Opening of Dyson-SUTD Innovation Studios - Speech by SUTD President Prof Chong Tow Chong

25 Nov 2022

A very good morning
Chairman and Founder of Dyson, Sir James Dyson,
Chairman of EDB, Dr Beh Swan Gin,
CEO of Dyson, Mr Roland Krueger,
CTO of Dyson, Mr John Churchill,
Senior management from Dyson and the James Dyson Foundation,
Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.

It is my honour to welcome you to the opening of the Dyson-SUTD Innovation Studios.
These innovation studios represent just one of the joint ventures that has resulted from our strong and unwavering partnership between JDF and SUTD over the past few years.
We are grateful for JDF’s commitment and investment in SUTD’s vision and mission.
Today, we are living in a fast-evolving world. Issues such as digital transformation, healthcare, ageing society, sustainability, and food security are becoming increasingly complicated and uncertain.
As a result, the challenges that graduates face have similarly evolved.
Technology and systems have become more complex and intelligent, and are often a combination of hardware and software, all interacting and performing decision-making to solve problems in this digital era.
Therefore, educational institutions today play a crucial role in nurturing future leaders and innovators who can think creatively, learn how to learn, and seek answers to questions yet to be explored.
Industry also plays an equally important role in providing future engineers and innovators the opportunity for early exposure to various fields, helping them discover their passions, equipping them with the skills necessary to thrive in the new world, marked by the rapid growth of intelligent machines, AI, robotics and IoT.
When the two converge, the possibilities are endless. JDF and SUTD are at the forefront of one such dynamic coexistence between academia and industry.
In fact, the partnership between SUTD and Dyson/JDF has its roots dating back to 2019. At that time, JDF was involved in co-creating our Engineering Product Development (EPD)’s curriculum.
In 2020, JDF generously provided sponsorship for the top award for EPD’s advanced pillar course, called Industry 4.0 and 3D Printing.
As part of the award criteria, Dyson engineers were invited to evaluate 3D-printed prototypes created by the students for the course.
The winning students walked away with the first James Dyson Foundation Industry 4.0 & 3D Printing Award.
In fact, the students impressed the judges so much that they created an additional award to be given out.
Ms Ang You Shan was the proud winner of this award, and she is now a Dyson employee.
Through this engagement, the relationship between JDF and SUTD truly began to blossom. The foundation resonated with SUTD’s unique interdisciplinary education that emphasises on nurturing technically grounded leaders and innovators with a focus on design.
Our visions aligned - “Design” is in the core DNA of both Dyson and SUTD.
The studio that you are in right now is one such brainchild of the collaborative achievements between JDF and SUTD.
This 6,200-square ft Dyson-SUTD Innovation Studios will be the space for our students to work on Dyson technology projects, to further stimulate their creativity and fuel the growth of design innovation beyond the classroom, through exposure to real-world industry environments and projects.
With JDF on board, we bring our students closer to industry.
We believe this partnership will continue to inspire future generations of design innovators and provide many opportunities to both the SUTD family and the wider community in Singapore to bring ideas out of the academic environment into the real world, into the real economy.
Indeed, during the signing of the MOU between JDF and SUTD in May this year, Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing described Dyson as one of the forefront innovative companies in the frontier industries.
We are very pleased to work alongside such bold and pioneering minds at Dyson and JDF to better the world by design.
Once again, thank you to Sir James Dyson and the James Dyson Foundation for the generous support in this partnership.
May our partnership continue to flourish and bring STEM education in Singapore to greater heights. Thank you.