Fourteen organisations were recognised as Singapore’s most innovative at the Techblazer Awards 2021, jointly organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech. These tech innovators received their awards from the Minister for Communications and Information, Mrs Josephine Teo, at an awards ceremony on Monday.
Now in its fourth year, the Techblazer Awards is the nation’s highest accolade for tech innovation. The 2021 Awards saw more than 440 nominations, up from 403 submissions in 2020  . Ten organisations and four student teams emerged as winners in three categories – Most Promising Innovation, Best Adoption and Student Techblazer. Following strong interest in 2020, a new non-governmental organisation (NGO) subcategory for Best Adoption was added to recognise the digital transformation efforts of local NGOs, with Ren Ci Hospital emerging as the inaugural winner.
The winners reflected a concerted effort by nominees to leverage frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things (IoT), advanced manufacturing and virtual reality.
Healthtech company EyRIS, for instance, clinched the Gold award in the Most Promising Innovation category for its AI-powered deep learning system that accurately detects eye diseases, and helps prevent potential blindness through early diagnosis. Its solution has been able to speed up the diagnosis process from an average of 30 minutes to just 8.5 minutes.
Meanwhile, students from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and a joint team from National University of Singapore (NUS) & Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) both won Gold awards in the Student Techblazer category. The team from NTU built DementiCare, an app that integrates a suite of online tools as well as IoT sensors, to make it easier for caregivers to care for dementia patients. The joint NUS-SUTD team leveraged gamification and AI to create an innovative digital soft skills portfolio, Skilio, that aims to help the youth develop and showcase their soft skills in future job applications.
ONG&ONG Group, which won the Best Adoption (SME) category, demonstrated the profound impact of digitalisation on its bottom-line. By moving their internal IT processes to a cloud service provider, it achieved 40% savings in its IT infrastructure costs, and up to 90% productivity gains since switching to a digital design process. For more information on the winners and their winning solutions, please see Annex A.
As SGTech celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, the Association is acutely aware of the focus by members to ensure a strong pipeline of talent in the tech sector in Singapore. To this end, the SGTech SEC Prizes are additional cash prizes for winners of the Student Techblazer category, supported by companies from SGTech’s Singapore Enterprise Chapter (SEC). These prizes are in recognition of the potential of future trailblazers, as well as their digital transformation efforts, and aims to encourage the development of younger talent.
Wong Wai Meng, SGTech Chair, added: “It is heartening to see different stakeholders within the industry advocating for the growth of tech entrepreneurs and young tech talent. The strong industry support, while acting as an amplifier for the Government’s initiatives, is also an engine to create a nurturing tech ecosystem for SMEs and innovative startups. SGTech’s partnership with Oracle is one such example that will award US$30,000 worth of Oracle Cloud credits to 40 participating companies of the Techblazer Award, as part of Oracle’s earlier announcement to support startups. We thank Oracle for the generous support.”
Continuing efforts to build up Singapore’s innovation ecosystem
The innovation demonstrated by the winners underscores the continued growth of Singapore’s technology sector. IMDA is committed to supporting the growth of tech companies and Singapore’s digital innovation ecosystem through its Accreditation@SGD and SG:D Spark programmes.
To date, more than 100 companies have benefited from more than $800m in the government and enterprise business opportunities, as well as test-bedding and prototyping resources
made available through the two programmes. As a result, Accreditation@SGD and SG:D Spark companies have doubled their revenue and headcount on average during their time in the programme. The companies have also been able to better attract investment, securing more than $450m investments.
Mr Justin Ang, Assistant Chief Executive for Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, IMDA said, “IMDA has been developing Singapore’s tech ecosystem to grow the next wave of companies and support the development of world-class tech products. Through the Techblazer Awards, we are pleased to see more promising startups and innovation coming up through the industry. With a holistic suite of innovation programmes, we are committed to supporting tech companies at all stages of growth by connecting them with potential demand and in developing new capabilities.”
JOINTLY ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND SGTECH
About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore’s ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.
SGTech, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022, is the leading trade association for Singapore’s tech industry. Representing nearly 1,000 member companies ranging from top multinational corporations, large local enterprises, vibrant small and medium-sized enterprises, and innovative startups, it is the largest community in Singapore where companies converge to advocate for change and drive what enables tech innovation and accelerates tech adoption to spur greater sustainability in the sector.
SGTech’s mission is to catalyse a thriving ecosystem that powers Singapore as a global tech powerhouse.
To learn more, visit sgtech.org.sg or follow SGTech on Linkedin SGTech; Facebook SGTechSocial.
For media clarifications, please contact:
Patrick LIM (Mr)
Assistant Manager, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
Infocomm Media Development Authority
DID: (65) 8163 2689
Kenneth TAN (Mr)
Senior Manager, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 9367 1013
Hume Brophy, on behalf of SGTech