Zeleros has gone from being a competition-winning university team to becoming a cutting-edge start-up bringing the exciting Hyperloop concept to market.
OpenGov Asia recently had to the opportunity to speak with Luiz Navarro, Chief Operating Officer, Zeleros. Watch the whole interaction on OpenGov TV here!
Mr Navarro explained how the hyperloop concept is not a new concept, but in fact, it dates back to almost over 200 years when a connection was sought to make a trading route from the UK to India. There were many ideas and early-stage concepts for this but a lot of them failed as they did not have the technology to deploy them.
But fast forward 200 years to the age of Elon Musk and SpaceX – he took this concept and rebranded the Hyperloop idea. He came up with this worldwide concept under the umbrella SpaceX and invited start-ups and universities to come up with ideas and technology proposals for the Hyperloop.
He went on to tell us that one of those working hard on this concept at the time was the Zeleros Founders and former University graduates in Valencia. They had competed in various competitions and won many awards in this field of expertise.
They were team leaders at “Hyperloop UPV”, University project awarded at SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015, an event organized by Elon Musk, competing against world’s most prestigious engineering universities. Recently, the team achieved top 10 at the SpaceX competition in Los Angeles from among more than 300 teams worldwide. Their prototype “The Atlantic II” became the first Spanish hyperloop in history, combining autonomous propulsion with a new passive levitation system.
From the success and recognition of the technology at the research stage and in the competitive arena, they have decided to take a step forward and launch a new start-up to revolutionise ground transportation: Zeleros
Now a few years later, they have 25 people working full time collaborating with first-class collaborators internationally. This business started with three guys being courageous and having the passion to take the leap from research and competitions to bringing their business to market. Zeleros is one in six companies in the world that are working on deploying Hyperloop into the market.
The aim of Zeleros is to design and develop new hyperloop technologies to achieve a more efficient and sustainable transportation, which will allow to travel at 1000 km/h with renewable energies, combining the best from the aeronautics and the railway industries by means of a system of depressurized tubes.
The Future – leading the way in the development of hyperloop technologies
The Zeleros vision is to bring this to the next stage. By simplifying systems bring the power onboard the vehicle and reducing the cost of infrastructure call staff they are looking at taking away the complexity from the track
With this cutting-edge technology, there is a lot of work to do before realising the finished product. Currently, they are prototyping each subsystem which includes propulsion, levitation, braking etc.
By 2021 they hope to have a prototype ready which is 1/3 of the scale, 10 metres in length and running on a 3-kilometre test run at approximately 500 kilometres per hour so that they are able to validate the technology.
By 2024 they hope to start construction and by 2030 they hope to have the first fully operational Hyperloop working. In order to reach this final stage, there is a lot of fine-tuning and validation involved and they need to meet standards be certified.
They have partnered with countries such as Canada and France and they are working closely with the EU. They are involved in a technical committee in the EU dedicated to the Hyperloop and falls under the umbrella of the railway industry. The creation of this technical committee has given Hyperloop its own identity.
Regional hotspots for Hyperloop development and deployment
At the moment they are working closely with key players in Europe. This is what they consider where core development takes place. call star it is logical as they are unable to integrate more in terms of infrastructure. Once considered safe in the EU it opens the opportunity to roll out quickly to the rest of the world.
Other hotspots identified are routes in the Middle East. This region is ideal to roll out the technology, where financial support is readily available, which in turn could accelerate the deployment of Hyperloop in this region.
In Asia, Japan has its own technology with the bullet and has invested billions into this national infrastructure so it would not make sense for them to look at investing in the Hyperloop technology.
But in China where they have over more than 35,000 kilometres of real which is more than the rest of the world combined opportunities in this country would really accelerate past to market.
Another great option to consider is to deploy Hyperloop to connect Singapore and Kuala-Lumpur. The potential is great, shortening the travel time until 30 minutes (35 including boarding).
The Hyperloop is an innovative solution in terms of connectivity around the world, mobility, and timesaving travel.
In terms of sustainability, it a real viable alternative to aviation. It presents an opportunity to reduce air traffic congestion which doubles every 15 years. The Hyperloop will reduce 7 million tonnes of CO2 per year compared to air transport.
Mr Navarro jokingly concluded they are “just crazy people trying to change the paradigm of long-distance travel and with the Hyperloop it will be there to serve that purpose”
The company have already won multiple awards but because they are working so hard and so fast on this project, Mr Navarro said they sometimes have little time to appreciate the things that they have achieved so far.
Watch the whole interaction on OpenGov TV here!
An incubatee at the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab has announced the launch of a new solution. It is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
The solution, called the NB-IoT/LoRa Dual-detection parking occupancy sensing system, can accurately sense the occupancy status of parking space or spaces through its fully integrated dual-detection from Radar/mmWave and magnetometer sensing.
Equipped with leading NB-IoT and LoRa WAN technologies, the end-to-end system is easy to use and can be rapidly deployed. The solution also provides cross-system integration for various payment methods including self-help automatic payment, membership payment, and on-site payment. Data is displayed on the parking operation platform including parking space status, vehicle status, turnover rate, illegal parking behaviour and much more.
The solution was designed to enhance areas including City Management as well as Transport.
The innovation is equipped with the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
The solution has the following benefits:
- Privacy: the system does not use the camera data to identify license plates or individuals’ faces, thereby eliminating privacy concerns;
- Low-cost: the parking timer sensor installation and maintenance costs are much lower camera installation costs;
- Mobile app: an interconnected app has been developed to help drivers navigate the parking areas;
- Special Parking Management:
- Detects and alerts users of no parking zones and U-turn area.
- Can Interlink with a speaker those with disabilities and for enhanced night safety parking.
- Charges different commercials accordingly (the system can be set to charge vehicles by number, hour, and time – for example, taxis, vehicles in temporary parking, and those in loading zone parking can all receive different rates).
- Detects scooter and heavy motorcycle parking spaces.
- Detects and manages shared parking.
- Can confirm whether a VIP or special user has parked in the appointed space.
The smart parking market
The global smart parking market is expected to rise from its initial estimated value of US3.38 billion in 2018 to an estimated value of US12.60 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 17.85% in the forecast period of 2019-2026. This rise in market value can be attributed to the increasing concerns of parking amid growth in the number of vehicles. The high cost of implementing and subsequent increase in the cost of the vehicles is expected to act as a restraint to the market growth.
Known as the “super project“, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Zhuhai Port has the most complex technology and the most difficult implementation in the history of Chinese bridge construction. It has 18 lanes and about 2500 parking spaces so far.
Additionally, a smart parking management system has been developed for the port. The all-in-one smart transportation solution for the car park of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Zhuhai Port includes a license plate recognition/card system, a video parking guidance system, and more to achieve unattended parking. It also has a license plate scan to go system, parking guidance and voice IP intercom. Car owners can experience rich multimedia functions, such as pictures, videos, animations, and instructional information.
Thus, as the number of vehicles continues to rise, so will the need for bigger, better, smarter parking and Hong Kong is at the epicentre of innovations in the field.
About the Smart Government Innovation Lab
In 2018, the Government established the Smart Government Innovation Lab to explore hi-tech products such as AI and relevant technologies, including machine learning, big data analytics, cognitive systems and intelligent agent, as well as blockchain and robotics from firms, especially local start-ups.
The Lab is always on the lookout for innovation and technology (I&T) solutions that are conducive to enhancing public services or their operational effectiveness. I&T suppliers are encouraged to regularly visit the Lab’s website to check on the current business and operational needs in public service delivery and propose innovative solutions or product suggestions to address them.
PM Lee Hsien Loong made a speech at the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Groundbreaking Ceremony on 13 October 2020, in the presence of Mr Sung Yun-mo, Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea and Mr Chung Eui-sun, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai.
He opened by mentioning the history Hyundai has with Singapore. “Singapore’s relationship with Hyundai goes back a long way. It started when Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC) helped us reclaim land at Pulau Tekong in 1981, nearly 40 years ago.”
“As for Hyundai Motor the first Hyundai cars appeared on our roads in the mid-1980s.”
“First Facility of its kind in the world”
The Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre is the first facility of its kind in the world. It will allow Hyundai to develop new automotive technologies, including the production of electric cars. The new facility will be located in Jurong Innovation District, which already houses a vibrant ecosystem of researchers, technology partners and factories of the future.
The PM added “In fact, you will be neighbours with the NTU Smart Campus, which aims to be a living testbed of tech-enabled solutions like electric vehicles. I hope that this will make it easier for your discussions to bear fruit, and for Singapore technology to power Hyundai cars all over the world.”
The new Innovation Centre will enable Hyundai to pilot new manufacturing models, to meet the demand for mass personalisation of cars through small-scale factories in urban areas. It is an investment of almost $400 million, and may produce up to 30,000 vehicles per year by 2025, five years from now.
Singapore’s drive for autonomous and electric vehicle roll out
Singapore has also been developing plans for autonomous and electric vehicle research and development.
“Singapore’s goal is to have all our vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040, in line with our Paris Agreement commitments, so that our air is cleaner, and Singaporeans can have a better quality of life. Earlier this year, we announced plans to catalyse Electric Vehicle demand, and to build Electric Vehicle infrastructure like charging points ahead of demand. Now we are taking another step to anchor the value chain here with Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre, as the first Electric Vehicle manufacturing facility in Singapore.”
“Automotive activities are becoming viable in Singapore once again. Electric Vehicles have a different supply chain, fewer mechanical parts and more electronics, which plays to Singapore’s strengths. That is why global companies producing automotive electronics like Delphi and Infineon are already in Singapore and have been here for some time.”
“We hope this will open up new growth areas for our economy, and create exciting jobs for Singaporeans, for example Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) engineers, data scientists, cobot technicians and digital supply chain strategists. These job titles did not even exist a few years ago, but these jobs are now on the cutting edge, and demand new skills. Young Singaporeans may not have these skills in the first instance, but they will learn from the engineers that you bring here from Korea and elsewhere in the world, as we did in the past. And over time, I am confident that we will build up a Singaporean workforce with these skills.”
The Prime Minister noted that the HMGICS is an important milestone in the economic relationship between Singapore and South Korea. It will pave the way for more Korean companies to invest in Singapore, partner with local suppliers and SMEs, and collaborate with universities and research institutes.
He added that Government authorities and agencies such as EDB, JTC, ESG and A*STAR will all work closely with Hyundai to support these partnerships. He said that “Hyundai Motor is already in discussions with NTU and A*STAR, for example, to use AI in autonomous driving.”
The inaugural DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize Finals at LKYGBPC will be held virtually on the 9 October 2020.
The DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition (LKYGBPC) will be awarded to the most innovative business plans, start-ups or early-stage ventures that address pertinent urban challenges faced by cities of today.
In addition to the evaluation criteria for the LKYGBPC, qualifying applications for the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize are also assessed on:
- Clear identification of the social or environmental problem
- Creativity in addressing the identified challenge statement and stakeholders involved
- Ability to measure the social or environmental impact created
- Scalability and sustainability of solution and impact
The award worth SGD 150,000 includes prize money of up to SGD 100,000 and post-competition support, such as access to DBS Foundation’s capacity building programmes, brand awareness and marketing features on DBS Foundation’s website, brand campaigns, media stories etc, the use of DBS premises when in Singapore for launch or community events and network and connection to DBS Foundation’s social enterprise alumni community and partners.
The Four Finalists are:
Bluepha — China
Fighting Plastic Pollution with the Power of Microbes
Bluepha is a microorganism company based in Beijing that has developed a bio-based and biodegradable plastic PHA to replace conventional plastics. Their innovative and patented biotech ensures low-cost industrial-scale production of PHA that degrades in natural environments, including in the ocean. The PHA developed by Bluepha can be widely applied across industries, such as packaging, textile, and toys, to replace conventional plastics.
Polybee — Singapore
Enhancing Food Security by Automating Pollination
Polybee is on a mission to increase productivity in agriculture by taking the natural process of pollination into its own hands. Since wind, insects and birds cannot operate indoors, there is no scalable solution for pollination in many urban cities. By operating autonomous mini drones using in aerial robotics and computer vision, Polybee executes precise pollination at indoor vertical farms, where there is no alternative to manual pollination. Polybee has partnered with Singapore Food Agency to initiate a commercial pilot.
Sampangan — Indonesia
Enriching Food Nutrition from Landfill Waste
Sampangan is a waste-to-carbon technology service company that aims to help local governments, agriculture areas, industrial areas, and waste transporters process waste in both solid and liquid forms safely and sustainably. Using their carbonized technology (“Magic Box”), they can convert organic and non-organic waste into active carbon or biochar. Heat radiation is used instead of full incineration making this process environmentally friendly. The biochar material can help fix farm soil and increase harvest yields in an organic and sustainable manner.
StratifiCare — Singapore
World’s First Severe Dengue Prediction Test
StratifiCare has discovered a panel of biomarkers that can determine the progress of Dengue Fever. Patients who are predicted not to progress to severe Dengue can be managed at outpatient settings, instead of bearing expenses being hospitalised. Their innovation will help reduce the over-hospitalization issue faced by medical providers and relieve healthcare burden especially in poorer Dengue-endemic developing countries.
Watch the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize Finals
Due to the uncertainties of international travel and health considerations amid COVID-19, the inaugural DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize Finals at LKYGBPC will be held virtually.
Date: 9 October 2020
Time: 11:45AM – 2:00PM (Singapore time, GMT +8)
Join our panel of distinguished judges for the live pitching, and don’t miss a special conversation segment with DBS Group CEO, Piyush Gupta!
Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Institutional Banking, DBS
Nick Nash, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Asia Partners
Quek Siu Rui, Group CEO & Co-Founder, Carousell
Stratificare are shortlisted as one of the top 4 teams that have reached the finals of the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition.
The DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition (LKYGBPC) will be awarded to the most innovative business plans, start-ups or early-stage ventures that address pertinent urban challenges faced by cities of today.
In addition to the evaluation criteria for the LKYGBPC, qualifying applications for the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize are also assessed on clear identification of the social or environmental problem, creativity in addressing the identified challenge statement and stakeholders involved, ability to measure the social or environmental impact created and the scalability and sustainability of solution and impact
The award worth SGD 150,000 includes prize money of up to SGD 100,000 and post-competition support, such as:
• Access to DBS Foundation’s capacity building programmes
• Brand awareness and marketing features on DBS Foundation’s website, brand campaigns, media stories etc.
• Use of DBS premises when in Singapore for launch or community events
• Network and connection to DBS Foundation’s social enterprise alumni community and partners
Empowering personalised medicine for tomorrow through innovative diagnostic solutions
OpenGov had the opportunity to speak with Anthony Chua – CEO, Keith Chong -COO and Tiffany Lin -CRO before they has progressed to the finals to hear about their innovative solution to a problem that affects Singaporeans on a daily basis.
StratifiCare™ was founded in 2015 with the vision of empowering personalized medicine for tomorrow through innovative diagnostic solutions. They have been shortlisted for the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize for their work on the world’s first severe Dengue prediction test.
Keith Chong, COO of Stratificare said that one of the drivers behind this solution was that Dengue was something that affected their personal lives and family. And added that he believed that being able to diagnose whether it was a severe case helped reassure patients that their diagnosis was accurate, and helped with decision-making on what the next clinical steps should be.
StratifiCare has discovered a panel of biomarkers that can determine the progress of Dengue Fever. Patients who are predicted not to progress to severe Dengue can be managed at outpatient settings, instead of bearing expenses being hospitalised.
The challenge in the clinical management of Dengue is how to accurately predict which patients will go on to develop Severe Dengue in the early phase of the disease. Their innovation will help reduce the over-hospitalisation issue faced by medical providers and relieve healthcare burden, especially in poorer Dengue-endemic developing countries.
CEO Anthony Chua said that the challenge was not to solve the problem just in Singapore, but was also a solution for neighbouring countries too. When asked about go-to-market strategy their CRO Tiffany Lin said that Singapore is their main focus at the minute, with plans to distribute into Malaysia and India in the near future.
Stratificare has reached the finals of the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize which takes place on Friday 9th October.
To register for the awards ceremony please click here
OpenGov had the opportunity to speak with the founders- Johae Song and Vanessa Cunha of a company called Able on their product Lulu which has been shortlisted for the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition (LKYGBPC) will be awarded to the most innovative business plans, start-ups or early-stage ventures that address pertinent urban challenges faced by cities of today.
The passion behind the innovation
From the beginning of the conversation it is obvious that the business is passion driven. One of the founders Johae told OpenGov of two personal experiences that has spurred her on to bring the product to market. She once met with a young boy in Chile who could not speak, and when asking his parent what things he liked, the parent responded that they did not know. They could not communicate with him. So on hearing this, it made Johae even more determined to make a product that would give young people with communication challenges the chance to communicate with their family, to enable all people with communication challenges to communicate more easily, more naturally, with the aid of this AI powered solution.
Many people are isolated from their environments due to a lack of upper body motion and speaking impairment. This leads to daily challenges with communication, independence, and a social connection. Before Lulu, the product they are currently developing, there was no user-friendly assistive technology to help these people communicate more efficiently.
Tech for Good Solution
Lulu is a smart personalized assistant giving people with communication challenges the freedom to connect with the world, a new product that is focused on a hands-free smart communication system that you can download and try on your smart device.
- Lulu is a smart companion robot for wheelchair users. Lulu is a plug-and-play robotic system, controlled by a user-friendly mobile application for people with physical and/or communication challenges.
- Around 70 million people require wheelchairs worldwide and nearly 50 million require assistive technology to communicate effectively. The lack of suitable assistive technologies to help them to connect with the world inspired us to create a product that breaks down both mobility and communication barriers.
- Lulu is designed to provide users with safe navigation, social interaction and smart home connectivity. Controlled hands-free through eye-tracking, Lulu’s current features include a smart camera to help users gain a broader field of vision, speech-to-text and text-to-speech to enhance communication, and smart-home connectivity allowing users to turn on and off lights with the blink of an eye.
LuLu is the first leveraging artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and AI-services to work for the disabled.
For more information on the Smart App visit – https://www.hi-lulu.com/
Enterprise Singapore and Innovation Norway have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen innovation collaboration between Singapore and Norway. The MOU will facilitate business roundtables, study visits, trade missions and networking activities for knowledge exchange, and drive innovation cooperation to address market needs between the two countries.
The MOU was signed by Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore and Mr Håkon Haugli, Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Norway at the inaugural Singapore Norway Innovation Conference on 29 September 2020. The Singapore Norway Innovation Conference was organised by the Norwegian Business Association Singapore in collaboration with Innovation Norway and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Singapore, and supported by Enterprise Singapore.
Mr Clarence Hoe, Global Markets Director for the Americas and Western Europe at Enterprise Singapore, notes: “Through the signing of this MOU, we aim to strengthen the scope of collaboration between Norwegian and Singapore enterprises. Singapore enterprises will benefit from market opportunities arising from co-innovation projects with Norwegian corporates.”
“Singapore enterprises seeking to transform their business and solutions would also gain access to Norwegian innovation and technology, especially in the areas of maritime, food, healthcare and infrastructure. Norwegian companies seeking to grow in Asia can tap Singapore’s business infrastructure, financing and vibrant business network to springboard to the region. We look forward to working closely with Innovation Norway to create platforms and project opportunities that would be of interest and relevance to our respective companies.”
The agreement focus on these priority sectors:
The blue economy, including maritime digitalisation and automation, marine and offshore technologies and applications, and offshore renewables and subsea.
Sustainable urban solutions and clean technologies, including hydrogen value chain, decarbonisation, energy efficiency and transportation.
Healthcare and biomedical sciences, including digital health, artificial intelligence (AI), hospital IT and efficiency, telemedicine and medtech solutions.
Agri- and food-tech and aquaculture, including land-based and floating enclosed recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), sustainable feed production, resource-efficient urban agriculture, and new food sources.
Mr Paul Kastmann, Director for Innovation Norway in Singapore, underlines the importance of the agreement: “Norway has always had a strong connection to Singapore, dating back to the mid-1800s. The ocean industries have traditionally been the most important pillar of this relationship. This is still the case, but relatively new sectors such as smart cities, health tech and food security are growing rapidly. At the same time, the traditional industries are going through disruptive changes, such as digitisation, automation and decarbonisation. Innovation and international collaboration are important to secure the future of our respective industries and with this agreement we aim to strengthen both.”
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has commissioned a new Tactical Boat Handling and Firing Simulator (TBHFS) in its Police Coast Guard’s (PCG) Integrated Tactical Training Centre located in the PCG Headquarters. The simulator is developed collaboratively with HTX – Home Team Science and Technology Agency.
The simulator is the first of its kind in Singapore in enabling highly realistic vessel simulation at speeds exceeding 50 knots which is integrated with an advanced eye-tracking system in addition to weapon capabilities.
The simulator uses an advanced physics engine and customisable hydrodynamic modelling. It duplicates how high-speed vessels behave in the real world when affected by factors such as wave movements or impacts with other crafts and floating objects, in a range of sea states with different speeds.
Harnessing Technology to Train Officers
To meet the training needs of tactical boat operations, HTX had to consider several factors in the design review, implementation and the commissioning of the simulator.
Bernard Phang, Director of Policing Programme Management Centre in HTX said, “Harnessing technology in the training of officers from the Police Coast Guard is the way forward. In developing the TBHFS, we have been able to enhance the training of police officers exponentially in different areas without having to be subjected to the climate and currents of any given day of training. The multiple sensors allow the trainer to analyse each trainee’s performance and help them to improve. ”
The key features of the simulator are :
Customised Simulator. Four customised simulators that resemble PCG’s high-speed Patrol Interdiction Boat and high-speed interceptor boats (2nd Generation PK boats).
Instructor Operating Station. Allow the trainers to have the flexibility to control the training scenarios, conditions and environment. It also gives trainers a bird’s eye view of the training scenario and activities via the eye tracker and CCTVs. For training realism, a steering console has been installed for trainers to control the target boat during the training scenario. Real time recording of all training scenarios including the eye tracker, CCTVs and communication between trainers and trainees is also available for review after the training has ended.
Briefing & Debriefing Facilities. Allow the trainers to replay the full training scenario for review with the trainees after every training.
Multiple Training Scenarios. The TBHFS can simulate a myriad of scenarios, conditions and environment to support training in general and tactical boat handling skills. It can help PCG officers hone their skills in watch-keeping, navigation, berthing and maritime interdiction in a safe environment before their actual sea phrase training.
Eye Tracker. The Eye Tracker detects the eye movement of the trainees to allow trainers to analyse the trainees’ visual focus during stressful scenarios such as high-speed pursuit. This will allow the trainers to provide targeted feedback to the individual trainees so that they are aware of the areas they can improve on.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Cheang Keng Keong, Commander of Police Coast Guard said, “The new simulators will allow PCG officers to practise high-risk manoeuvres and experience different scenarios in a safe and controlled environment, which minimises the risks of injuries and accidents. Officers will also be able to train repeatedly to acquire the high standard of competency before embarking on live training out at sea.”
PHOTO CREDIT: HTX