The National University Health System (NUHS) announced in October 2020 the launch of its new Centre for Innovation (CIH) as part of plan to propel Singapore’s MedTech growth as a regional hub, supporting new clinical innovation and entrepreneurial start-ups.
In a media release, the NUHS’s CIH announced that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Asia Research & Innovation Alliance Limited (ARIA), to support a joint commercialization programme and the setting up a new Shenton HealthTech Venture Capital Fund at about S$50 million, for start-ups and spin-offs which require funding for adoption and commercialization for MedTech innovations. Through this MoU, MedTech innovators from Singapore would be accessible to a number of ARIA’s Asia Pacific strategic partners.
The new innovation centre, CIH is a 5,000 square feet facility that has supported more than 20 MedTech innovations in clinical trials, adoption and assessment since 2018. These innovations had attracted more than S$100 mil investment funds so far by 30 investors. CIH conducts annual Innovation 360 Matchmake and innovation SEED events where they help match game-changing innovations with clinical investigators, investors, business and engineering mentors and prototyping experts. CIH provides innovators with a platform to pitch to clinical users and stakeholders in the healthcare innovation ecosystem. This includes investors, prototyping experts, business mentors from Health Horizons, a networking of this community led by Chairman and mentor, Mr Philip Yeo, who is a forerunner and torchbearer, synonymous with driving and promoting start-up entrepreneurship and innovation ventures.
Professor Lawrence Ho, Director of NUHS Centre for Innovation in Healthcare (CIH) summed up the value of the Centre, commenting that, “A lot of would-be entrepreneurs either drop out or go for the low-hanging fruit because of hurdles, and being a clinician entrepreneur myself, I see it as my responsibility to help others close this gap and land their first investor. CIH focuses on identifying the best innovations and then connecting them with investors, incubators and mentors so that the technologies will eventually reach the market. Being able to create value is foremost in a product.”
“Clinically validating the merits of an innovation in a hospital setting adds tremendous value to the market readiness of the product.” He adds, “We share a mission to accelerate effective new health innovations from idea to global impact and public good. To achieve that goal, we have to co-innovate with partners, locally and globally, as part of the innovation ecosystem.”