SWITCH Returns with ASEAN China Focus to Light Up Innovation and Tech Scene in Asia

ASEAN and China’s partnership in the areas of innovation and technology is set to deepen when the Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology (SWITCH) returns for its third edition this year. In conjunction with the ASEAN-China Year of Innovation, Singapore as ASEAN Chair this year will gather the best of innovation and tech in ASEAN countries and China at SWITCH 2018, and encourage the mutual sharing of experiences and best practices by players from both ecosystems.

Organised by National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) and Enterprise Singapore along themes such as deep technology, entrepreneurship, venture funding and tech in lifestyle, SWITCH builds on its past two runs to establish itself as a flagship tech and innovation gathering in Asia. This year, SWITCH will be launched by Minister for Finance and Chairman of the NRF Mr Heng Swee Keat on 17 September 2018 at Marina Bay Sands (Sands Expo and Convention Centre).

Participants can look forward to an exciting line-up of speakers, exhibitions, pitching competitions and networking sessions. Highlights include: –

  • (a) Showcase of Innovation and Tech Ecosystem in ASEAN and China. SWITCH will bring together the tech and innovation ecosystems in ASEAN countries and China so that players – researchers, startups, corporates, venture capitalists – can connect globally, collaborate and learn from one another’s approaches to innovation and tech. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from notable entrepreneurs and investors from tech and media giants in ASEAN and China through events organised by TechNode, CYZone, and the Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia (BANSEA). Dr Lu Gang, Founder & CEO of TechNode said: “TechNode’s vision is to be the No.1 platform bridging Chinese and global tech ecosystems. We recognise that Singapore’s startup ecosystem is booming and that Singapore also acts as the gateway to Southeast Asia. We are super excited to come on board as an event partner of SWITCH this year and I believe SWITCH is one of the fastest-growing tech conferences where you can experience and learn what’s really happening in Asian tech space.” Mr James Tan, Chairman of BANSEA and Managing Partner of Quest Ventures said: “From Uber to Carousell, most market-shifting startups secured their initial capital from angel investors. As Asia’s oldest angel Investment network, the Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia is pleased to support National Research Foundation and Enterprise Singapore in building a vibrant early stage investment ecosystem in Singapore. Regionally, our networks of angel investors are bullish on the opportunities for disruption caused by technology. We look forward to welcoming them to SWITCH.”
  • (b) Deep Tech takes Centre Stage. Continuing its tradition of connecting researchers, innovators and industry in deep tech, SWITCH will examine global trends in areas including biotech, advanced manufacturing techniques, food technology, medical technology, sustainable urban design and engineering, among others. SGInnovate will organise its inaugural Deep Tech Summit that will cover topics in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning. It will discuss the impact of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies across industry applications and why investing in early stage deep tech startups today is important for our future tomorrow. Tabula Rasa’s Empiricon will focus on deep tech solutions in sustainability, energy and biotech so that humanity can pivot, adjust to and still balance its existence with the natural environment we live in.
  • (c) Special Showcase on Tech in Lifestyle. SWITCH will feature a special showcase on technology and how it defines the future of lifestyle. The SWITCH opening show by homegrown design curator and fashion director, Mira Sianipar, will feature fashion elements, amidst hi-tech 3D projection mapping and motion-activated music and lights. It explores how technology influences and transforms our lives, providing consciousness on parallel issues such as sustainability and social impact. This will be complemented by exhibitions that highlight the myriad interactions of tech and daily life from the way we work, to how we play and what we eat.
  • (d) Startups Battle it Out at Pitching Competition. SLINGSHOT@SWITCH powered by Startup SG, and organised by Enterprise Singapore, will bring promising global startups to Singapore and provide them with a platform to showcase their technology and business ideas to investors, companies, industry leaders, media and tech-savvy early adopters, so that they can get a hand to accelerate into markets. SLINGSHOT@SWITCH has attracted over 1,000 startups from more than 80 countries. Watch up to 80 shortlisted ones battle it out at SWITCH for a spot at the finals on 19 September 2018!

Professor Low Teck Seng, Chief Executive Officer of NRF said: “SWITCH has gained momentum over the past two editions to become a flagship platform in Singapore that strengthens our innovation ecosystem by connecting researchers and entrepreneurs with industry and international partners. This ensures that innovative ideas can be nurtured and scaled to deliver high impact solutions for tomorrow. We are excited to see how SWITCH can continue to build Singapore’s status as a deep tech hub, where good ideas can develop and take off to Asia and the rest of the world.”

Mr Ted Tan, Deputy CEO of Enterprise Singapore said: “Enterprise Singapore is happy to partner NRF to co-organise SWITCH for the first time this year. This will enable us to build stronger linkages between the research and the business community. We started the collaboration last year with SLINGSHOT@SWITCH, which is Enterprise Singapore’s global startup competition. We will continue leveraging this platform to attract deep tech startups with the best ideas to Singapore. By doing so, we hope more innovative solutions can be developed to better address industry challenges in our region.”

SWITCH main events will be held from 17 to 19 September 2018 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands, with offsite visits to the heart of Singapore’s innovation and technology ecosystems on 20 September 2018. This year’s 4-day line-up is expected to attract over 11,000 participants, including tech startups, investors, corporations and innovation agencies from Singapore and abroad.


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