Inaugural UKSAEI Symposium strengthens ties between UK and Singapore universities

Michael Yap, Regional Managing Director for Coventry University, Singapore Hub

Michael Yap, Regional Managing Director for Coventry University, Singapore Hub

University news

Tuesday 17 January 2023

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Coventry University’s Singapore Hub is helping to foster closer ties between UK and Singapore universities after jointly organising the first UK-Singapore Universities Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (UKSAEI) Symposium.

The aim of the event in Singapore was to develop and explore collaborations in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, with more than 100 delegates from UKSAEI universities attending the symposium.

UKSAEI was established in 2021 with Coventry University among the founding members. Coventry University’s Singapore Hub jointly organised the inaugural Symposium with support from collaborating organisations such as the British High Commission in Singapore.

The aim of the Alliance is to share knowledge and facilitate collaboration between world-leading universities in the UK and Singapore, particularly in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. Both student and staff representatives from Coventry University participated in the various events and activities that took place during the Symposium.

During the Symposium, delegates were split into two groups with different agendas and experiences. The student attendees took part in a hackathon, with the aim of putting the lessons they had learnt on innovation and industry into practice. Other delegates engaged in working group meetings, where they had deep discussions on technology transfer, international collaboration, and policy environments among other topics. Delegates were also able to learn about Singapore's economic priorities and business challenges while exploring funding, research, and marketing opportunities.

Several distinguished guests supported the Symposium, including Her Excellency Kara Owen, the British High Commissioner to Singapore.

The UKSAEI is a great showcase of our bilateral collaboration; the symposium brought together students from 19 world-leading Singapore and UK universities under the common themes of innovation and entrepreneurship. It is great to see the students immersed in a different innovation ecosystem, working across national, cultural, and subject boundaries, challenging and inspiring each other during the UKSAEI sustainability Hackathon.

The SG-UK Partnership for the Future has science and innovation at its core. But it won’t have the impact it could if breakthroughs remain in the lab or higher education institute. So, this collaboration will focus on bringing these fantastic innovations out into the world and applying them to our biggest challenges, supporting economic growth and human development.

Kara Owen, the British High Commissioner to Singapore

Also among the guests were Tan Chor Kiang, Director (Innovation and Enterprise/RIE Coordination Office/Central Innovation Cluster) at the National Research Foundation (Singapore), and Jacqueline Chia, the Deputy Director for Innovation Ecosystem Development at Enterprise Singapore.

We have seen growing interest from Singapore companies in partnering with the UK for innovation. We strongly believe that cross-border collaboration will accelerate the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and talent, and enable us to rejuvenate industries and drive economic growth.

I am happy to be able to share more on Singapore's innovation ecosystem and would encourage both local and international start-ups to use Singapore as a springboard to co-innovate, access market demand and scale into the region.

Jacqueline Chia, the Deputy Director for Innovation Ecosystem Development at Enterprise Singapore

Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) plays a key role in growing Singapore's innovation economy and addressing our national imperatives. We welcome international partners to connect, collaborate and co-create with us to achieve greater impact in our RIE journey.

Tan Chor Kiang, Director (Innovation and Enterprise/RIE Coordination Office/Central Innovation Cluster) at the National Research Foundation (Singapore)

I am pleased that all the delegates were able to build relationships and learn about the various research and innovation ecosystems in both Singapore and the UK. I hope that UKSAEI can continue to foster strong relationships between UK and Singapore universities, especially in the dynamic fields of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Michael Yap, the inaugural Chairperson of UKSAEI and the Regional Managing Director for Coventry University, Singapore Hub

Find out more about Coventry University’s Singapore Hub