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25-07-2017
Indian School of Business launches startup incubator

The Indian School of Business (ISB), one of India’s leading business schools has launched DLabs, its startup incubation and acceleration arm. DLabs, which has been set up in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, leverages resources, expertise and networks of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ISB through mentorship, education and investor connect. The setting up of the lab formalises what the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been doing for the last two years.  “We can now provide the physical space of 10,000 square feet for interaction of startups with various stakeholders including investors,” Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, ISB said. In the last two years, ISB has incubated 32 startups and DLabs is expected to further incubation and business acceleration of new ventures. “While there are many incubators across institutions now, the value proposition in our DLabs is its efforts in acceleration and scaling up the venture apart from its incubation.” DLabs will focus on key sectors such as healthcare, infrastructure, smart cities and social- impact ventures.  In view of the importance of incubation for promoting startups, ISB will be launching an advanced management program for incubators managers. “Startup incubation activity is now very popular and there is a need for training for incubator management,” Srivastava said. On the startup ecosystem in the country, the Dean said there was a need to promote ease of business for them in various aspects including filing of returns. Giving an example, he said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will require startups and other business ventures to do about 36 filings a year.  The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE ) at the Indian School of Business(ISB) has run two successful initiatives - ISB-SAP Social Enterprise Jumpstart and ISB Envision - recently to encourage and support entrepreneurs with promising ideas and ventures.  Ten startups accelerated under these two programmes showcased their business ideas and scale up progress on the occasion. They included Ambee, an app based service that aims to help people track the nearest ambulance in real time, PeeBuddy which aims to solve personal hygiene issues faced by women during travel and SADS (Share at door step) to bridge the gap between the NGOs and donors for non-cash donations.  

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24-07-2017
Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore’s F2F competition named

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore announced six winners of the Face-to- Face (F2F) Competition segment of the Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore, organized in partnership with BAE Systems. Winners include Chang Si Yuan, Ngo Wei Lin, Chua Tianxiang, Joseph Ho, Daniel Wong and Chandrasekaran Akash. They each win an all-expenses paid trip to the United Kingdom (UK) to pit their cybersecurity skills against UK cybersecurity enthusiasts in the Masterclass Final in November. CSA said the 23 participants in the F2F competition had distinguished themselves with the highest scores from over 770 players who had registered in the first stage of the Challenge – the Singapore Floor of CyPhinx, a virtual three-dimensional (3D) skyscraper which acts as a gateway to different games, ciphers and competitions. Participants were divided into seven teams during the F2F competition and players pitted their skills against each other in a six-hour virtual battle as they devised cybersecurity measures to counter serious cyber breaches. The participants comprised students and mid-career professionals from fields such as consultancy and research and ranged in ages, with the youngest at 17 and the oldest at 41 years of age. Throughout the competition, players were graded by assessors from CSA and BAE Systems as they demonstrated their cybersecurity proficiencies, namely in web application penetration testing, data forensic analysis, vulnerability assessment, incident response, packet analysis, cryptography and coding. “The players demonstrated sound technical and analytical skills as they took on the different challenges,” said Teo Chin Hock, deputy chief executive of CSA. “This augurs well for the industry and we look forward to having more cybersecurity talents come forward to hone their skills at the Challenge, gain industry exposure and at the same time, raise the quantity and quality of our talent pool,” said Teo.

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24-07-2017
SK Telecom pushes quantum cryptography

SK Telecom has developed a prototype of an ultra-small quantum random number generator (QRNG) chip packed with entropy source and Deterministic Random Bit Generator (DRBG). A QRNG generates true random numbers without any kind of pattern, meaning that it is ideal for use in cryptography. However, so far, the cost and size of QRNGs currently on market have prevented them from becoming widespread. With the successful development of an ultra-small QRNG chip measuring 5mm by 5mm, SK Telecom expects that it will soon be able to embed QRNG to a wide variety of the Internet of Things (IoT) products, including autonomous vehicles, drones and smart devices, to dramatically enhance the level of security for IoT services. Although the price of each QRNG chip has not been set yet, the company said that it will be the lowest price ever for a QRNG. Meanwhile, SK Telecom is also developing a QRNG in the form of USB and PCIe. While the QRNG chip has to be embedded from the beginning of the product development, QRNG in the form of USB or PCIe can be simply connected to any product already on market to provide genuine randomness. “Understanding the importance of data and data security, SK Telecom has focused on developing quantum cryptography technologies to guarantee secure transmission of data in areas including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and autonomous driving,” said Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of Network R&D Center of SK Telecom. “We will continue to work with partners, both home and abroad, to accelerate the popularization of quantum cryptography and strengthen our presence in the global market,” said Park.

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24-07-2017
US firms dominate top value creators in 2017

American companies again dominate the list of the world’s top value creators, taking seven of the Top 10 spots for global large-cap companies in the 2017 value creators rankings, according to The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). BCG said technology, media, and telecommunications have replaced the pharmaceuticals industry as the primary value-driving sectors in the Top 10. TMT companies hold down seven places on this year’s list while pharma, which claimed four of the top ten slots in 2016 (including the top three) and five in 2015, is absent. The 2017 rankings reflect an analysis of TSR at approximately 2,350 companies worldwide (of which some 30% are US-based) from 2012 through 2016. Since 1999, BCG has published annual rankings of top value creators, measured on the basis of total shareholder return over the previous five-year period. The Top 10 large-cap value creators for the five years 2012 through 2016 delivered an impressive average annual TSR of 41%. By way of comparison, the average annual TSR for the next 10 best companies was a still impressive 29%. The overall average annual TSR for all the companies in this year's value creators database was 16%, well above the long-term average of about 10% for the S&P 500. Among industry sectors, mid-cap pharma ($4 billion to $17 billion in market cap) ranks first in average value creation, as it did last year. Other top-five sectors are consumer durables, automotive components, financial infrastructure providers, and medical technology. “The likelihood of beating the market—especially by a wide margin—year in and year out, is low,” said Gerry Hansell, a BCG senior partner. “For companies in mature industries, the challenge is even greater because growth is such an important driver of long-term TSR.” “That said, companies in mature industries still can drive value creation by improving efficiency, allocating capital prudently, and returning cash to shareholders rather than investing it in low-return growth opportunities,” said Hansell.

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24-07-2017
Singapore firms struggle with optimal strategy despite digital push

Digital transformation is reaching a tipping point across Singapore along with the rest of the world, with 42% of businesses in Singapore now deriving more than half their revenue from digital streams. According to a survey by Pure Storage, 46% of businesses across Asia Pacific and Japan were doing to same. The independent survey included IT leaders in more than 9,000 businesses globally, including over 3,000 firms in APJ and 500 in Singapore. Results show that 63% of businesses in Singapore are looking to digital services to drive cost savings and 60% to accelerate innovation. “This transformation will affect all businesses in Singapore and across the region in the coming years, forcing them to reconsider how and when they collect and use data,” said Chua Hock Leng, managing director for ASEAN and Taiwan at Pure Storage. “The advantages once held by the public cloud are no longer its sole domain,” said Chua. “As Singapore continues to pursue its Smart Nation vision, businesses need to understand how to use the entire data ecosystem — cloud and on-premises — in order to put their data to work and mine insights to deliver customer results.” In Singapore, technical complexity is the biggest barrier to digital transformation, with 59% of businesses saying it is preventing them from converting to digital solutions. This is followed by the lack of digital skillsets (42%). On average, businesses in Singapore run 38% of their applications on-premises – higher than public cloud (25%), SaaS (24%), and private cloud (21%), similar to the average statistics across APJ. Also, 32% of companies in Singapore that ran workloads in public cloud environments have moved some or all of those workloads back on-premises. Across APJ, the average is 38%. A significant 67% of businesses in Singapore cited security as the biggest drawback the public cloud, followed by cost savings (33%), and performance (27%). Further, 71% of IT departments in Singapore businesses report that they are losing control of key technology decisions to other colleagues in the company.

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24-07-2017
APAC firms struggle to cope with cybersecurity evolution

Close to half (46%) of Asia-Pacific firms are having a difficulty keeping up with rapidly evolving cybersecurity technologies, a survey by Palo Alto Networks shows. The survey covered more than 500 business professionals in APAC, including respondents in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore. The study found that more money does not mean more and better solutions. While two-thirds of firms increased their budgets, antivirus (69%) and firewalls (67%) have the highest take-up rates in the region while far fewer companies have adopted more advanced solutions, such as two-factor authentication (27%), anti-ransomware (25%) and biometrics (22%). Second, there is a need to change the mindset towards cybersecurity. A majority (58%) of firms believe a “detect and respond” approach is more important than prevention, but data breaches continue to prevail. In financial year 2016-17, 52% of organizations have reported a cybersecurity breach, with 30% reporting financial losses of over $100,000 from those breaches. Finally, different markets face different challenges. The APAC markets surveyed were unanimous about employees’ lack of cybersecurity awareness being the topmost challenge. Risk from third-party vendors was the second most prominent concern (36%). With the rapid adoption of digital technologies – especially in developing markets – migration to cloud followed as the third-biggest pain point (31%). In particular, governments displayed a need to be more agile in adapting to technology trends, with updating legacy IT systems being their largest hurdle. “Cyberthreats are not problems you can solve simply by increasing budgets,” said Sean Duca, VP and regional chief security officer for APAC at Palo Alto Networks. “A good approach to cybersecurity requires the buy-in of business leaders and understanding of the threat landscape so they can help design and implement more effective cybersecurity policies in order to prevent breaches,” said Duca. He said that aside from ensuring that networks are adequately secured with a next-generation breach prevention-minded platform approach, organizations must also ensure that employee education is elevated to the top of their cybersecurity agenda.

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23-07-2017
China’s shadow banking crackdown needs a bigger stick

For non-bankers, shadow banking leaves this perception of illicit financial services that harms economies if not the financial services industry. The reality is that shadow banking, and the non-banks that offer the service, is a welcome source of diversification of the credit supply from the banking system, and provides healthy competition for banks. At least that is what is stated in the Global Shadow Banking Monitoring Report 2016 published by the Financial Stability Board, the Swiss-based international body that monitors and recommends on the global financial system.In China, the regulator turned the spotlight on shadow banking with the introduction of new measures to tighten regulatory enforcement and cool credit growth in the shadow banking sector. Indeed recent measures by the regulator to contain financial sector risks may yielding some results with Fitch Ratings indicating such efforts could be positive for system-wide stability if maintained over the medium-term.However, it remains to be seen if the authorities stay committed should economic growth slow faster than they are willing to tolerate. The authorities are at least likely to tread carefully, given the potential for policy missteps – such as the possible triggering of a credit crunch.Grace Wu, senior director for financial solutions at FitchRatings noted a heavy reliance on credit to meet GDP targets. The size of wealth management products (WMP) has grown to US$29 trillion at the end of 2016, equivalent to 19% of system deposits.Mid-tier banks bear the highest risk as WMPs now account for close to 50% of their deposits, increasing their liquidity vulnerability.“Tighter enforcement of shadow banking activities and also WMPs in general is more targeted at containing overall financial sector risks,” she added. Zennon Kapron, director of Kapronasia, noted that the shadow banking industry has faced a significant amount of regulatory attention in the last few years as the regulators seek to diminish the currently outsized impact the sub-segment has on the industry as a whole.“Although the shadow banking space is still growing, this regulatory attention and the rise of viable alternatives like P2P lending and regulated Consumer and SME finance may mean that the industry will slow later in 2017 and going into 2018,” he added.He is optimistic that as alternative lending platforms and consumer finance organizations grow, the market will see a certain part of the shadow finance market disappear as these alternative Fintech solutions continue to take market-share. Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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23-07-2017
Financial services to drive fastest IT budget increases says IDC

The annual IDC Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Industry and Company Size predicts that improvements and stability in business confidence across a broad range of vertical industries will drive stronger IT spending growth this year. Leading the charge is the financial services where the analyst predicts IT budgets will grow by more than 5%."The banking industry shows largely positive indicators for spending plans, with key projects focused on Big Data and Analytics (BDA)," said Jessica Goepfert, program director, Customer Insights & Analysis. "Almost all of the major banks around the world have highlighted that their BDA deployments are now a critical part of their competitive strategies. This is particularly the case on the retail banking side as the banks develop their omni-channel strategies, seek to understand and respond to their customers' behavior, and build strategies for excellence in customer experience."Benefiting from this growth in spending will be professional services firms, including cloud service providers, which will increase their IT spending by 6% in 2017. By 2021, IT spending will reach $2.7 trillion, with the largest contributions coming from consumers, banks, manufacturers, and telecommunications providers.Cloud service providers are expected to resume datacenter investment growth in the second half of 2017, after a brief slowdown, and this will drive server and storage spending by professional services firms to almost 9% growth this year. Meanwhile, enterprise buyers are also poised for a server upgrade cycle this year, driving positive growth in spending across vertical industries.Enterprise software spending remains strong, led by professional services (+9%), followed by banking, securities and investment services, retail, and healthcare (all +8%). Total annual software spending will surpass US$600 billion by 2021, with the largest contributions from manufacturing, banking, and professional services.On the IT services side, the strongest growth will come from project-oriented services including application development and IT consulting, with weaker growth in outsourcing and support services. The strongest IT services spending growth this year will be in banking, telecommunications, and professional services, which will each post increases of around 4%.Growth will be stronger in business services (business process outsourcing (BPO) and business consulting), led by healthcare (+8%), banking (+7.5%) and retail (+7%). Total IT and business services spending will be more than US$1 trillion next year, with the largest contributions from banking, discrete manufacturing, and federal/central government. Caption: photo courtesy of iStockphoto

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21-07-2017
Australian shoppers favor biometrics over security PIN

More than half of Australians would prefer to use fingerprints, voice or retina scans in place of PINs when making payments and 25% ready for artificial intelligence to do their shopping."Australian shoppers are at the forefront of the global evolution of commerce, providing a big opportunity to merchants and financial services providers to similarly lead their international counterparts in innovation. Over the past few years, we've seen developments that have significantly changed our payment experiences – from Visa payWave to wearables, such as smartwatches and even rings,” said Stephen Karpin, Group Country Manager for Visa in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific.According to new research commissioned by Visa, 29% of Australians are ready to use an internet-connected device, like a smart home virtual assistant or connected fridge to make payments on their behalf.Karpin added that: "As the Internet of Things and biometric capabilities become integrated into our everyday experiences, we'll experience a significant shift in how payments are made. In our lifetime, we will see infinitely more choice in how Australians pay, from watches, fridges and mobile phones, to eyes and fingers. And we'll experience personalization that we never thought possible, powered by artificial intelligence.”Visa estimates over three billion of its cards are circulating globally with about 44 million merchants accepting the Visa card as payment. The card company predicts that with the introduction of connected devices and the continued growth of digital commerce, those numbers will expand 30 billion different ways of paying and 400 million physical and digital acceptance points.According to Futurist, Anders Sorman-Nilsson, ease of use will drive consumers to adopt new patment and commerce experiences. “Connected, AI enabled devices ready to pay will only be pervasive if the experience is easy, seamless and secure,” he added.Many of the new payment methods currently using smartphones rely on biometrics for authentication. More than half of respondents surveyed by YouGov (56%) said they are comfortable using their thumbprint, voice or retina for payment. According to the research, the appeal of biometrics is that it is more secure (45%) and the need to not have to remember a pin/password (40%) is driving consumer adoption and readiness.But while consumers are keen to embrace biometric authentication, less than half (39%) of respondents were willing to share their personal information in exchange for convenience in payments.Karpin attributes this hesitation to prevailing privacy concerns. Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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21-07-2017
Philips & Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings to open US$72 mil oncology center

Royal Philips and the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (SAM) today announced a collaboration with Varian Medical Systems and IBA Worldwide to build the new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre based at Biopolis, the international biomedical research hub in Singapore. The oncology center will provide imaging, treatment delivery and clinical informatics technologies with the intent to comprehensively address the region's fast-growing number of people confronted with cancer. SAM is driving the collaboration by investing up to SGD 100 million (approximately USD 72 million) towards the development of a center of excellence for oncology in the Southeast Asia region.Improving patient outcomesThe new research, training and treatment center will provide oncology solutions for use by healthcare professionals and researchers. Projected to open in stages from 2018 onwards, the center will also aim to provide a platform for professional training to meet the evolving needs of the healthcare industry. Through research, clinical trials and development of cancer treatment therapies, the Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre will house "new innovations and treatment protocols developed via a multi-disciplinary approach for better and more personalized patient care, potentially improved outcomes and a better on-going quality of life for patients" according to the press release."The new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre aligns with the founding goal of the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings to provide earlier detection and first-time-right diagnosis of cancer as well as safer, more cost effective treatment by advancing care enabled through research, technology and education," said Dr. Djeng Shih Kien, Founder and Chairman, Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings. "I am proud to be leading this milestone with our partners, marking a step forward in the treatment of cancer, which affects much of humanity."Bringing together technologiesThe Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre will house a range of Philips' advanced diagnostic imaging systems and clinical informatics."Cancer affects people from all walks of life and is among the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for more than 4 million deaths in Asia in 2016," said Diederik Zeven, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips ASEAN Pacific. "Philips is enabling the advancement of medical research through our deep heritage in healthcare innovation and collaboration with medical partners. The new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre is well-positioned to spearhead cancer research and treatment in Singapore and the region and we are very proud to be a strategic partner.""This center will be the first installation of Varian's ProBeam Compact proton therapy system, which is designed to enable space-constrained sites such as this to offer state-of-the-art technology for cancer patients," said Dr. Moataz Karmalawy, General Manager of Varian's Particle Therapy division. "This center will open up additional opportunities for both education and research. Singapore is joining an exclusive group of countries that have facilities like these to advance our understanding of not only proton therapy, but also immunotherapy and other cell-based treatments."A growing concernBesides cancer, age-related health diseases are a growing concern with Asia-Pacific projected to comprise two thirds of the world's elderly by 2050. In the longer term, the center will also manage a number of diagnostic and therapeutic medical specialties by housing world-class imaging solutions to address cardiovascular and neurological disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Caption: Diederik Zeven, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips ASEAN Pacific (Left) with Dr. Djeng Shih Kien, Founder and Chairman, Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (Right)

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21-07-2017
Wellness Open Living Labs & Osaka City University sign collaboration agreement

Wellness Open Living Labs (WOLL), co-founded by Eisai, and Osaka City University have concluded a basic collaboration agreement aimed at solving health science-related problems, such as dementia, and extending healthy life expectancy. Based on this agreement, WOLL and Osaka City University will collect and analyze health data, cultivate human resources, such as researchers involved in solving health problems, advance the development of the latest cutting-edge technology and academic research related to health problems such as dementia, and verify and commercialize solutions.  WOLL is a limited liability company, funded by 15 entities which support its objectives. Meanwhile, Osaka City University, under its slogan of "a glocal hub of wisdom and wellness, full of smiles", works to strengthen industry-academia-government collaboration and regional contribution activities in the field of health sciences, and based on a "basic collaboration agreement relating to extending healthy life expectancy" concluded with Osaka City in February, performs "think-tank" function for the purpose of extending healthy life expectancy in Osaka City.  Leveraging the experience gained in developing / marketing in the field of dementia treatments, Eisai has obtained the cooperation of various stakeholders, including local governments, healthcare professionals and care workers, and is working to create communities where people with dementia live with peace of mind. WOLL is the first limited liability company co-established by Eisai for the purpose of developing and providing solutions, and aims to externalize medical and care problems rooted in communities, and to investigate / develop / verify solutions in order to fulfill needs. Caption: Photo courtesy of Osaka City University

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21-07-2017
APAC CROs worry over bad data

An AxiomSL survey of 132 senior-level risk and regulatory executives in North America and Asia-Pacific (APAC) in June 2017 revealed that regulatory challenges continue to be top of mind among respondents with nearly half indicating intent to increase investment in risk and reporting compliance solution in 2017.Among respondents in APAC the primary challenge is allocating the necessary resources and capital (66%). Fifty-nine percent of APAC respondents said improving data aggregation and reporting is another top concern, and 57% selected adapting to upcoming regulatory changes.In contrast, 66% of North American respondents cited adapting to upcoming regulatory changes as their biggest challenge within the next three years while 55% said improving data aggregation and reporting. Thirty-eight percent said allocating necessary resources and capital toward ensuring compliance.RELATED: Video: Integrating transparency into a compliance strategyCEO of AxiomSL’s APAC region, Alexander Tsigutkin (photo right) said that despite the differences in priorities, they all agree that one of the biggest challenges is adapting quickly to upcoming regulatory changes. “To this end, firms need to ensure they have an agile technology platform that seamlessly interfaces across business functions to optimize business automation processes and controls while delivering workflow transparency and data lineage,” he added.APAC execs having nervous jitterAPAC executives have become significantly more concerned about their organizations’ ability to comply with upcoming regulations over the last year. More than two-thirds of APAC respondents (69%) said they are more worried this year compared to last year, while just 13% said they are less concerned and 18% reported no change.“It’s difficult to predict with complete accuracy which new regulations will take effect, and when,” said Peter Tierney, CEO of AxiomSL’s APAC region. “What is clear is that firms need to be more forward-looking and strategic, not only preparing for regulatory changes on the immediate horizon, but also investing in technology that can be leveraged and optimized to operate in a range of different regulatory climates.”Increase tech InvestmentForty-four percent of APAC respondents said their organizations plan to increase investment, in risk and regulatory compliance solutions in 2017, compared to 2016.When asked which risk and regulatory technology investments their firms plan to make in the next three years, APAC executives cited data management (61%) and reporting (67%). Other top areas of investment are risk and capital analytics (37%) and cloud computing (24%).Mistrust of dataThe survey also revealed doubts about data integrity with 53% of respondents in APAC said they don’t trust the accuracy of their organizations’ data. Inadequate data lineage and process governance as top reason (31% in APAC).Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockphoto

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21-07-2017
NUS establishes additive manufacturing facilities for biomed, signs collaboration MoUs

The National University of Singapore Centre for Additive Manufacturing (or AM.NUS) was launched today by Mr Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health, at the Additive Manufacturing Healthcare Summit. The establishment of AM.NUS is jointly supported by NAMIC and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). With an initial funding of S$18 million from NUS, NAMIC and EDB, AM.NUS will focus on developing and applying ground-breaking additive manufacturing (AM) technology in the biomedical and healthcare fields. The new centre will also leverage NUS’ expertise from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Dentistry and School of Design and Environment, to boost the university’s capabilities in the field of AM-enabled biomedical technology.“The NUS Centre for Additive Manufacturing will play a critical role in supporting Singapore’s vision of becoming a leading AM hub. Through this inter-faculty pooling of expertise, we hope to boost technology capabilities as well as advance intellectual property development and commercialisation of AM-enabled biomedical technologies,” said Professor Jerry Fuh Ying-Hsi, Co-Director of AM.NUS, who is the Thrust Lead of Restorative Repair & Implants and from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering.“We have targeted the biomedical sector, as the end goal is to introduce new innovative products to the market which can improve patient outcomes and healthcare delivery,” added Associate Professor Wilson Wang Ee Jen, Co-Director, AM.NUS, who is also from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.AM.NUS will drive AM R&D in the biomedical sector along the following key thrusts:Developing surgical instruments, simulators and prosthetics – Researchers from the Division of Industrial Design at the NUS School of Design and Environment aim to create customisable surgical tools and simulators for educating the next generation of doctors or simplifying difficult clinical tasks. The team will also design functional prosthetics using AM technology. 3D Printing-enabled customised medicine – Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy at the NUS Faculty of Science are exploring use of AM-enabled drug formulations and individualised control of dosage/ drug release. Bio-printing for tissue repair – Scientists from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine will be studying new solutions to regenerate and replace damaged tissues by using advanced materials and scaffold printing techniques, combined with tissue engineering. Restorative repairs and implants – Researchers from the NUS Faculty of Engineering are exploring functional printing and developing ceramic and metal AM materials and processes, in order to bring novel and more biocompatible implants to market. Oral health and craniofacial applications – The NUS Faculty of Dentistry will be leading educational efforts in advanced computer-aided oral surgery and surgical planning. The Faculty will also conduct research on the use of AM in dental implant design and tissue engineering.AM.NUS consists of two laboratories – one located at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the other at the Faculty of Engineering. These facilities are equipped with the latest AM equipment, including powder-, plastics- and liquid- based printers, 3D scanners, CAD image processing and design software, as well as testing and validation facilities.AM.NUS will also run AM-related courses for post-graduate students, deepening the local talent pool within this field. Graduates will learn and gain hands-on experience in AM processes, materials technologies and design for AM principles. This will enhance the quality of customised products and services and raise the productivity of many industry sectors as a whole.New industry collaborationsAM.NUS will work closely with industry partners to develop and transfer AM technologies for biomedical applications. At today’s ceremony, the following four industry partners signed collaboration Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with AM.NUS:Creatz3D – This local SME will partner AM.NUS to develop next-generation medical training and educational simulation. Dou Yee Enterprises – This mid-sized local company with established bases of manufacturing in Asia, using metal injection moulding technologies, will collaborate with AM.NUS to develop capability for 3D printed precision parts. Forefront Additive Manufacturing – This local precision engineering company will be leveraging AM.NUS’ biomedical capabilities to grow its business in the healthcare space. Osteopore International – This local SME that specialises in AM will partner AM.NUS in the design, development and clinical trials of 3D-printed bioscaffolds for orthopaedic applications.“AM.NUS will bring together NUS technologies with industry expertise, enabling the accelerated translation of NUS technologies into innovative healthcare products and services. The Centre is already working on a total of 17 collaborative projects, and has raised about S$4.7 million in additional project funding,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.“As a cluster founding member, together with NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing and SUTD’s Digital Manufacturing and Design Research Centre, the NUS Centre for Additive Manufacturing will play a vital role in NAMIC’s translational research and industry adoption efforts, further strengthening Singapore’s efforts to become a global 3D printing technology hub. As the industrialisation of 3D printing gains momentum, our goal is help the sector achieve better patient outcomes, addressing the needs of our bio-medical and patient community with cost-effective and personalised healthcare solutions,” said Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director NAMIC. Caption: Image courtesy of NAMIC.

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21-07-2017
BTPN targets Indonesia’s growing mobile banking customers

Respondents to the Pwc 2017 Indonesia Banking Survey reveal that 52% of Indonesia banks see technology as the main driver of bank transformation over the next 3-5 years. Respondents say that e-banking is the #1 investment priority (see Figure 1).Surveyed banks also affirm that while branches continue to be the preferred channel for banking, customers are clearly moving towards mobile and internet channels (see Figure 2). According to PwC, in this regard foreign banks enjoy greater traction with customers via their mobile and internet channels.  Figure 1: Banking channels are shifting in IndonesiaSource: Pwc 2017 Indonesia Banking SurveyFigure 2: Technology drives digtial transformation among banks in IndonesiaSource: Pwc 2017 Indonesia Banking SurveySeeing this trend, PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk. (BTPN) has embarked on a digital transformation strategy of its own, including enhancing how it targets and engage Indonesia’s growing mass affluent customers with its Jenius digital/mobile banking app solution.According to BTPN, Jenius is a hybrid implementation that is digital at the core but leverages the bank’s physical outlets in a targeted way. Jenius has already seen strong take up, overachieving on BTPN’s original app download goals. It also has significant potential to grow given the penetration of smartphones in the region and the large underbanked population.Peterjan van Nieuwenhuizen, Head of Digital Banking at BTPN said, “BTPN is committed to pioneering banking to suit customer lifestyles. We have built a system [Jenius] that enables our customers to complete basic banking processes without going to the branch. With an expanding middle class and growing mobile internet use here, we saw the significant opportunity this creates for financial services. Our philosophy is ‘do good, do well’ and we want to embody that in all aspects of the bank. Our customers look to us for innovation and fast, efficient services.”Powering Jenius is Finastra’s FusionBanking Essence Digital platform, which according to Finastra removes complex banking processes, enabling the bank to create highly personalized and easy digital experiences for its customers. Fast and secure sign-up and authentication make banking on the move simple.In addition to meeting customer demand for multi-channel digital banking experiences, FusionBanking Essence Digital enables BTPN’s Jenius to attract better-priced funding and more deposits from a new market segment as well as to bring products to market faster. Modern software architecture has enabled the bank to quickly transform digital solutions into powerful sales engines and increase revenue opportunities. It will also enable it to continue evolving alongside the broadening digital landscape in Indonesia.

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21-07-2017
Counteroffers are ineffective in bid to retain staff: study

Despite being assumed to be ineffective in today’s competitive employment market, counteroffers are still common practice in Singaporean companies.According to independent research commissioned by specialized recruiter Robert Half, the overwhelming majority (96%) of Singaporean CFOs extend counteroffers, despite more than half (59%) of the same CFOs saying the employee ended up leaving the company.Extending counteroffers appear to be common practice in Singaporean businesses as one in three (30%) CFOs apply this practice ‘often’, more than four in 10 (42%) ‘sometimes’ and 5% ‘always’. Less than one in five (18%) say they ‘rarely’ make a counteroffer and merely 5% say they have ‘never’ extended one.However, further acknowledging the ineffectiveness of counteroffers, almost six in 10 (59%)  business leaders who have made a counteroffer indicate the employee ended up leaving the company, with 20% saying the staff member stayed less than a year, 22% citing the employee stayed for over a year, and 9% saying they stayed less than six months.“Even though extending a counteroffer can be an immediate reaction to a top employee resigning, offering a financial incentive to remain with the company is just delaying the inevitable as oftentimes the reason why they want to leave the company goes beyond purely financial reasons,” says Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director at Robert Half Singapore.“Even if the counteroffer is accepted, a higher salary does not always equal better performance and stronger loyalty. Employers would be better placed to withhold a counteroffer and immediately start the hiring process to replace them.”Cultural fit is main driver Cultural fit is the main driver for 60% of CFOs who have made a counteroffer as the employee fits in well with the company and team. More than half (59%) cite the desire to retain knowledge within the company as one of the main reasons for making a counteroffer, while 57% point to the additional costs related to the hiring, onboarding and the professional development process.“Not only are counteroffers ineffective in retaining employees for the long-term, they can also set a negative precedent for employers as it gives an indication to staff  that threatening to resign is a successful way to receive a pay rise, all whilst creating rumors of favoritism thereby undermining staff morale. A better approach is to have a blanket policy to not extend counteroffers to resigning employees as it’s not an effective, nor a cost-saving staff retention measure.”“Instead of reacting when an employee decides to resign, Singaporean employers need to take a proactive approach to their staff retention initiatives to avoid staff turnover. Knowing what drives staff members and taking appropriate measures, as well as regularly reviewing salaries should be key elements of any company’s staff retention policy,” concluded Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard.  

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