Singapore govt grants 15 tech startups $5M in funds

Spring Singapore awards S$6 million in grants to the startups, which spans industries including infocomms, electronics, engineering and medical devices, to assist them in developing "disruptive technologies".
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Government agency Spring Singapore has awarded grants worth a total of S$6 million (US$4.8 million) to 15 tech startups under its Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme (TECS).

In a statement released Thursday, Spring Singapore said the 15 companies spanned various industries from infocommunications, electronics, engineering, medical devices, and water and environment. The grants were for approved proof-of-concept and proof-of-value submissions, the statutory board for enterprise development added. 

TECS, which focuses on bringing potentially disruptive technologies to the market, was launched in 2008. It has since supported over 150 projects totaling more than S$50 million (US$40.4 million), the agency noted.

"The TECS provides funding during the critical, pre-market stages to bridge the gap between an innovative technology idea and the market."

- Chew Mok Lee, assistant chief executive of Spring Singapore

Chew Mok Lee, assistant chief executive of Spring Singapore, said: "The TECS provides funding during the critical, pre-market stages to bridge the gap between an innovative technology idea and the market. Technology startups face particular difficulties in commercializing their products or services due to the risks involved in the R&D (research and development) of new and potentially market-changing technologies."

Healthcare a key beneficiary

Three startups were highlighted for their projects that could make a notable impact on the healthcare sector when commercialized.

One of them, T.Ware, is developing a therapy system to calm autism patients when they suffer fits. It comprises a T.Jacket, which simulates deep pressure massage, and a therapist can customize the rhythm and pressure of the jacket's "hug" around the patient according to his or her needs. This also allows a single therapist to attend to several patients at the same time.

James Teh, founder and executive director of T.Ware, said in the statement the grant supports his startup's R&D process to build and test the prototype with actual patients, in particular children with autism.

"When commercialized, the T.Jacket will be the first in the world to give autism patients comforting "hugs" at the touch of a smartphone. It is convenient for both the wearer and the care-giver to use and contributes to the patient's overall well-being," said Teh.

The other two healthcare startups are Neurostyle, which is developing a new way to teach the brain to "rewire" itself through virtual reality games that can help stroke patients recover movement in affected limbs, and Hexalotus Technology, which is creating a 3D model to improve the planning and treatment of liver cancer, according to Spring Singapore.

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