand and China’s shared commitment to harness innovation’s power for sustainable growth and development. As technology continues to reshape the global landscape, these collaborative efforts are set to make significant contributions across various sectors. Together, these two nations aim to create a powerful technological synergy that promises a brighter and more connected future on the global stage.
This recent meeting between MHESI and MOST marks a promising partnership at the intersection of science, technology, and innovation. With ongoing endeavours in rail technology and technology transfer, as well as forward-looking plans for digital technology and AI in 2024, the collaboration is poised to make significant contributions to the advancement of both Thailand and China. As these two nations combine their strengths, they stand to create a technological synergy that promises sustainable development and a brighter future on the global stage.
In an exciting collaboration between LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the future of electric vehicle (EV) design is undergoing a remarkable transformation. This pioneering effort, a testament to engineering excellence and design innovation, has birthed an avant-garde electric vehicle prototype that is making waves at LASALLE College of the Arts as part of Singapore Design Week.
Led by Nathan Yong, Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Product Design at LASALLE and a recipient of the President’s Design Award, three students from LASALLE, namely Choong Yu Haun, Namjot Kaur, and Joel Yong, joined forces with SUTD’s Electric Vehicle Club (EV Club) to embark on a journey that reimagines the art of electric vehicle design.
At the heart of this transformative project lies the innovative use of 3D printing technology, a disruptive force that is reshaping the automotive landscape. Drawing inspiration from the intricate and efficient forms found in nature, particularly in insects, the collaborative team has pushed the boundaries of design to create a body shell that epitomises speed, agility and a new benchmark for future electric vehicles.
In doing so, they have also made substantial strides towards sustainable transportation design, underscoring their commitment to environmental stewardship and technological advancement.
The result of this remarkable collaboration is the TITHONUS design, crafted by LASALLE students and based on the open-top tandem two-seater electric sports car initially designed and built by SUTD students.
This lightweight chassis houses a quad-motor electric powertrain capable of short 2-second bursts of up to 1,000Nm of torque. With double-wishbone suspension all around and 18-inch wheels regulated by disc brakes, TITHONUS is a testament to the fusion of creativity, engineering acumen, and digitalisation in the pursuit of a sustainable and thrilling automotive future.
LASALLE receives tuition grant support from Singapore’s Ministry of Education and is a founding member of the University of the Arts Singapore. Besides, the partnership between LASALLE and SUTD has not only pushed the boundaries of electric vehicle design but also showcased the transformative power of 3D printing technology and digitalisation in the realm of transportation.
Singapore’s commitment to sustainable mobility is evident in its ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impact of climate change. The government’s “Green Plan 2030” outlines a clear roadmap for transforming the country’s transportation sector. At the forefront of this transformation are electric vehicles, which are seen as a pivotal solution to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.
Digitalisation is the driving force behind Singapore’s electric vehicle revolution. The integration of digital technologies into every facet of the EV ecosystem is unlocking new possibilities and reshaping the way we perceive and use electric vehicles.
Also, central to the success of EVs is a robust charging infrastructure. Digitalisation has enabled the development of a smart charging network across Singapore. EV owners can easily locate charging stations through mobile apps, check availability in real time, and even make reservations. Additionally, predictive analytics help optimise the placement of charging stations based on usage patterns, ensuring convenience for users.
Digitalisation has transformed the way EVs are managed and maintained as advanced telematics systems allow for remote diagnostics, real-time monitoring of vehicle health, and over-the-air software updates. This not only enhances the overall reliability of EVs but also minimises downtime and reduces maintenance costs.