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Take Tech to Market



TechLaunch is a unique experiential module in which students develop skills in identifying and capturing value from technological innovation. Students work in cross-disciplinary teams of graduate students and spend much of their time talking to customers & partners in search of the right market and the right business model that can leverage the uniqueness of a technology.  

Each team is assigned a patented technology with the potential for commercialisation preselected from NUS R&D, A*STAR, or local enterprises. In teams, students will learn together to validate a market application and business plan, through primary research, ensuring that it satisfies the criteria of Customer Desirability, Technology Feasibility and Business Viability. 

Students will learn how to differentiate and validate a business idea from a business opportunity. They will experience the typical creative and unstructured start-up process that will challenge and develop their innovation and leadership skills. 

“…always keep the link between research and its potential practical application in mind. By converting research findings into commercial products, your work will not only benefit more people, but also benefit your research itself by allowing you to see the big picture clearly. When you know you are helping people through your everyday work, it gives a strong motivation for you to move forward with all the strength you have.” Li Liang, Student, 2012 


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Plenary sessions will introduce frameworks for commercialization of new ideas and technologies. Professor Ignatius Rasiah will lead the module.

The objective of this one-semester project is for students to learn how to search for the maximum value creation of a (patented) technology in an iterative manner as start-ups do in the real world. Through these experiences they will understand how technology can create value and how such value can be captured in a start-up. While doing so their business management skills and team leadership skills will be enhanced.

Students will be assessed based on their creativity, team collaboration, progress made in developing their project, peer reviews and overall participation. Successful students will receive 4MCs for this module, registered under MT5913 TechLaunch: Experiential Entrepreneurship.

The module does not require pre-requisites. 

The module requires students to actively engage with industry in the form of interviews (in person, skype, phone) during normal week work hours. Part-time students currently employed may be disadvantaged and will have to balance their time well. 

We do not allow students to audit the module due to the sensitivity of information regarding technologies being shared.

The module will meet once a week. Each week a new concept critical to business viability will be presented. Teams will have a week to map their assumptions related to this concept, find out in the market place by talking to customers and industry players whether their assumptions are true or not and adjust them. Teams will present their lessons learned related to this concept the week after. 

Each team will be required to keep documenting their progress through the module. The module will conclude with students presenting their project and value proposition to a committee of entrepreneurs, industry experts investors and university staff.

Sem 1 AY2018/2019: Teams will meet on Wednesdays (6-9PM) at TechHub@E2

Have some questions? Please email Professor Ignatius Rasiah at

If you have an interesting, demonstrable, technology and would like to enter your technology into the programme, please send an email to We will schedule a meeting with you to discuss your technology and its suitability for the module.

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Many products in today’s market such as food items like drinks, snacks and food ingredients come sealed and with an expiry date. Most of these seals are made and tested in the factory. However, there is no way to test these seals in a fast and cheap manner as most test methods for seals are expensive. Thus, a purchaser will never know if the packaging of the product they bought have some tiny hole, which is spoiling their food sooner than the expiry date. This becomes especially important in areas such as medical devices where proper sealing or the lack of it could become a life-threatening issue.

Today, we have a new technology that is able to detect such a loss in sealing in packaging. This is a fast and sensitive measurement of the quality of a sealing using an electromagnetic technology. Such a fast method could be incorporated into a production line for quality testing at high throughput or even be used by consumers to check a good seal over a long period of time. The team will need to find a good market application and figure out the design of the product so as to properly incorporate the technology so that it meets the customer requirements.

Understanding and controlling the interactions between different types of organic growth with different surfaces has a variety of applications in diverse fields; the growth of biofilm on solar panels, barnacles on ships and human cells on temporary medical catheters are all problems that cause different types of losses, from finance to patient well-being. At the same time, being able to accelerate cell growth will be beneficial in pharmaceutical drug testing, medical cell therapies, prevention of industrial biofilm formation and others.

The technology in this project is a thin film coating based on unique oxide chemistry that could either help cell growth or stop them, depending on how the coating is done. The applications for this kind of technology has been demonstrated to enhance bacterial / mammalian cell growth or retard bacterial / mammalian cell growth, according to the requirements of the scientists. As such, they have the potential to beneficially disrupt various medical, industrial and consumer uses. The team will need to look for all the various applications for this kind of technology and figure out the best go to market strategy for this unique technology.

There are many occasions where there is a need to know the molecular composition of the surface of materials. For example, the molecular composition of the surface of the skin would be able to identify and characterize the various types of skin diseases and conditions such as dry skin, Fungal infection and Psoriasis.

What we have is a hand-held device with a technology that can detect the Raman spectrum of surfaces up to 150 micrometer in depth confocally. This can provide molecular finger-printing of various conditions on the surface of materials. This capability can be used in various markets apart from skin diseases, such as agriculture where they would characterize various plant conditions and pathogens in food. There is a need to understand market needs and plan out the best avenue for commercialization of this new and innovative technology.

Heat is something we waste in a number of human activities. For example at air-conditioner condensor outside our homes, hotels and offices, from the engine and exhaust of cars as well as the exhausts and chimneys of factories and power plants. In addition, low grade heat can come from solar collectors or geothermal sources. Most of this heat is simply wasted and goes to the environment. However, most of these low grade heat could be harnessed and turned into something useful, such as electricity or cooling source.

Utilizing low-grade waste heat leads to increased energy efficiency and profitability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The existing technologies for harnessing waste heat are complex, expensive and cannot utilize very low temperature heat (<100oC) in an effective way. There is a strong need for systems which can utilize this abundantly available very low-grade heat. A combined cooling and power system is desirable because it can be compact, less expensive, efficient, effective and easy-to-operate.

The developed technology converts the abundantly available low-grade (low-temperature) heat into cooling or power by using the patented configuration of the system. There is now a need to study all the possible uses of this technology and identify the best way to commercialize them as well as figure out the form and function of the eventual product so that it fits the need.

Human breath contains thousands of molecules called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs are produced by metabolism at various sites of the body, circulated by blood, and exhaled into breath through the blood-gas change in the lung. When a particular disease develops, it would lead to detectable changes in the breath VOC profile. Thus, it should be possible to detect diseases by testing the VOCs from the breath.

We have validated the potential of breath analysis in detecting lung cancer using high sensitivity mass spectrometry and customized breath sampler. In theory, breath analysis can be used to detect any condition that causes significant changes in the biochemical pathways involving volatile metabolites. Compared to conventional diagnostic techniques, breath analysis offers a low cost, non-invasive and fast screening technique that is also promising for early detection. It has the potential to become the new frontier for medical testing and revolutionize healthcare industry. There is a need to figure out what are the best ways to use this technology so that it can be a viable business. That would also dictate the design of the product for this technology.

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Customise Your Own Nano Shield


Smart Force Sensors for Amazing Gaming


High Sensitive Detection Kit Provider


Farm Freshness Delivered


A Tetris-Like (TILE) Modular Multi-Organ System

Wire Futurus

Scaling Greater Heights


Go Green, Drink Clean

Sole Watchmen

The Smart Sole for Preventive Care Against Diabetes


Providing an ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ platform for predictive maintenance for conveyor systems

ALT Drones

Smart drones for inspection of confined spaces

[Tech from AeroLion; an NUS Engineering start-up]

The headband for early detection of high levels of fatigue.

[Tech from Biomedical Engineering]

Delivering confidence with your skincare solutions.

[Tech from Pharmacy/Science Faculty]
High Barrier Coating

Why throw when you can store it?

[Tech from Dou Yee; a Singapore enterprise]

IoT with predictive maintenance.

[Tech from MEDSTech; a Singapore enterprise]

Advancing Healthcare. One molecule at a time.

[Tech from Physics/Science Faculty & Mechanobiology Institute]

See it Bigger. See it Alive.

[Tech from Electrical & Computer Engineering]

Convert waste energy to purified water.

[Tech from Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering]

Infra Red Sensor Distraction free driving. All with a wave of your hands


Advanced Adsorbent Materials Nanomaterials redefining gas usage for a greener world


Coating for Bone Implants Growing bone for you


Sports Training Sensor Suite Discover dance. Whenever. Wherever


Deformation Sensor Monitoring for early action


Printed Electronics Luminous surfaces to Enlighten your World


Flexible LCD Intensify nature’s colors at your fingertips


Soft Robotic Gloves for Rehab Gentle Touch, Enhancing Life


Technology to build entirely soft actuators Brings Comfort to Everyone


Waste Water Treatment Creating wealth from your unexploited waste water


Portable Spectroscopy Providing accurate colour measurements anytime, anywhere for anyone


Phosphate Monitoring Eradicate fish death, saving billions to fish industry


Offers a unique non-toxic battery binder that makes batteries 5% lighter and 4x faster charging.


Sells novel test kits enabling early pneumonia detection in 2 minutes


Introducing a pioneering portable, radiation-free device allowing early-diagnosis and monitoring of hematoma patients.


Provides a patented, disposable, skin-penetration-testing device that uses 10x less drug


Sells unique micro-inverter systems enabling easy access to solar power for households


Offers a novel Tiling Robot that tiles floors accurately and 3x faster


Provides a unique membrane dehumidifier system that decreases inlet air humidity by half thus dramatically reducing the energy required to cool a building


Commercializes novel micro-needles developed at NUS. The first product is an effective overnight patch for reducing cellulite.


Commercializes novel micro-needles developed at NUS. The first product is an effective overnight patch for reducing cellulite.


Commercializes a patented bacteria and simple process to convert organic feedstock into useful green products. The first product is bio-succinic acid produced out of sugarcane bagasse.


Revolutionizes skin testing in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries by providing real life human skin derived from stem cells assuring consistency and thus speeding time-to-market for cosmetics products.


System enables patients to perform prescribed rehabilitation exercises from home and measures their progress. Therapists can focus on customizing treatment thus allowing them to see 3 times more patients than before


Produces bio diesel made out of waste grease using a unique patented biocatalyst for the Asian emerging economies hungry for energy.


Offers a unique cell-tracing product to the pharmaceutical industry that enables ten times higher visibility and dramatically longer tracing of cancer cells than any other product on the market today.

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