Ngee Ann Polytechnic

The Technology Development and Innovation (TDI) Office of Ngee Ann Polytechnic co-ordinates the R&D effort of NP. Its main function is to create, protect and exploit intellectual property (IP) as well as to form strategic links between NP researchers and industry that generate new venture investment and long term economic benefits for NP, its industrial partners and the community.

Our Technology Offers

Automated Diagnosis of Retinal Image (normal/abnormal) using Deep Neural Network

In ophthalmology, the three main eye diseases that can lead to blindness are age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR) and glaucoma. Machine learning and deep learning are two emerging techniques that can be used for screening and diagnosis of retinal diseases using fundus images. Machine learning algorithm is not optimal for automatic diagnoses, as the user needs to define each feature for the algorithm to learn and diagnose the diseases.

This innovation offers an automated diagnostic solution for retinal health based on fundus image and deep learning technology. The solution contains an improved robust Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model that provides higher accuracy and sensitivity using deep learning technique to automatically classify retinal fundus images of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), glaucoma, into abnormal and normal classes. The network also can be run on any computing platform, delivering instant result for clinicians and patients. The system can be deployed at polyclinics and community centers for mass retinal health screening.

The technology provider is looking for industry partners to commercialize the technology in overseas eye hospitals and healthcare institutions. The target markets include Malaysia, Thailand and India.

Fast and Easy Large Scale Synthesis of Graphene Oxide

Graphene oxide (GO) is a key product segment in the graphene market which will account for around 40% of the total industry revenue share in 2024. However, the high cost of GO is limiting the application.

Graphene oxide (GO) is a key product segment in the graphene market which will account for around 40% of the total industry revenue share in 2024. However, the high cost of GO is limiting the application.

The technology owner is currently looking for industry partners to license the technology and to further scale-up the GO for commercial markets.

Photocatalysis-Electrolysis Hydrogen Generation System

In conventional electrolysis, water molecules first dissociate into intermediate ions, namely, negative hydroxyl ions (OH-), positive hydrogen ions (H+) and positive hydronium ions (H3O+), before further decomposition into oxygen and hydrogen. This process of generating hydrogen is inefficient due to the high probability of hydroxyl ions recombining with either hydrogen ions or hydronium ions to form back water molecules.

The technology described herein is related to a hybridised process which enhances hydrogen production rate of a conventional electrolysis system through combining the hybridised process with photocatalytic decomposition reaction. By combining the hybridised process with photo-catalytic decomposition, the probability of intermediate radical/ion recombination is reduced. This results in an increase in hydrogen and oxygen production of up to 25%. A prototype has been developed to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of producing hydrogen and oxygen based on the hybrid photocatalyst-electrolysis method. With a strong knowledge in optimisation of the operating parameters in a hybrid photocatalyst-electrolysis reaction, the technology owner would like to seek partnership from the industry to commercialise the technology.

Reusable Metallic Filter for Indoor Air Disinfection

This technology involves developing a simple and cost-effective process to fabricate robust nanomaterial coated metallic filters for improving indoor air quality (IAQ). The metallic filters are cheaper, and easily available. The formation of a uniform, porous and dense metal oxide nanomaterials on the filters enables the filter to capture the particulate matters effectively. In addition, the metal oxide nanomaterials have the natural tendency to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, able to capture volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and break them up into harmless smaller molecules. Moreover, the metal oxide coated metallic filter was capable of withstanding the higher operating filtration pressure and able to be reused multiple times even upon harsh chemical and thermal conditions as compared to polymeric filters.

The reusability of the metallic filters can lead to significant reduction in maintainance and usage of new filters, saving the energy, manpower and operational cost. These metallic filters have wide applications in the indoor air quality, high temperature and harsh chemical environments.

Hydrophobic Membrane for Dissolved Gas Removal

Gas-liquid membrane contactors integrates absorption process with membranes and can be used to degas liquid streams. This technology relates to a robust hollow fiber membrane that is hydrophobic and mechanically strong. It can be used in many industrial processes, such as removal of dissolved gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and ammonia from liquids (degassing), addition of gases into liquids (gasification), membrane distillation of wastewater and seawater, and carbon dioxide capture as membrane contactors, etc.

The technology provider is seeking industry partners to adopt and commercialize the technology.

The target users are engineering companies who supply membrane systems, membrane manufacturers, food & beverage companies, and semiconductor companies.

Mycelium Fermentation Technology Developing Novel Foods

Edible and medicinal mushrooms are not only nutritious but also have multiple health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-cancer and anti-virus properties. Often, the fruit bodies of mushrooms are consumed. Mushroom mycelium offers the same health benefits as the fruiting bodies and takes much less time to grow. This tech offer is about mycelium fermentation of novel mushroom strains isolated in Singapore. Through such fermentation process, both yield and health benefits of the bioactive compounds are improved compared to conventional fermentation technology using both edible and medicinal mushrooms. Mushroom extracts produced in this fermentation technology are potential novel ingredients in food applications.

Graphene Based Thin Film Composite Membrane

Fresh water shortage around the world is increasing at a rapid rate and converting seawater into potable water is the obvious solution to this water shortage problem. However, the conventional thermal desalination processes and Reverse osmosis (RO) process are highly energy intensive. Recently, biomimetic membranes using proteins have been shown to reduce the desalination energy consumption significantly. However, the drawback of these bio-assisted membranes is their stability to the applied pressure. EWTCOI has developed a fully functionalized graphene oxide based thin film composite based nanofiltration membrane for low pressure desalination. The membrane can be used to reduce the load to RO in any application such as desalination. It can also be used for de-mineralisation, dye-salt fractionation, and macromolecular sieving in pharmaceutical, chemical and diary industries.

EWTCOI is currently looking for industry partners to licence the technology and to bring that to market.

Increase Omega-3 Content of Farmed Fish With Feed Formulation

Fish, like human, needs omega-3 fatty acids for good health. Omega-3 obtain from fish oil of wild fish is insufficient to feed both mankind and aquaculture industry needs. Wild fish has the reputation of having more fish oil than farmed fish.

This research institute has derived a formulation for plant-based fish feed that allows the levels of omega-3 content of farmed fish to be increased to be equivalent to fillets from wild fish. This formulation is designed to be suitable for sustainable aquaculture and it contains algae-derived Omega-3 fatty acids.

Both herbivorous and omnivorous fish consume the feed readily and have shown equal or better growth performance in feed trials when compared to fishmeal-based controls.

This research institute is looking for industry partners who would like to adopt this formulation technique and develop into end use.

A Novel Biological Process to Produce D-Allulose, A Low-Calorie Functional Sugar

D-allulose (also called D-psicose) is a rare sugar that exists in extremely small quantities in nature. It has 70% sweetness of table sugar (sucrose), offers similar taste and texture of table sugar but with only 10% calorie of sucrose. Unlike other caloric sugars, D-Allulose has no impact on blood glucose or insulin levels. Although there are promising applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries, it is difficult for mass production of D-allulose. Currently D-allulose is produced from partial conversion of D-fructose by the D-psicose 3-epimerase (DPEase) family of enzymes.

One of the bottlenecks in the production of D-allulose lies in the separation of D-allulose from D-fructose. These two sugars share similar physical and chemical properties, separating them using current technologies e.g. column chromatography, is very expensive at industrial scale. To solve this problem, researchers have focused on increasing the D-fructose to D-allulose conversion rate. However, the inherent DPEase reaction equilibrium make it unable to obtain 100% conversion of D-fructose to D-allulose. Therefore, the issue for separation of these two sugar epimers has to be solved.

Here, a novel biological process has been developed to bypass D-fructose and D-allulose separation. A probiotic fermentation is used to convert all unconverted D-fructose in the sugar mixture to L-lactic acid while keeping all D-allulose unchanged. Besides obtaining D-allulose, the process can also produce L-lactic acid and probiotics as valuable side products. This new process would benefit the current manufacturers for the D-allulose and other rare sugars production.

This technology owner is seeking partners for technology licensing or potential collaboration for production process development, e.g. in the field of alternative sugar production.