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ENGINEERING TAKES ON AGING-IN-PLACE

Tech Factor Challenge 2016 Offers $620,000 in Prizes and Prototype Funding for Innovations that Help Elders Age-In-Place

Singapore, 1 September 2016 — Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics) and SPRING Singapore today announced the launch of the third Tech Factor Challenge 2016, a competition to spur innovation through the creative application of technology to solve real-world issues such as helping the elderly age-in-place which is this year’s theme. Currently in its third edition, Tech Factor Challenge 2016 offers participants the opportunity to translate their ideas into commercially viable prototypes, and help kick-start their entrepreneurship journey.

Helping Elders Age-in-Place with Tech Innovations
In less than 15 years, Singapore will become a super-aged country where at least 1 out of 5 of its population will be aged 65 and older1. The urgency for solutions targeting the eldercare segment is real, and market opportunities abound. By 2020, Asia Pacific’s ageing market is projected to reach US$3.3 trillion2.

Tech Factor Challenge 2016 will focus on developing technology applications that can help our elders age-in-place, with two challenge categories for participants to choose from - the Mobility Challenge, and the Smart H2 (Home & Health) Challenge. The Mobility Challenge aims to improve mobility for the elderly, while the Smart H2 Challenge focuses on applications for safety, health and wellness management.

New Category for Silverpreneurs
Unique to Tech Factor Challenge 2016, the Senior Inventors Series has been launched to inspire ‘silver-preneurs’ and elders with strong technical skillsets to join the competition and take charge in transforming their lives and the lives of others. Teams with at least half of the members aged 55 years old and above may register in the Senior Inventors Series. One out of the four top prizes will be dedicated to the Senior Inventors.

A total of up to $620,000 in prizes and prototype funding await shortlisted teams. Teams will be availed two testbed sites at the Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technology (CHART) in Changi General Hospital and at SG Enable’s Enabling Village for prototype testing and development. ST Electronics will also be providing a Healthcare Internet of Things (IoT) cloud platform for participants who would like to 'plug-in' their prototypes into a ready platform. Using the IoT platform, vital signs monitoring, statistics and analytics can be viewed via one common tool. The IoT platform will support web and mobile apps developed by participants based on open standards.

Another new highlight this year to help teams better understand the eldercare landscape is the inclusion of an Aging-in-Place workshop conducted by experts and clinicians. To facilitate the development of well-functioning and refined prototypes, teams will receive guidance from technical and clinical mentors from ST Electronics, Changi General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Alexandra Health System and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital as well as access to IDA Labs at the National Design Centre where 3D printers, laser cutters, machining tools, electronics equipment are available for prototyping.

The competition is open to members of the public, tertiary students and start-ups in Singapore. Participants may enter as individuals or teams of up to five members. Registration and submission of proposals can be done through the official website at www.techfactorchallenge.com.sg by 10 Oct 2016.

“Robotics is an important technology enabler not only for manufacturing, but also for customer-facing service industries such as healthcare. Through the Tech Factor Challenge, we hope to identify new and innovative robotic solutions which can be applied in our everyday lives. We are pleased that public and private sector partners have joined hands to facilitate this by creating a conducive environment to support technology development and commercialisation,” said Mr John Lu, Director, Manufacturing & Engineering, SPRING Singapore.

“The silver tsunami is amongst the next wave of challenges that the world will face. ST Electronics believes that technology is the key enabler to improve the lives of the elderly so that they may enjoy improved standards in healthcare and are empowered to age gracefully. Through the Tech Factor Challenge, we hope to ignite the passion in budding inventors and inculcate innovative industry-relevant skills in the next generation of engineers,” said Mr Tang Kum Chuen, Deputy President (Corporate Development) & President, Communication & Sensor Systems Group, ST Electronics, & President, ST Electronics (Satcom and Sensor Systems).

Please refer to Annex A for details on the Seed Fund, Prototype Fund & Prizes and Annex B for information about the supporting organisations of the Challenge.

*****

ST Electronics, (Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited) is the electronics arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, one of the largest public-listed companies on the Singapore Exchange. ST Electronics is a global engineering company specialising in the design, development and integration of advanced electronics and communications systems. Our capabilities are in Rail & Intelligent Transportation; Satellite & Broadband Communications; Info Comm Technologies; Command & Control operations, Training & Simulation; Intelligent Building & Security Systems and Cybersecurity. We have a presence in over 20 countries spanning North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, China, India and Southeast Asia. For more information, please visit www.stee.stengg.com

SPRING Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for helping Singapore enterprises grow and building trust in Singapore products and services. As the enterprise development agency, SPRING works with partners to help enterprises in financing, capability and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING develops and promotes an internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance infrastructure. SPRING also oversees the safety of general consumer goods in Singapore.

Please visit www.spring.gov.sg for more information and news about SPRING Singapore.

Media contacts:

Wendy Ong
Manager, Corporate Communications
ST Electronics
Tel: (65) 6413 1881
Email: wendyong@stee.stengg.com


1Singapore Department of Statistics, “Our Population, Our Future”, http://www.population.sg/infographics/#module-3 (2014)

2Ageing Asia, “3rd Asia Pacific Silver Economy Business Opportunities Report”, http://www.ageingasia.com/index.php/market-intelligence/3rd-asia-pacific-silver-economy-business-opportunities-report (14 April 2015)


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