Smart Technologies for Sustainability


With the threat of climate change posing mounting challenges on energy demand, food supplies, economies and biodiversity, there is an urgent need to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming with technology and R&D. Technological advancements and breakthroughs are supporting sustainability efforts and bringing us closer to goals of zero waste and circular economies. In an increasingly resource-constrained world, much work and research are still needed to achieve these goals, in creating healthcare systems that are sustainable while improving public health, future buildings and cities that are energy efficient as well as food supplies that are resilient to climate change. 

In today’s globalised and interconnected world, we all share a common fate and destiny. Corporations, universities, research centres and institutions are working in close partnership to address these multitudinous challenges. Sustainability is key to the ever-changing global landscape and it is a way of life. 

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) believes in addressing sustainability as a series of interlinked challenges that are not only solvable, but opportunities for innovation, growth, and more abundant and joyful future. The SUTD Sustainability Plan articulates SUTD's core vision of being the foremost university in the world for technology and design education and research to offer a unique future-forward approach to making sustainable change.

During the FIRST Industry Workshop, distinguished forum panellists will discuss on the development and utilisation of smart technologies to build a resilient and sustainable future; and to overcome challenges brought about by climate change, that is further compounded by black swan events like the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The FIRST Industry Workshop 2022 theme is 'Smart Technologies for Sustainability'. The theme focuses on Research, Education, Innovation, Enterprise and Talent development in 4 areas namely: Circular Economy, Future Health, Future Building and Climate Change. The Forum Panel will discuss and address the present and imminent global challenges as well. They will also debate on upcoming research megatrends and the outlook for Singapore’s Research Innovation and Enterprise in the next decade.


  • Factors of success in developing innovation in sustainability in Singapore

  • Achieving a sustainable framework in sustainability research

  • Factors to improve talent flow between public institutions, industry and the wider economy

  • Sustainable actions to nurture the next generation of leaders

  • Fostering research collaboration and partnership with the industry

  • Conflict of interests arising from multiple academic partnerships

  • Opportunity and challenges in translational research in the 4 areas

  • Challenges in midst of the pandemic situation

Forum Panel Members

Chief Sustainability Officer, and
Professor, Architecture and Sustainable Design, SUTD

Erwin Viray currently leads the Sustainability Initiatives in SUTD. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of Architecture and Sustainable Design Pillar from May 2016 – July 2021. Erwin was Global Excellence Professor at Kyoto Institute of Technology and Head of the Graduate School of Architecture and Design from 2012 - 2016; and Chief Communications Officer for Kyoto Design Lab. He served as Member of the Board of TOTO Gallery MA in Tokyo and Member of Advisory Council for the Barcelona Institute of Architecture.

Erwin is an Award Ambassador for the LafargeHolcim Awards in Asia Pacific and served as a jury chair and member of various prominent architecture awards in the region.

Erwin has been an Editor of the influential magazine, a+u (Architecture + Urbanism) since 1996. He is the author or co-author of several books and has written numerous articles for specialised journals and architectural magazines. 


Director, Enterprise Division, A*STAR

Eugene leads A*STAR’s Venture & Creation Growth division (VCG). The team actively seeks to expand the base of innovative enterprises by leveraging technologies and capabilities in A*STAR to create innovative products, services and competitive businesses in Singapore.
Prior to his current appointment, Eugene led A*ccelerate Venture Creation Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of A*STAR. He had also held roles in corporate governance, policy, and business development at A*ccelerate; the marketing & commercialisation arm of A*STAR. Eugene also previously held various offices at A*STAR including Director of its Organisational Excellence Division and Deputy Director of Policy and Planning. Before joining the A*STAR family, Eugene had come from a varied background which spanned consultancy and market intelligence for companies such as IDC and IBM.
Eugene holds an MSc in Management from the London School of Economics.


General Manager, WW Digital Cities, Dell Technologies

Harjeet Singh Rekhi leads the Go To Market & Sales for Dell Technologies Global Digital Cities team. In this role, he serves numerous customers globally helping them in their complex transformation journey. Harjeet works cross functionally within Dell Technologies to assemble pursuit teams collaborating with customer organisations to fulfill their expectations. Technology is at the core of the delivering citizen centricity in the coming decades and positioning the organisation to deliver these solutions in partnership with other high tech organisations is critical to achieving long term success.

Harjeet has been with Dell for more than a decade witnessing the organisation transform into an end to end solutions provider. Harjeet is a key member of the leadership team having served various roles in Sales, Solutioning & Marketing. Harjeet’s career spans Financial Services, Consumer Durables, Automobiles, Telecom and IT. He is a veteran of the ICT industry having spent over two decades with iconic companies ~ Motorola and Dell Technologies. He is an Economics graduate with a master's degree in Business Administration. Harjeet is based in Singapore.


Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Transformation), Changi General Hospital
Development Lead, Eastern Health Campus Project
Director, Centre for Healthcare Assistive & Robotics Technology (CHART)

Assuming concurrent roles as Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Changi General Hospital, and the Development Lead for a new regional health campus to serve the growing needs in the eastern part of Singapore, Selina provides leadership and direction for care transformation, looking at developing enablers in infrastructure, technology and innovations. She is also the Director for the Centre for Healthcare Assistive Robotics and Technology (CHART), which provides oversight for the Smart Systems Programme Office at Ministry of Health, to drive the adoption of robotics and assistive technology and evaluate its impact. With an eye on Singapore’s future healthcare landscape, she is also working on strategic partnerships as Deputy Chair at the SingHealth-Duke NUS’s Academic Medicine Innovation Institute.


Founder and Managing Director, ONEBlue Advisory LLP
Executive Advisor, NUS Enterprise, National University of Singapore
Industry Expert, European Union Business Avenue

Mr Wong has more than 40 years of experience in water-energy nexus and sustainable urban solutions, with senior management position in both private and public sectors. Mr Wong is a registered professional engineer, senior member of Institute of Engineers of Singapore. He also attended Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard Business School.

He established ONEBlue Advisory LLP in 2011 and is the Executive Advisory of ILO of NUS Enterprise focusing in translation and commercialisation, IP management, advise and mentor start-up/spin-off company. Between 2015-2020, he was the European Union Business Avenue’s Singapore industry expert for industrial sector related to green energy, environment and water etc.

Mr Wong is also a member of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) steering committee for NSoE. In early 2020, he was invited to be a member of Energy Market Authority (EMA) board committee on energy reliability and technology.