Nanyang Technological University: Driving Innovation, Achieving Global Distinction

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is the world’s fastest rising young university. Having key strengths in engineering, technology and research, NTU is forging ahead as a leading global institute, offering students a holistic education with real-world relevance. NTU has always emphasised on technological innovations and scientific research, as it firmly believes that technological advancements are able to offer new, promising and next-generation solutions that will improve lives and shape the future.

Explaining how NTU drives its mission to propel educational excellence, Mr Victor Tay, Chief Development Officer, NTU, said, “Our faculty, researchers and students operate in a multi disciplinary setting to harness global solutions and make pioneering discoveries in the fields of sustainability, the arts, healthcare, innovation and security. We have also had fruitful collaborations with government agencies, peer institutions and industry partners on various projects to create innovative and sustainable solutions. As Singapore moves towards deepening its technological expertise, NTU will continue to move in tandem to deliver cutting edge scientific research and revolutionary technological innovations across multiple disciplines.”

NTU’s investments and progress to transform learning and research has earned them the 13th spot in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and 1st amongst the world’s best young universities. In addition, NTU’s Engineering and Technology climbed three positions to No. 6 in the world and 2nd in Asia in the QS 2016/17 World University Rankings.

Vibrant ecosystem to foster entrepreneurial success

Apart from its technological thrusts, NTU is also greatly committed to developing a culture of entrepreneurship among its students. In the current era of rapid change and digital progress, the role of entrepreneurship is increasingly important to spur growth and create new opportunities for the future economy. NTU, similarly, embraces this idea in its education. They have been fast developing a vibrant ecosystem across the university that encourages innovation, fosters entrepreneurship and facilitates the commercialisation of research. This carefully constructed ecosystem result in innovative technologies and solutions that will supercharge the economy and chart Singapore’s leading position on the global stage of technopreneurship.

NTUitive is one example that shows how entrepreneurship is a defining feature of NTU’s brand of education. NTUitive is the university’s innovation and enterprise company that manages the intellectual property assets of NTU, and helps push technology invented in the labs to the marketplace. Likewise, the university’s Incubation and Mentorship Programme under the NTUVentures (a commercial arm of the university) has been designed to provide budding entrepreneurs infrastructure, practical hands-on experience and customised training to transform them into full-fledged entrepreneurs. The school matches selected entrepreneurs with mentors and experts in the financial, legal and business communities to teach them how to take their innovative ideas to the market and maximise its potential. This direct mentoring is useful in allowing students to address gaps and shortcomings in their knowledge and skills.

“At NTU, we inspire potential students to ‘walk and think’ like an entrepreneur. We are very driven to inculcate a culture of entrepreneurship to give our students extra confidence to take risks, and exposure to innovative environments and different platforms to experiment and realise their ideas. Also, our incubation system and support network on campus helps aspiring entrepreneurs survive and overcome the challenges during the start-up period,” Mr Tay elaborated.

To further strengthen NTU’s mission in delivering quality entrepreneurship education, the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center (NTC) runs a Minor in Entrepreneurship (MiE) and various Entrepreneurship Electives for undergraduates, and a Master in Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation Program (MSc TIP). NTC reaches out to students who are passionate about entrepreneurship through various experiential activities, including Ideasinc, a 9-month long programme that takes participants’ ideas through a development journey to the point of funding, as well as #startathon, a 30-hour hackathon that focuses on coding, prototyping and business modeling. Also, NTC facilitates greater school-industry links by working with public (SPRING Singapore, SCAPE etc) and private partners (SAP, Ben & Jerry’s etc) through collaboration agreements.

Nadine: Nadine pushes the boundaries of artifical intelligence (A.I) by having her own personality and the ability to remember people from previous conversations,

Celex: By its ability to record changes of light every nanosecond, the Celex camera can significantly improve the field of vision of drones and self-driving cars in harsh weather conditions,

Pioneering technological advancements

NTU is a familiar name for many innovative inventions given its nurturing environment for science, technology and entrepreneurship. Most prominently, NTU has pioneered the creation of Nadine – the world’s most human-like social robot that has her own personality and emotions, along with the ability to recognise people and remember what they have said. Such social robots may be useful for the healthcare services sector in the future to serve as a companion to the young and the elderly, as well as ease manpower shortages in the labour market. The university has also developed inventions practical and convenient for day-to-day use. Celex® is NTU’s new, ultrafast high contrast camera that could help self driving cars and drones steer through extreme road conditions and in bad weather by recording the slightest movements and objects in real time. Celex® is in the final prototype phase.

Moving forward in the future, NTU will continue to reinforce its research capabilities, deliver solutions to global issues and nurture leaders that are able to make a difference to the evolving future. The university also aims to boost efforts to promote and pursue industry collaborations with enterprises and market leaders. A true leader in innovation and technology, NTU seeks to make greater strides to enhance transformation in the global economy, powering the university to achieve higher global distinction.

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