NUS Graduate Research Innovation Programme (NUS GRIP)

GRIP is NUS flagship venture creation acceleration programme, which enables NUS researchers and graduate students to transform the university's world-class research into high growth deep tech start-ups. Since October 2018, GRIP has completed 5 runs, with 89 teams graduated from the program.

For TechInnovation this year we present 12 GRIP start-up companies with their promising technologies and innovations. Their offered industry solutions range from Robotics, ICT, Construction, Energy, Healthcare and Environmental Solutions. Approach their representatives in our booth and have a fruitful conversation.

Our Technology Offers

Producing Clean and Sustainable Lithium Through Recycling

With the retirement of massive amount of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), proper disposal of the hazardous wastes and cost-effective valorisation of useful materials have become increasingly pressing and attracted extensive attention worldwide. The state-of-the-art recycling technologies, which are generally based on hydrometallurgy or pyrometallurgy methods, have critical issues of enormous chemicals and energy consumption, secondary pollution and tedious effluent treatment procedures.

Based in Singapore, the technology owner has developed an electrochemical process for the recycling of spent lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. The electrochemical process uses a proprietary redox reaction involving a regenerative electrolyte mix at room temperature conditions to separate LFP cathode material into its components, iron phosphate and pure lithium in the form of lithium hydroxide, at a recovery rate of more than 95% and purity levels above 99% for both materials. This translates into cost savings, reduces wastewater generation and pollution, as well as the ability to reduce waste to landfills.

Given the use of regenerative chemical reagents, the process is up to 100x less pollutive and up to 10x more profitable compared to existing recycling technologies. The technology owner is currently seeking battery recycling industry partners to adopt or license the technology and support pilot testing of the technology.

Enhancing Construction Operations With Video Analytics

Current methods of monitoring construction safety and productivity are tedious, costly and prone to human errors. Resulting in operations being non-compliant, dangerous and inefficient which leads to project delays, cost overruns and even reputational damage.

This technology offers an enhanced safety and productivity tracking solution in the construction industry by leveraging on video analytics to detect safety hazards and high-risk scenarios as well as productivity insights. It provides actionable insights in the form of alerts, charts and reports to enable safety officers and project managers to make better-informed decisions for their operations.

Dew-Point Cooler: A Sustainable Alternative to Air Conditioner

We are a deep-tech spin-off company to commercialize our patented New Generation of Dew-Point Cooler. It can cool outdoor air to near dew-point temperature without adding moisture to the air. Under normal Singapore weather conditions, our dew-point cooler can filter and cool the outdoor air by 4 to 8 oC to comfortable air of about 25 to 27 oC. Unlike compressor-based air conditioners that re-circulate the bulk of the cooled air, our dew-point cooler supplies 100% fresh air to continually purge out any airborne bacteria or virus (including covid-19 virus) that may be brought in by occupants. Users can enjoy cool, clean, and 100% fresh air with up to 60% electricity savings.

Without using compressors and chemical refrigerants; and without expelling waste heat to the environment, our dew-point cooler has 60% less carbon footprint, and is a sustainable alternative to air conditioners in many commercial and industrial applications, such as dormitories, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, childcare centers, warehouses, outdoor dining areas, corridors, walkways, etc. It can also be used to supplement normal air conditioners by improving ventilation and purging out contaminated air-conditioned air. Besides, it can be used in households, where the users are concerned about the high electricity cost of operating air conditioner.

We are seeking investors, VCs as well as manufacturers and distributors to quickly bring our product to the market.

Intelligent Soft Robotic Gripping Solutions

Various industries such as agri-harvesting, food handling sectors and e-commerce handle a wide range of products every day. These products come in a diverse range of shapes, sizes and packaging materials, and are mostly still handled by human as there is no one gripping solution in the market that is able to accommodate different products. In order to handle different products, multiple grippers and tool changers are required and this results in high operating cost.

This technology offer aims to resolve the limitations of current commercial grippers by developing universal soft robotic gripping solutions. Grippers with multiple gripping modes and adjustable grip poses have been developed. These features can be auto adjusted by the in-house object detection model and control system based on the shapes and sizes of the individual items being gripped. Fabricated with 3D printing technologies, the gripper and finger designs can be easily customized and optimized for specific gripping requirements.

The technology owner is currently looking for partners from the robotics (such as robotic arm and conveyor systems) and computer vision fields, as well as in the food or Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) manufacturing and packing lines.

Radio-Frequency Energy Harvesting and Wireless Power Transfer System

The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) allows more sensors to be used for monitoring, detection, and security purposes. However, this also introduces new problems to the user:

  • Short sensor's lifespan (due to reliance on battery as the main power source) affecting the service operation,
  • Cost and hassle associated with frequent maintenance and battery disposal, especially when sensors are scattered across multiple locations and can run out of battery at different points in time, and
  • Time wasted on planning, coordinating, and installing of power cord layout to accommodate increasing numbers of sensors (for sensors using power cord as the main power source).

Hence, conventional powering methods are not sustainable to support thousands of sensors. This technology offer presents a wireless power transfer technology to solve the problems. The system can be integrated into the sensors and provides alternative power source to the sensors, effectively extending the sensor's lifetime and resulting in less frequent replacement/maintenance. This can help to remove the costs associated with battery replacement, battery disposal, and cabling installation.

AI-Powered Visual Quality Control and Defect Assessment

Manual quality inspection of manufactured products can be repetitive, subjective, and highly prone to human assessment errors. Our state-of-the-art Industrial AI engine enables industries to build and deploy vision and asset analytics AI applications faster, drastically reducing the conceptualization to solution deployment timeline from few months to just few weeks. It comprises of end-to-end Industrial AI pipeline and integrated tools for data acquisition, preparation, labelling and management, secure API development and deployment. The Industrial AI engine learns from historical data and helps to automate the inspection process, removes subjectivity, and eliminates inspection errors. The AI engine can identify defective products, locate product defects (e.g. surface defects, foreign particles, assembly errors, packaging errors), accurately classify defect types and severity levels. It then provides visual feedbacks to the operator or feedback control signals to the automation systems. It can be integrated with wide range of vision hardware systems, and can be deployed on-premise servers, private cloud servers.

We are looking forward to collaborating with B2B customers including industrial automation Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), System Integrators and Companies in manufacturing sector (e.g. food and beverages, semiconductor, biopharmaceutical and automotive).

AI & Data-powered Healthcare Virtual Simulation

VIRTUAI endeavours to revolutionise healthcare training in healthcare schools and hospitals by eliminating inefficient physical simulation. Hence, cultivating a practice-ready healthcare workforce that ensures patient safety. An integrated platform that incorporates virtual simulation with artificial intelligence and analytics enables the global community of healthcare learners and trainers to share knowledge in a secured environment. We are seeking for potential customers, investors and collaborators in both health and technology to advance our product.

Electrochemical AOP for Hard-to-Treat Wastewater

Human industrial activities produce more than 70 billion tons of highly contaminated wastewater every year. These highly toxic discharge and non-biodegradable pollutants are known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which includes antibiotics, pesticides, and dyes.

Currently, there lacks cost-effective solutions to fully treat recalcitrant industrial wastewaters. As such, industrial wastewaters containing POPs are often incinerated at high cost or released directly into the environment untreated. POPs accumulate throughout the biological chain and pose serious health hazards to people and our ecosystem.

reActo is a Singapore based startup that offers a patented electrochemical advanced oxidation process (EAOP) that can completely decompose POPs into water and carbon dioxide onsite without leaving any residues. This enables companies to safely discharge their wastewater to the environment while saving on the treatment costs.

reActo is currently seeking partnerships with potential end users and system integrators to pilot and scale up their EAOP technology.

3D Vision for Autonomous Robots & Industry 4.0

With the breakthrough in 3D vision-based localisation technologies under GPS-incapable environment and expertise in sensor fusion, this technology offer presents promising sensing solution for advanced robotics and automation in Industry 4.0. This solution is built upon the proprietary vision-based sensor with edge computing capabilities, providing best calibration algorithm and controls with the deployment of the multiple sensor technology.

The sensing technology enables robots to:

  1. Navigate under GPS-incapable environment, across indoors and outdoors spaces
  2. Vision-based self-localisation and moving object tracking
  3. Object identification and volumetric measurements in 3D

For Industry 4.0, these are the areas can be supported:

  1. 3D visual data acquisition and simple onboard processing, translating only required information to the main processing board
  2. Smart CCTV monitoring & image / object identification
  3. Depth perception and measurements for logistics

The technology owner is currently looking for operators that would like to transform their business operations, through the use of autonomous robots, and also to achieve the best effects of encapsulating a whole visual monitoring system to optimise their business operations on the ground. Besides, the technology owner is also looking to work with system integrators (eg. Robot makers) to adopt and integrate the technology. The system is fully customizable and configurable based on user’s requirements.

Climate Optimization for Indoor Farming

Indoor farmers intuitively know that the environment can affect the growth of the crop. The indoor climate can either contribute to the yields or, in unfortunate circumstances, lead to loss of the crop.

However, it is not always easy to create an ideal environment for the crop. Currently, most building management systems (BMS) are closed off and don't talk with operational systems, such as the ones used for indoor farming. On the other hand, existing smart building solutions usually focus on energy efficiency alone and overlook the need to balance energy savings with crop growth, operational efficiency, low emissions, and other factors.

This technology overcomes these challenges by allowing the indoor farmer to input the optimal conditions for the crop and let the system optimize the rest. The user only need to specify which crop(s) they are growing or, if they prefer, what ‘recipe’ the system should follow. Accuracy can be improved by adding environmental sensors.

This technology provider is looking for either new or established indoor farms interested in piloting / test-bedding this solution in Singapore or APAC.

High-Density Computing Systems for Modular, Scalable, Demand-Responsive Baseload and Smart Grid Applications

With the modernisation of electrical grid systems as well as the increasing diversification of energy sources, there is a need for an overall control system to unify these different systems. Smart grid has been touted as the solution although problems such as grid stability remains.

This technology offer helps to address the grid stability problem by offering modular, scalable, demand-responsive high-density computational baseloads as a service. Ideal potential users are those involved with baseload energy generation, stranded power (flare gas, biomethane, etc.) or transmission-constrained renewable energy (e.g., surplus solar PV generation). The technology owner is seeking partnerships with energy producers and carbon offset project developers for both compliance and voluntary markets in the renewable energy space. This technology is production-ready for baseload applications (demand response functionality at a prototype stage) and the owner is looking for partners interested in collaborating on pilot projects.