FIRST Industry Workshop 2020

The FIRST Industry Workshop aims to foster and expand industry-academia ties by showcasing relevant research capabilities with industry-relevant applications, reinforcing SUTD’s role as a vital anchor within a vibrant ecosystem of partnerships between academia, industry and the Government.
Since its inception in 2016, the FIRST Industry Workshop has gone from strength to strength - the 2020 edition, which took place on 22 July 2020, saw over 1,000 attendees from all over the world (about 700 of whom were from industry). Due to the global pandemic, the event has also gone virtual for its first time. Participants garnered insights and experiences shared by our Keynote Speakers and Forum Panelists. They were also invited to view the SUTD graduate-level research projects and Research Centre Showcase on our official event website. There were also product presentations from our industry partners.



By Professor Yeo Kiat Seng
Associate Provost, Research and International Relations, SUTD

Professor Yeo Kiat Seng highlighted the social and economics key impact amids the pandemic. For a nation to be successful, Singapore has to develop a strong research capabilities in terms of both human capital and physical infrastructures that can cut across contribute to many economic sectors. 

Prof Yeo also shared the importance of equipping PMET with the skillsets during post pandemic, to continuously learn and quickly assimilate knowledge to solve cross disciplinary problems.


Co-Creating the Future of Power Together

By Dr Bicky Bhangu
President, South East Asia, Pacific and South Korea, Rolls-Royce

Dr Bhangu shared that as a technology company that provides vital power, collaboration is integral to Rolls-Royce’s approach to creating a better industry—and a better world. Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing challenges have become more complex. Sustainable power is also needed now more than ever across products, services and operations.

Dr Bhangu also shared that partnerships are key to pooling the talent, resources and technology to innovate quickly. They have been continuously deepening their collaborations with academia, research institutes and governments to co-develop solutions for industries. Discover the innovative possibilities of partnerships on advanced research and technologies that will help them co-create a more sustainable future of power together.

The Future Intelligent World Requires Closer Collaboration Between University and Industry

By Mr Nicholas Ma
CEO, Huawei International Pte Ltd

Mr Ma shared that the industry is experiencing its fourth industrial revolution. The development of ICT technology and industry will build a fully connected intelligent world. Innovation is driving the advancement of technology and industry at an unprecedented rate, which places much higher demands on talent.

Mr Ma also shared that closer collaboration between universities and industry will be an important guarantee of continuous innovation and talent development in the intelligent age.


Theme: “What Makes University-Industry Collaboration Succeed?”

Research and development (R&D) centres are everywhere across Asia, as large corporations embrace partnerships with academic institutions for collaborative innovation, as well as the opportunity to recruit fresh talent with the specific skills these companies need. In an increasingly challenging Asian labour market, companies across a broad spectrum of industries must do what they can to cultivate a resilient talent pipeline. 

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is established to advance knowledge and nurture technically grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs, with a focus on Design, through an integrated multi-disciplinary curriculum and multi-disciplinary research.

These partnerships will build a tightly-knit research ecosystem that integrates research, education, and industry to produce graduates and researchers with multi-faceted skills and a holistic understanding of next-generation technology. 

The Forum Panel discussed the key ingredients of industry-academia collaboration. The Panel Members also debated on research megatrends and the outlook for Singapore’s R&D in the next decade.

1. Factors for success in industry-academia collaboration 
2. Achieving sustainable framework for collaboration 
3. Achieving translational research 
4. Opportunities and challenges of the above

Forum Panellists

Mr King Boon
General Manager Partnership, Innovation & Enterprise, SUTD

Dr James Ong
Co-Founder Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Institute

Mr Chong Chan Pin
Executive Vice-President & General Manager, Kulicke & Soffa

Mr Dylan Ng
Chief Executive Officer, Lionsbot International 

Mr Brian San
Director, Career Agility Division, Strategy & Communications, NTUC LearningHub 



A total of 13 research centres and 5 pillars/clusters were showcased at the FIRST Industry Workshop 2020. As a research-intensive university, SUTD ensures its research is relevant to and has an impact on lives and the society. Ideas and concepts are developed and translated into products, enterprises or policies, which will have concrete benefits for Singapore and Singaporeans, such as the creation of new jobs, improving Singapore’s position in the global knowledge economy, or informing national policymaking.

These efforts will in turn build a multi-disciplinary research community with an open and collaborative culture that will also advance knowledge in technology and design.


2020 Event Sponsors

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Industry Spotlight

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