NTU - NTUitive >> ICT, AgriTech and FoodTech

NTUitive Pte Ltd (“NTUitive” in short) is the innovation and enterprise company – and a wholly-owned subsidiary – of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). We manage the University’s intellectual property, promote innovation, support entrepreneurship, and facilitate the commercialisation of research.

Discover, learn, connect, network, and be in the know of the latest and freshest startup news, technologies and innovations, and ecosystem events by joining the NTUitive telegram group at t.me/NTUitive_sayhi or visit our website at www.ntuitive.sg.

Our Technology Offers

Customized Miniature Timing Reference for Harsh Environment

One of the main challenges for space exploration, navigation and communication is to have a precise and reliable timing reference. An error of even one second can cause a huge difference for satellite signal transmission and navigation as satellites are moving at extremely high velocity. With the growing popularity of nanosatellites (1 to 10kg), the demand of reliable and precise miniaturized timing reference for nanosatellites applications increases exponentially. Deployment of traditional atomic clock onboard nanosatellites is certainly not possible due to the limited space, weight and power budget.

This technology on offer is a space-hardened, small size, low power and highly precise version of timing reference module based on chip-scale atomic clock (CSAC) technology. The module design could be customized according to application requirements. The clocking performance of the developed timing reference module was thoroughly tested in lab and was successfully demonstrated in Low-Earth Orbit at altitude of 400km onboard the SPATIUM-I CubeSat. This technology can also be laterally applied to other harsh environment applications like mining, deep ocean application etc.

We are seeking collaboration with company that are interested in incorporating this technology into their products and/or systems for accurate and reliable timing reference.

Hardware Encryption Security on Side-Channel-Attack

We offer microchip hardware security technologies to mitigate side-channel-attack, a means by exploiting the power dissipation and/or electromagnetic profiles emitted from microchips to reveal the secret key of an encryption hardware. Our technologies include (1) side-channel-attack analysis software suite, (2) our Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) IP core resistant to side-channel-attack, and (3) Field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA) evaluation boards for AES IPs. The side-channel-attack analysis software suite is a comprehensive Graphic-User-Interface platform, comprising a wide-range of attacking models, including machine-learning approaches, for evaluating various security leakages on AES IPs and designs. Our AES IP is a customized IP core, highly resistant to side-channel-attacks, including power attack and electromagnetic attack. Our AES IP core is applicable both in FPGA and application-specific-integrated-circuit (ASIC) platforms. The FPGA evaluation boards are exclusively designed for users to prototyping/evaluating customized AES IPs/designs against side-channel-attack.

Autonomous UAV System Using Multi-Modality Sensor Fusion

The proposed technology is a fully integrated navigation solution for urban structure inspection. The system is built on a visual-inertial-range-and-LIDAR (VIRAL) fusion-based simultaneous localization and mapping system (SLAM). The VIRAL SLAM algorithm can work both indoor and outdoor in all lighting conditions. We have some prototype devices with all the necessary sensors and codes and are compatible with popular drones.

In urban navigation, the GPS is likely to suffer from a multi-path effect. The drone is prone to perception noises that lead to crashes. The proposed system can effectively solve the aforementioned problem and can achieve mm-level accuracy.

The target users are drone or robotics service providers or other 3rd-party developers that create new onboard devices for autonomous operations.

The partnership model can be technology license transfer, research collaboration, and technology further development contracts.

Method of Micronutrient Delivery into Plants

Micronutrients are critically important for plant growth in agriculture as micronutrient deficiency leads to a great loss of crop yield. This largely depends on the ability of plants to respond to and retain micronutrients but the delivery of micronutrient to plants has always been very limited due to low plant uptake efficiency. This technology aims to substantially increase plant uptake efficiency by encapsulating micronutrients in nanomaterials that serve as .

A nanofertilizer is generated by utilising encapsulated nutrients with materials derived from biomass such as food waste, agriculture waste and aquaculture waste. The technology has been validated by research studies that uptake efficiency of micronutrients increased up to 3 to 4 times in comparison to conventional micronutrient fertilizers. At their corresponding optimal dosages, the supplemented amount of nanofertilizer (in terms of micronutrient ingredient) is as low as a quarter of that of conventional fertilizers, while the yield of biomass/plants supplemented with nano fertilizer is also higher.

This nano-carrier platform technology is environmentally friendly, sustainable, non-toxic, and cost-effective. Production of such nanofertilizer is scalable and high yield, which makes its widespread application highly promising for efficient delivery of various plant required nutrients.

Leapfrogging Aquaculture Side-stream Wastage

In the aquaculture industry, tons of inedible components and by-products are being generated and discarded as waste every day. Some of these side-streams, such as skins, bone and scales contain numerous bioactive compounds. The research team found that skin from farmed American bullfrog is highly enriched with type I collagen. Despite being a rich source of collagen, current extraction process and the technological utility of American bullfrog collagen is scant.

Using a patent-pending mechano-chemical process, they were able to extract up to 70% (w/w) of type I collagen from the bullfrog skin. Additionally, the process is straightforward, cost-effective, scalable and the extraction time could be shortened by 40% compared to traditional acid solubilisation method. The extracted collagen was found to be highly soluble and stable in its tropocollagen-like state for easy tailoring of its chemistries and properties.

As proof-of-concept, the lab has successfully processed bullfrog collagen-based products that are amendable for wound healing and bone grafting applications, thereby demonstrating its utility as a renewable, sustainable, and valuable “waste-to-resource” biomaterial. They hope to bring their entire technological pipeline closer to commercialisation by partnering with potential manufacturers and/or offtakers of the products.

Protein Cage for Consumer Products and Food Formulations

Problems/unmet need :

Health products are used by most people for improving the quality of life and involves the use of vitamins, minerals and essential biomolecules delivered through dermal and oral routes. These active ingredients are formulated as skin care and nutraceutical products for the management of various physiological processes such as aging, pigmentation, digestion, and metabolism. The formulated active ingredients are seldom effective due to biological barriers of the human body such as the skin and the digestive tract.

Our solution :

To improve their effectiveness, protein nanocages (nCage) can be used to package and deliver active ingredients across the complex barriers, reaching the target site of action. We have developed the nCage delivery technology to formulate essential active molecules for skin and oral nutraceutical applications. The target users will be product developers / formulators of essential active ingredients from the skin care, nutraceutical, and consumer product industries as well as raw ingredient manufacturers. We are looking for joint venture partners and licensing opportunities from the skin care and oral nutraceutical companies.

Power Rail Health Monitoring of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Lines Through Radio Frequency Induction Technology

This technology offer is a patented radio frequency (RF) inductive coupling technology that measures the quality of electrical contact between moving parts. By integrating this technology with a MRT train, the moving train doubles up as an inspection vehicle that monitors the condition of the power rail of the MRT network in real-time. It detects early signs of power rail defects for preventive measures before the defects deteriorate further and lead to unexpected MRT service interruptions. The potential users are MRT line operators and train manufacturers. The hardware system has been developed and tested on MRT lines and we are looking for partners who are strong in data analytics to develop an efficient defect classification algorithm.

Embedded-AI Helmet for Safety Recording and Authentication

Worksite evolution, project profitability and cross-cultural communication barriers impose real and significant safety challenges to Singapore construction worksites. Personal protective equipment (PPE) are often wearables deployed as last-mile defense against evolving safety hazards and thus carry valuable safety information in solving these challenges.

This technology offer is an embedded AI wearable helmet that can be worn by any person who needs PPE in their line of work. It is based on the aviation sector’s idea of a flight data recorder in recording key operational information. The solution can record and authenticate valuable and PPE data without compromising the wearer’s personal identity and employer’s worksite sensitivities.

The aim is to facilitate the creation of authenticated PPE data for workers to objectively express safety concerns during work redesign requests, while keeping it low-cost and infrastructure-light for the buyer’s wise investment. The end goal is in line with Singapore’s strategy of a tech-enabled workforce that is healthy and sustainable in the long run.

The technology owner is looking for co-development, validation and commercialization partners on this technology development journey. Right now, the team is prioritizing end-user groups (e.g.: construction firms, sub-contractors and independent contractors), hardware productization specialist, personal injury lawyers, worker injury compensation lawyers and worker injury compensation insurers.

An End-to-end Approach to Enable Deep Learning at the Edge for Ultra-low Power AI Systems

As computing devices nowadays become ever more multi-functional with a wide plethora of features, the need for an energy-efficient computing system has become increasingly crucial. We offer an approach for deep learning at the edge for ultra-low power AI systems, where the entire development stack, from algorithms to hardware devices, was optimised. The main goal of this approach is to enable the execution of deep learning applications on ultra-low power edge platforms, while conserving the battery lifetime. This approach achieves significant gains over current solutions, reaching 10X savings on total system power.

Intelligent Autonomous Mobile Robot for Material Handling

Intelligent Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) with high degree of flexibility and open platform (compatible with major operating systems), enabling end-to-end materials handling for last mile delivery.

  • Universal smart navigation kit TruePath, which can also be used to upgrade magnetic strip based AGV to AMR
  • Real-time, intelligent route planning, precise motion control, re-localization in the 2D/3D map, map building, fast automatic docking, with front and rear 3D safety protection
  • Navigate through narrow spaces with dynamic obstacle avoidance
  • Multi-robot coordination with proprietary time synchronization and planning behavior algorithm
  • Flexible fleet management and extensible manipulator integration

Biobased Edible Coating: Keeping Food Fresher Longer

Background: According to the UN FAO, over 40% of freshly produced food goes to waste and the economic costs of this food wastage amount to about USD 1 trillion each year. A major part of this economic costs includes USD 394 billion loss due to the 3.5 Gt greenhouse gas emission. This is an immense threat to our humanosphere, and we want to reduce the food wastages by using our sustainable coating technology.

Technology: This technology team has developed a food coating material (BioCoat) using plant-based natural biomaterials (FDA approved food ingredients) that extends shelf-life of food 2-3 times compare to uncoated foods (strawberry, avocado, cut pineapple, Banana, lychee, tiger shrimp). BioCoat is comprised of edible polysaccharide composite and its deposition on food surfaces results in the formation of a thin edible barrier film reduces the respiration (oxygen transport), decreases evaporation of water from food, and prevents the invasion of microorganisms.

Primary target market: Farm, Wholesaler, Retailers (Fruits/vegetable and Seafood markets in Singapore), Exporters (ASEAN).

Future Partnership: This technology owner is interested in process co-development, importers, that may lead to a joint venture and/or licensing of this technology. Potential partners at all value chains are food (including seafood) producers, importers/exporters, and distributors.