Winners Announced For IMDA & SGTech's TechBlazer Awards After Record Submissions In 2021
Now in its fourth year, the TechBlazer Awards 2021 has not only seen a record-high number of submissions, 440 this year compared to 403 in 2020, SGTech's partnership with Oracle will also mean that US$30,000 worth of Oracle Credits will be awarded to 40 participating companies, in addition to cash prizes for the winners of the Student TechBlazer category.
Wong Wai Meng, SGTech Chair, announced: “It is heartening to see different stakeholders within the industry advocating for the growth of tech entrepreneurs and young tech talent. The strong industry support, while acting as an amplifier for the Government’s initiatives, is also an engine to create a nurturing tech ecosystem for SMEs and innovative startups. SGTech’s partnership with Oracle is one such example that will award US$30,000 worth of Oracle Cloud credits to 40 participating companies of the Techblazer Award, as part of Oracle’s earlier announcement to support startups."
There were three categories this year: Most Promising Innovation, Best Adoption and Student Techblazer, with Best Adoption having the Public Sector, Enterprise, SME and NGO sub-categories.
The winner for the Most Promising Innovation is EyRIS Pte. Ltd. with its Singapore Eye LEsioN Analyzer+ (SELENA+) solution, an AI deep-learning system that automatically grades fundus images captured and detects if there are any signs of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration. All three eye diseases are preventable if caught at an early stage, but one of the biggest problems faced is the inability to cope with screening demands. With this solution, screening procedures are cut down from 30 minutes to just 8.5 minutes, with an increased patient screening load of up to 5x. It's certainly an excellent example of how tech can be used to help increase the efficiency of healthcare procedures.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) took home the gold prize for the Best Adoption (Public Sector) category with its FWMOMCare app. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc amongst the Migrant Workers (MW) community in 2020, the team at MOM delivered the Foreign Worker Well-Being application and distributed it across the Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Huawei App Gallery to support the well-being of migrant workers in Singapore.
Moving on to the Student TechBlazer awards, the team from Nanyang Technological University won gold with DementiCare, an app designed to be a one-stop caregiving solution for caretakers of dementia patients, as well as to help keep patients safe and engaged. On the caregiver side of the app, there are chatbots to check for symptoms and medical conversations, along with a tab for easy access to details for each patient. On the patient side, there are memory games, fall detection SOS features and more.
"While we enter yet another year of COVID, the impetus for digital transformation could not be stronger, has not been greater. More than ever, it's important for us to nurture a vibrant ecosystem and encourage everyone to leverage technology innovation to solve real-world problems," said Mr Justin Ang, Assistant Chief Executive, IMDA.
The Singapore government is definitely investing heavily in the tech ecosystem in the country, with continued funding through the Accreditation@SGD and SG:D Spark programmes. Over 100 companies have benefited from over S$800 million worth of business opportunities, more than S$450 million in investment as well as 11 companies that have made successful exits through IPOs and acquisitions.
SGTech is also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, with the unveiling of a new logo by Minister for Communications and Information, Josephine Teo at the awards ceremony.
Giving the opening speech, Minister Teo said: "Among us today are many firm believers and practitioners of innovation. There is really no need for me to belabour the point on how innovation is critical in every sector; and the transformative potential of technology."
She also spoke about how while technology can be used for efficiency and cost reduction, the safety and well-being of people should be the foremost priority.
"My request to all our innovators is to ensure your solutions always put the safety and well-being of people as a priority. By all means, help to improve efficiency and reduce costs. But always keep in mind, the end-users of your innovations, the people affected by them, be they workers, customers or suppliers. They are counting on you."