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Temasek, NTU and NUS jointly invest S$75M to support deep tech startups in S'pore

Temasek, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have signed today (September 12) a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to embark on a joint S$75 million pilot programme to accelerate the creation of successful deep tech startups from the pipeline of research at NTU and NUS.

Temasek will invest S$65 million into the deep tech startups, mostly through its early-stage deep tech investing platform, Xora Innovation (Xora), while NTU and NUS will each invest S$5 million in this effort.

Together, the S$75 million will be utilised mainly for pre-seed, seed and series A funding rounds of these startups.

Through the pilot programme, Temasek and Xora aim to collaborate with NTU and NUS to launch and build globally-competitive ventures with strong potential to address large global market opportunities in various areas including energy transition, biotechnology, and the future of compute and cognition.

At least two startups will be launched annually. These startups will be able to tap on Temasek, NTU and NUS’ networks of businesses and will be provided with entrepreneurial mentorship, funding, and support to position them for long-term global success.

“The collaboration sees [Temasek, NUS and NTU] synergising our expertise and resources to create opportunities for applications of emerging technologies, and empower startups and companies to create positive societal impact and economic growth through innovation,” said Professor Tan Eng Chye, President of NUS.

NUS and NTU will develop a new IP licensing framework

The two universities will also develop a new, streamlined Intellectual Property (IP) licensing framework to expedite the licensing and translation of university technologies for spin-off companies, which can shorten the IP licensing process from up to five months to one month.

Through this framework, NTU and NUS aim to create a unified online platform to provide potential licensors with a one-stop shop where they can identify and select IPs from both universities that align with their business requirements.

In addition to a faster licensing and translation process, the streamlined approach is expected to enhance companies’ competitiveness through more options such as deferred payment of licensing fees.

This can ease the burden of upfront commercialisation costs, and reduce the risks associated with translation spending. Firms can then allocate more resources towards commercialising the IP and generating new revenue streams.

“Given NTU’s expertise in key technology areas such as deep tech, biomedical technology, and materials science, we want to accelerate and bridge the gap to industry by means of licensing and spin-offs,” said Professor Ho Teck Hua, President of NTU.

“I’m confident that together with NUS, Temasek, and Xora, we can develop a powerful innovation ecosystem to support Singapore’s drive to establish a strong knowledge economy, and help our startups and SMEs compete globally.”

In tandem with the IP licensing framework, Xora’s team of deep tech founders will also collaborate with the IP and technical teams from the universities to develop and hone their go-to-market strategies.

Featured Image Credit: Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore, Temasek

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