Turning patents into commercial winners

Turning patents into commercial winners

SINGAPORE'S research laboratories have developed a wealth of technologies that could generate more than $500 million in commercial value for companies in the coming years.

The new-tech innovations are embedded in about 400 licences signed with firms over the past 10 years, said Mr Philip Lim, chief executive of Exploit Technologies.

These licences stem from the 3,500 patents managed by Exploit, which transfers technologies developed by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) institutions to industry for commercialisation.

Speciality chemical company PJI Contract is one local firm that has benefited. Last year, it licensed a titanium dioxide solution to make eco-friendly self-cleaning chemicals.

This solution can remove harmful bacteria, eliminate odour and leave coated surfaces on residential and commercial buildings cleaner and fresher, with minimal human intervention.

PJI said at the time that the new technology was expected to become one of its top 10 revenue generators.

Mr Lim said Exploit had focused on developing its intellectual property arsenal in recent years and is now working to transfer the technology to industry, a strategy that has already had some success.

"Going forward, we want to be more focused on technologies that would help Singapore's small and medium-sized enterprises."

Five new areas have been identified for the next three years - business analytics, diagnostics, anti-microbials, bio-imaging and printed electronics.

Teams of researchers and scientists, together with Exploit officers, will be set up to undertake further development to ready technologies for commercialisation, scope out potential markets and look for companies that want to license the innovations.

A start has been made with business analytics. In September, Exploit joined forces with the Infocomm Development Authority to set up a business analytics translational centre.

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