More than 21,000 experienced the exuberance of the first-ever Japan summer festival at the Singapore Sports Hub
 
Sep 10, 2018
Category:

Singapore, 8 September 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- The Singapore Sports Hub basked with festivities as more 21,000 visitors gathered at the National Stadium for the first day of the two-day Japan Summer Festival, held in conjunction with Sports Hub Community Play Day at the National Stadium.

The stadium grounds provided an immersive experience for visitors to embrace the Japanese culture. The Japan Summer Festival is organised in collaboration with the Japanese Association of Singapore, to foster stronger cultural understanding between both the Japanese and local communities.

Guests-of-Honour Mr Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi, Special Advisor to Japanese Prime Minister and Ms Tan Gee Keow, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) witnessed the heart-thumping beats of the Taiko Drummers and the time-honoured Bon-Odori Dance, a traditional dance associated with the summer season. They also toured the event ground which comprises of food and beverage, merchandise, (details in Annex A) and game booths as well as motorsport related activities at the Sports Hub Community Play Day ‘Fun-On-Wheels’ zone.

Mr Peter Sullivan, General Manager, Singapore Sports Hub, said, “The Japan Summer Festival, held in conjunction with the 10th edition of the Sports Hub Community Play Day, is perfect for the community, especially for families to enjoy each other’s company over the weekend. Visitors will experience an immersive Japanese cultural day out with great delights.”

Under the canopy of the world's largest free-spanning dome, families were able to bond through the games played at the Pokémon Carnival zone, the Sports Hub Community Play Day – Fun on Wheels! zone, Japanese Association’s Game Corner, and the Bon-Odori dance.

35-year-old Deepa Nanwani Singh and mother of a 3-year-old boy, said, “This festival caters for the various age groups, with the different games for the younger ones, F&B areas and stage performances. My son is really enjoying himself with every game at the Pokémon Carnival, and getting a set of prize stickers with every win. He has tried almost all the games and his favourite game is the Gengar Shadow Ball.”

35-year-old Natalie Huang, a mother of two girls aged 2 and 5, who came with her husband and extended family, said, “One of my children’s favourite activities was this nostalgic Giant Pick-Up Sticks game; the sticks were as tall as my kid, and they had to drop it on the floor and you are not supposed to pick the other sticks. It was an enjoyable experience for my girls.”

28-year-old Christopher Tan, who visited the festival with his girlfriend, said, “It was a delightful surprise to find the Daytona arcade game here. This is a game that I grew up with during my school days and I had a blast playing the game. It really brought back good memories.”

‘Fun-On-Wheels’ Activities - Keeping Active at the Hub

Besides arcade games, a Singapore GP F1 Roving Truck was on site inside the National Stadium, for participants to test out the reflexes of car racing enthusiasts in the simulators. Families and friends also took part in a “Family Drag Race” activity, where they mounted a cardboard car and race to the finish line.

Fitness enthusiasts practiced their footwork and sweated it out at the J-Party Fitness mass workouts conducted by Japanese instructors, while tennis fans enjoyed a teaser of the excitement of the upcoming WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Finals coming up in October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium through fun tennis-related challenges at the mini-tennis court.

At the ELXR training area, participants got to discover more about their fitness potential and the kind of training their bodies are more inclined towards. The ELXR training app, Asia’s first DNA-based training system, leverages personalised data to help sports enthusiasts train smarter. Members of the public were able to perform trial tests at the National Stadium.

The J-Party Fitness programme is available from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday, 9 September. All other ‘Fun-On-Wheel’ activities are available from noon.

Domo and Pikachu Meet-and-Greet Sessions

There were plenty of ‘wow’ moments among children with the appearances of popular mascots, Domo and Pikachu. Those who missed the meet-and-greet sessions today, can still come on Sunday to take pictures with their favourite characters. Meet-and-greet sessions will be held on a first-come-first-served basis on Sunday (details in Annex B).

The Bon Odori dance & Yukata Try-outs

The activities for Saturday drew to a climatic close with the Bon-Odori mass dance, the highlight for Japanese summer festivals. Participants dressed in traditional summer garment, the yukata, circled around the centerstage, dancing to the rhythm of the night.

63-year-old Mr Yoshihiko Kimata, a participant at the Bon-Odori, said, “I have lived in Singapore for 3 years, but this is the first time I’m taking part in the Japan Summer Festival here. Towards the end of summer, there are such festivals everywhere in Japan, but there are usually only traditional Japanese songs and dance performances, and it attracts mostly the older generation. However, today, I’m surprised that it’s such a big event that it has a mix of modern and traditional performances, with a lot of young people, and I really enjoy seeing the interaction between Singaporeans from different races, and the Japanese.”

Visitors coming down on Sunday are encouraged to bring or rent the traditional Japanese summer garment, the Yukata. The Yukata rental service is priced at $15 and available on Sunday, 9 Sep, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm. Renters can wear the garment till the end of the event at 8:10pm on Sunday. Yukatas are limited and rented out on a first come, first served, while stocks last. The Summer Festival concludes with the Bon Odori dance, where participants can take part in the traditional dance while wearing the Yukata.

Tickets for the Japan Summer Festival can only be purchased at the ticketing booth outside National Stadium Gate 6 at $6 from 11am to 7pm as online ticket sale is no longer available.

For more information on the Japan Summer Festival, please visit https://www.sportshub.com.sg/japansummerfest.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Bertrand Teo
Singapore Sports Hub
DID: +65 6653 9716
HP: +65 9321 8550
Email: bertrand.teo@sportshub.com.sg

Victoria Tan
Singapore Sports Hub
DID: +65 6653 9714
HP: +65 8228 9406
Email: victoria.tan@sportshub.com.sg

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AppsFlyer partners with Weibo to create Social Marketing Value Measurement System
 
JCN Newswire
Sep 10, 2018
Category:
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SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - AppsFlyer, the world's leading mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform, has announced a collaboration with leading Chinese social media platform Weibo. The partnership aims to improve the accuracy of digital advertising monitoring, and provide Chinese digital advertisers and media companies with a more comprehensive and effective digital advertising measurement standard.

Weibo, an integrated social media platform that connects mobile internet users, has a substantial database of 392 million active monthly users; 93% of whom are mobile users. With the aid of Weibo's extensive data, this partnership will give advertisers a more in-depth understanding of user behaviors and preferences based on Weibo interest tags, allowing businesses to define their internet demographics with greater precision.

With its social marketing value becoming more apparent and its corporate client base growing to over a million, Weibo has collaborated with AppsFlyer to create a social marketing value measurement system to help advertisers and media companies assess the returns of their social marketing campaigns more accurately; gaining clearer insights into the values that social marketing brings to a brand. The system will also further optimize Weibo's advertising business.

AppsFlyer is a world leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, with extensive industry experience and best-in-class technology, service and support. The partnership between the two giants of the tech world will enhance the marketing value of the Weibo platform and help promote positive developments in the social marketing space.

AppsFlyer already helps marketers obtain real-time data on marketing activities carried out on Weibo's advertising platform. By assessing the number of clicks, average revenue per user (ARPU), lifetime value (LTV), new app installs, and other metrics, AppsFlyer establishes a complete lifecycle analysis for mobile app marketers. This helps them better understand existing and potential customers, expand their marketing capabilities, and achieve maximum return on investment (ROI).

Additionally, AppsFlyer's independent and transparent solutions allow mobile marketers to get more actionable insights from their data, as well as better evaluate their marketing activities on Weibo's channels. This results in an improved customer experience and a more effective execution of marketing decisions.

This new partnership will also help global developers and app marketers gain access to the massive Chinese market, which might have been more of a challenge in the past. Accurate data on app activations, and better marketing analytics will enable them to better measure and optimize their LTV and ROI across Weibo's platforms.

"We are delighted to have this unique opportunity to collaborate with Weibo Advertising," said Wang Wei, AppsFlyer's Country Manager in China. "Not only is this another successful foray into the Chinese market for AppsFlyer, it is also a rare opportunity for mobile app marketers, both global and locally in China. Our comprehensive, unbiased and independent reports will complement Weibo's excellent social assets, giving businesses a deeper understanding of specific marketing behaviors and improving the overall value and performance of their campaigns."

AppsFlyer: technology is found on 98 percent of the world's smartphones, making it the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics. With Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap Inc., Tencent and 4,000+ other integrated partners, and clients including Alibaba, HBO, Waze, Skyscanner, Activision and 12,000+ leading brands worldwide, AppsFlyer has 15 global offices to support marketers everywhere. To learn more, visit www.appsflyer.com.

Weibo: is a leading social media platform for people to create, share, and discover Chinese-language content. Weibo has developed, and is continuously refining, its social interest graphic recommendations engine, which enables its customers to perform people-to-people marketing, and target audiences based on user demographics, social relationships, interests, and behaviors; to achieve greater relevance, engagement and marketing effectiveness.

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Company JCN Newswire
Contact Tiara Liu
Telephone +81-3-5791-1821
E-mail info@japancorp.net
Website
GreyOrange Closes $140 Million Series C, Marking the Biggest Fundraising in Industrial Automation Systems
 
Sep 07, 2018
Category:

New funds enable GreyOrange to accelerate the fulfillment of its vision to develop the next generation of flexible supply chain systems

SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GreyOrange™, the global leader in AI-powered robotics systems for flexible automation across fulfillment centers in supply chain, has announced US$140 million in Series C funding, marking the largest round ever raised by an industrial robotics company.

Mithril Capital, co-founded by Ajay Royan and Peter Thiel, led this round, which included Binny Bansal and other existing investors including Blume Ventures. They join Mitsubishi, Flipkart, and the Project Verte as investors in the company. Ajay Royan, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner of Mithril Capital, will join the GreyOrange board.

“As a global investor focused on emerging category leaders, Mithril is proud to partner with the GreyOrange team to advance our shared vision of a universal platform for flexible automation. As online and offline channels converge across a wide range of industries, we are excited to support robotic solutions that thoughtfully bridge the world of bits and the world of atoms, driving better health, safety and efficiency for workers and customers alike,” said Ajay Royan, co-founder and Managing General Partner of Mithril Capital.

Binny Bansal, Flipkart co-founder and Group CEO said, “As an entrepreneur myself, I have closely followed how Samay and Akash have built and grown GreyOrange to become an international technology company with customers across the world. I look forward to supporting and witnessing the new phase of their growth. The team will build on its strengths, especially in AI and machine learning, to launch new generation products for flexible automation.”

Founded in 2011 by Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta, GreyOrange is a global technology company headquartered in Singapore with offices in India, Japan, Germany and the U.S. The company operates major Research and Development (R&D) Centers in India, the U.S. and Singapore.

The new funds will enable GreyOrange to fulfill its vision of developing and deploying intuitive, flexible and scalable solutions for end-to-end automation across the supply chain, from factories to fulfillment centers, and beyond. GreyOrange plans to build on the strong growth it has experienced over the past five years by expanding operations across Asia, Europe and the U.S. To that end, the company recently established its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Atlanta, Georgia, and launched a major R&D center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Samay Kohli, Co-Founder and CEO, GreyOrange said, “We are fortunate to have an experienced management team and investors with a common vision to build the next generation of flexible supply chain systems. Having a veteran board member and strategist like Ajay Royan join the board will help fulfill that vision faster. Fundraising events are important milestones in a company’s journey, and for GreyOrange, the funds will allow us to continue to invest in our R&D and supply chain to maintain our market-leading position.”

He added, “GreyOrange offers robotics technology for operating flexible automated warehouses and has the largest market share globally in this space. We’ve grown rapidly in recent years and will accelerate the expansion of our regional teams, especially within the U.S. We strongly believe in thinking global but operating local. As we continue to invest heavily in the R&D of our products, we will solve new problems for our customers and help transform the industry.”

With the ongoing e-commerce and omni-channel boom, more international and regional operators are accepting that intelligent, flexible robotics solutions offer the highest productivity and efficiency improvements, giving these businesses a competitive edge. The GreyOrange Butler robotics solutions, using an AI-first approach, have been contracted for many new sites in Asia, Europe and the U.S. for customers in third party logistics, e-commerce, consumer electronics, fashion and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), among other industries.

The goods-to-person Butler™, an AI-enabled autonomous robot, optimizes the supply chain process from inventory storage and replenishment to order picking. The Butler PickPal™ combines AI and Machine Vision to revolutionize automated fulfillment, working in tandem with the Butler to accelerate multi-fold the pick process in fulfillment centers.

As the pace of global adoption for robotics automation intensifies, the growing portfolio of GreyOrange robots will continue to serve its customers well and power its international expansion. For more information, contact GreyOrange at info@greyorange.com

About GreyOrange

GreyOrange is a multinational technology company that designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for automation in distribution and fulfillment centers. Through the use of flexible automation, the power of AI and exceptional customer service, we work closely with businesses to recognize their needs, optimize the supply chain and enhance process efficiency. As we prepare businesses for the future, our customers can focus on what they do best: create, sell and innovate. We help our customers evolve their business, without sacrificing what makes it unique. Founded in 2011, GreyOrange is headquartered in Singapore with offices in India, Japan, Germany and USA, and three state-of-the-art research and development centers in India, USA and Singapore. To know more, visitwww.GreyOrange.com.

Contacts
GreyOrange Pte Ltd
Christina Loh, +65 65898380
christina.l@greyorange.com
or
M Booth
Moon Kim, +1-212-539-3285
Moonk@mbooth.com

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BEX and MCE Asia 2018 accelerate action towards common goal of combating climate action and more sustainable living across Asia
 
Sep 05, 2018
Category:

SINGAPORE – SEPTEMBER 05, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- The Singapore Green Building Week opens its doors today, with its two flagship trade platforms off to a great start. Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia, Southeast Asia’s leading trade exhibition for the region’s green building market, and Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) Asia, a regional HVAC-R, water and energy exhibition, kick off today, offering visitors a glimpse into the array of innovations that will soon become the norm in buildings and spaces of the future.

Taking place from 5 to 7 September, BEX and MCE Asia, along with the annual International Green Building Conference (IGBC), offer a strategic platform for key stakeholders to deliberate on the future of green buildings and sustainable development in the region and globally. Over 12,000 international visitors, including green building industry professionals, thought leaders, policy makers and end-users are expected to congregate at the events to discuss and exchange ideas on the latest innovations that will shape the future of sustainable cities.

Diverse solutions to cater to Asia’s diverse needs

Capturing attention on the show floor this year is Surbana Jurong’s curated showcase, “City of ____”. Depicting the possibilities that technology can bring to future cities, the setup brings to life an environment that integrates sustainable, smart and productive technologies to transform how humans interact with their surroundings. The life-sized urban mock-up will allow visitors to visualise how spaces associated with living, work and play can be reimagined to bring about an improvement in quality of life.

Walking through the simulated city grid, visitors will witness first-hand the benefits offered by DVUCA’s city management system, which enables better traffic monitoring and optimised energy usage. This curated exhibit also showcases how innovative technologies such as (these)abilities’s keyguard will level the playing field at the workplace between the able-bodied and people with disabilities. Aesthetics and functionality are seamlessly weaved into sustainable building practices as showcased by Thinkphi’s solar panel-equipped outdoor umbrellas.

Making innovation in green buildings and energy efficiency the gold standard

Visitors at BEX and MCE Asia 2018 are getting a first look at several innovations to be launched at the events. From industrial applications to commercial buildings and even homes, over 400 exhibitors from 31 countries will provide a comprehensive look into innovations that are continuously advancing the building sector.

Delta Technology is introducing the Insulated Fire Rated Curtain (IFRC), a failsafe double layer curtain that can seal off even the toughest fire outbreaks. Providing up to four hours of fire integrity and insulation, the curtain could potentially save lives in industrial emergencies.

Advancing its ‘Quality Air for Life’ message, Panasonic is showcasing the latest integrated air solutions, which combines air-conditioning and ventilation to improve overall indoor air quality, an important but often overlooked aspect of sustainable living.

To improve hygiene and enhance convenience for users, Dyson’s Airblade Wash+Dry combines a tap and hand dryer. The smart innovation saves space in the washroom while reducing the problem of water dripping on the floor as users move from a handwashing area to a separate hand drying station.

In the home setting, Kruger’s Secomat dehumidifiers help enhance indoor air quality in living spaces by maintaining a constant 40 to 60 per cent relative humidity. In spaces with limited air circulation such as basements and storage rooms, dehumidifiers help to inhibit the growth of mould and bacteria, brought about by the region’s humid and tropical climate.

David Yim, Marketing Manager, AGC Asia Pacific, one of the key exhibitors at BEX 2018, said, “BEX Asia is the ideal platform to nurture interest in green building innovations and an opportunity for us to raise awareness among visitors on technologies that are transforming the built sector. For example, AGC is excited to demonstrate how next-generation electrochromic technology combats glare and solar heat in commercial and residential buildings.”

Aside from the latest in glass products for buildings, AGC will continue to showcase its popular Halio smart-tinting technology that can tint uniformly in less than three minutes when exposed to light. Unlike other smart glass products, Halio looks like conventional glass, but begins tinting within 20 seconds to provide glare protection and block unwanted heat.

Other well-known names in the built environment sector present on the trade floor include Big Ass Fans, Daikin and ebm-papst. In all, BEX and MCE Asia feature pavilions from China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan, and is expected to draw over 12,000 visitors this year over its three-day event.

Seeding future conversations

BEX and MCE Asia feature complimentary seminars, Green View and Mostra Xchange, featuring an exciting line-up of close to 40 industry experts who will lead conversations on various topics that will impact the future direction of the built environment sector. In partnership with supporting industry organisations such as Institute Engineers of Singapore, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and the Indoor Air Quality Association, the seminars showcase a selection of highly curated and qualified sessions on sustainable building solutions, and energy efficiency.

Key sessions and speakers include:

• Lionel Steinitz, CEO, LYS Energy, who will present research on catalysts of green initiatives and the movement toward a low-carbon economy in Southeast Asia

• Anna Kerr, Director at White Arkitekter, the largest architectural firm in Scandinavia, who will discuss diversity and gender equality in urban planning

• Michael Chin, Principal and the Façade and Sustainability Leader from Arup Singapore , who will share successful case studies of green building envelopes and sustainable façade design in tropical regions around the world

• Keith Brewis, Managing Partner, International Operations at Grimshaw, who will share on the emerging use of data in architecture and how it can be creatively used to build iconic structures

BEX Asia and MCE Asia take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, and are also co-located with the annual International Green Building Conference (IGBC). With the theme, "Build Green: Build Smart. Build Communities", IGBC 2018 attracts participants from across the entire building and construction value-chain, committed to understanding and putting into action real-world, tangible and leading green building solutions.

In its next edition, BEX and MCE Asia will be complemented by two new flagship events - Innobuild (IB) Asia and Smart Cities & Buildings (SCB) Asia. Following the successful run of BEX Asia for over a decade and MCE Asia since the last four years, the two events will provide attendees with a richer, more well-rounded experience and further catalyse the innovation and adoption of technology currently available to drive productivity and efficiencies at every stage of the construction cycle.

SCB Asia, which will focus on digital convergence of solutions and technology into the built environment, is a timely addition as nations across the region intensify their efforts on building technologically advanced liveable cities of tomorrow. The role of technology in transforming the building and construction industry will be further underlined with IB Asia, which will look at how companies can tap on productive technologies, equipment and systems to build more efficiently.

“Clearly, as technology advancements disrupt industries across the world, the built environment sector in Asia will not be spared. Nations are also accelerating their journeys to become smart cities, proving that technology is already playing a crucial role in helping to solve today’s urban challenges and securing a sustainable future for generations to come,” commented Michelle Lim, Managing Director, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Reed Exhibitions. Lim adds, “These events will be an important accelerator of the industry’s transformation, helping stakeholders keep abreast of change and facilitating their evolution as the industry shifts towards smarter and more sustainable living spaces of tomorrow.”

---END---

About Build Eco Xpo
Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia is Southeast Asia’s leading trade exhibition for the green building and construction industry. It is a one-stop destination to source from international suppliers, with regional buyers and specifiers, and learn new knowledge at curated seminars. It’s where inspiration and transformation takes place. www.bex-asia.com

About Mostra Convegno Expocomfort
Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) Asia is Southeast Asia’s only 3-in-1 trade exhibition for energy efficiency in HVAC-R, plumbing, sanitary accessories, and solar energy. Its where international manufacturers, innovative start-ups and Southeast Asian buyers and influencers converge to source, network, learn and transform their business.

About IGBC 2018
Organised by The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) in collaboration with strategic partners - the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and Reed Exhibitions, the International Green Building Conference (IGBC) is a premier green building conference where thought leaders, policymakers, and practitioners in the built environment sector converge for learning, networking and collaborations.

About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in over 30 countries. In 2017 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

For more information, please contact:

Subeer Dutt
Ying Communications
+65 6779 5514 / bexmce2018@finnpartners.com

Olivia Lee
Ying Communications
+65 6779 5514 / bexmce2018@finnpartners.com

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Consoveyo Helps Increase Throughput for Leading Indonesian Dairy Product Manufacturer
 
Sep 05, 2018
Category:

Singapore, 5 September 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Consoveyo Singapore Pte. Ltd. (Consoveyo), part of Körber Logistics Systems, is proud to announce its third consecutive project with a leading dairy goods producer in Indonesia. For this Phase Three project at the manufacturer’s Surabaya plant, Consoveyo expands its automated and storage retrieval system (ASRS) solution to enable the transportation of finished goods from production lines to the warehouse.

“This contract win is a testimony to our excellent customer service and expertise in automated warehousing solutions,” shared Poul Lorentzen, General Manager of Consoveyo. “We set up this plant’s first automated warehouse, and then helped to expand the warehouse by doubling its capacity. Having been chosen for the third time is an affirmation of our position as one of the leading suppliers of automated warehousing solutions for the food and beverage industry.”

In order to ensure an optimum flow of finished goods from the new production line to the ASRS warehouse, Consoveyo installed pallet conveyors, two pallet shuttle cars, and one automated wrapping machine. The equipment eliminates the need for manual handling of goods for transportation, and increases production throughput.

Furthermore, Consoveyo’s warehouse management software (WMS) enables more than the management of inventory storage — it also greatly minimises supply chain disruptions that can shut or slow down production lines. In addition, the software’s real-time visibility function helps to notify the company’s managers in real-time of problems that may disrupt the flow of goods.

Consoveyo’s system will also provide warehouse managers with useful information, such as historical data of pallet movement and specific locations of inventory stored in the warehouse. And in order to extend its service commitment to the customer, Consoveyo will continue to provide after sales support and on-going refresher training courses.

Lorentzen added, “We are glad that our warehousing technologies and solutions helped increase this dairy customer’s throughput and output beyond their expectations. Consoveyo’s solutions are developed with customers’ needs in mind, and are tailored to their exact requirements. We will continue to help manufacturers find the very best solutions, and be there with them through every phase, stage, and component of their journey to achieving a seamless, automated warehouse.”

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About Consoveyo

Consoveyo S.A. from Porto, Portugal, is a system integrator for automation projects in intralogistics and supplier of automated conveyor and storage systems. The portfolio of integrated solutions and services includes high-rack warehouses, distribution centers, and order processing systems. The company specializes in in-house mechanics and hardware solutions. Consoveyo has facilities in Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Czech Republic, India, and Singapore. The company belongs to the Business Unit System Integration and is part of the Business Area Logistics Systems belonging to the international technology group Körber.

About Körber Logistics Systems

The Business Area Logistics Systems, belonging to the international technology group Körber and based in Bad Nauheim, Germany, is the leading provider of fully integrated applications for the optimization of complex internal and external logistics processes. Under the umbrella brand Körber Logistics, the Business Area provides digital solutions for the smart factory (production logistics), the warehouse, distribution center, e-commerce, and management of the entire supply chain. In three Business Units, the umbrella brand unites the companies Aberle GmbH and Consoveyo S.A. (System Integration), Langhammer GmbH and Riantics A/S (Product Solutions), Aberle Software GmbH, Cirrus Logistics, DMLogic, HighJump, Inconso AG and Voiteq (Software). They offer an extensive range of products and services, from system integration to technologies for storage, palletizing, de-palletizing and conveyor systems, through to software.

About Körber

Körber AG is the holding company for an international technology Group with approx. 12,000 employees around the world. The Group comprises leading-edge technology companies and more than 140 production, service, and sales entities. At locations around the globe, Körber combines the benefits of a globally-present organization with the strengths of highly-specialized, flexible, medium-sized enterprises that offer their customers solutions, products, and services in the Business Areas of Automation, Logistics Systems, Machine Tools, Pharma Systems, Tissue, Tobacco, Corporate Ventures and Körber Digital.

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China Taiping Insurance Group signs major deals to boost trade, finance and innovation between Singapore and China
 
Sep 04, 2018
Category:

Singapore, August 27, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- China Taiping Insurance Singapore ("CTPIS"), together with its parent - China Taiping Insurance Group (CTIG), announced major collaborations to boost trade, economic and financial cooperation between Singapore and China to mark its 80th anniversary celebrations today at Singapore's St Regis Hotel.

The occasion is also a double celebration for the Group as CTPIS received its licence as a composite insurer to carry on life business in Singapore from the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS").

China Taiping Insurance Group is one of the four state-owned insurance groups directly managed by China's central government. It has total assets exceeding HKD 666.5 billion (about S$117 billion)1 and 24 subsidiaries with a comprehensive range of services including life insurance, property insurance, pension insurance, reinsurance, reinsurance brokerage and insurance agency, securities brokerage, asset management, non-financial investment and other fields.

The historic event was graced by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Chan Chun Sing and the Chinese ambassador to Singapore, His Excellency Mr. Hong Xiaoyong.

The high-level attendance by more than 300 VIP guests (including senior government officials. top management representatives and industry captains) underscored the event's significance to affirm the strong bilateral economic and trade relations between Singapore and China.

Mr. Wang Si Dong, Vice Chairman and General Manager, China Taiping Group, said, "We are honoured and delighted to celebrate this milestone event here today. Our presence in Singapore has been very valuable and strategic. Singapore's political stability, strong financial and legal fundamentals, economic vibrancy and warm and pro-business policies have helped our Group prosper over the past 80 years. We have invested substantially in Singapore - with our asset base growing multiple-fold and we will continue to strengthen our commitment in the coming years. We intend to designate our Singapore office as the Regional Headquarters (RHQ) to drive the Group's growth - and continue to benefit from resilient domestic demand and vast public infrastructure investment in key economies, including China under the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).Today also marks a "double happiness" milestone for us as our subsidiary here received its licence from MAS as a composite insurer to carry on life insurance business in Singapore. This is certainly good news for our business prospects! We will remain committed to help and provide more support to businesses here to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities in the region so that we can all forge ahead to enjoy many more years of prosperity and positive growth."

On celebrating CTPIS' 80th anniversary, Deputy General Manager, China Taiping Group and Chairman of China Taiping Insurance Singapore, Mr. Hong Bo commented, "This is indeed a momentous occasion to celebrate CTPIS' 80th anniversary at a time when the finance and insurance industry is booming.

“‘Singapore’s finance and insurance sector is expected to grow at 7% this year - outpacing Singapore's national economic growth - according to a recent poll done by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)2 - which also showed that Singapore’s finance and insurance sector will take a larger role in driving economic growth in 2018. “

“These trends” he added “herald bright prospects for us as our strong heritage positions us well to ride the growth wave together with our strategic partners in Singapore and overseas. CTPIS has demonstrated remarkable growth and resilience over the years. We are now on the cusp of even greater growth - as we pursue new opportunities in Singapore and the region with a larger capital base and a wider group of leading enterprises from both the public and private sectors. Our combined strengths will enable us to accelerate our growth plans forward."

Altogether three deals were inked between CTIG and major Singapore organisations while CTPIS signed strategic agreements with two of China's largest banks - Singapore Branch - BOC and ICBC. The auspicious occasion also saw the unveiling of the first Innovation Lab by Chinese enterprises in Singapore by senior officials of China Taiping Insurance Group, Enterprise Singapore, the Chinese Embassy and the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS").

Partnership with Enterprise Singapore to Promote Belt & Road Initiative ("BRI") and drive innovation collaboration with the Chinese Insurer’s first Innovation Lab in the region.

CTIG and Enterprise Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to promote greater collaboration between Singapore and Chinese companies on regional infrastructure projects under the BRI. Both parties will also work together on CTIG’s Singapore Innovation Lab to explore fintech and innovation opportunities in the region. This marks the first innovation lab by the Chinese insurer in the region.

With this partnership, CTIG and Enterprise Singapore will facilitate the participation of Singapore companies in regional infrastructure projects in China and other global markets . CTIG will also work with Enterprise Singapore to support Singapore companies in their BRI investments, including providing asset management services, insurance and financing support.

Said Mr Yew Sung Pei, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore, “Enterprise Singapore’s partnership with China Taiping supports our continuous efforts to build a more vibrant and diverse innovation ecosystem in Singapore. China Taiping’s Innovation Lab will provide another avenue for promising global startups to testbed and apply their technologies in a realistic, commercial environment here.”

The MOU between CTIG and Enterprise Singapore was signed by Mr Hong Bo and Mr Wong Choo Sin, Director, China Division of Enterprise Singapore.

Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Chinese ambassador to Singapore, His Excellency, Mr Hong Xiaoyong, Mr Yew Sung Pei, Assistant Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Mr Ng Yao Loong, Mr Wang Si Dong, Mr Hong Bo, and General Manager China Taiping Singapore, Mr Yang Yamei, jointly unveiled the Singapore Innovation Lab today at CTPIS’s 80th anniversary event.

The Singapore Innovation Lab will carry out incubation activities, develop innovation capabilities, and serve as a testbed for new technologies like mobile intelligent insurance survey solutions, facial recognition, robotics and Artificial Intelligence customer management solutions, Internet-Of-Things, and big data analytics. Enterprise Singapore will connect suitable Singapore-based startups to CTIG and facilitate collaboration in these areas.

CTIG plans to invest an initial sum of US$2 million to set up the lab, with an additional sum of US$3 million to be injected at the second phase.

Intent for Mutual Cooperation with SCCCI to boost Collaboration

CTIG and SCCCI singed an intent to pursue project and innovative business cooperation for SCCCI's members. SCCCI currently has more than 160 trade association members and 5,000 corporate members. Its network covers more than 40,000 multinational companies, government-linked institutions, large financial and business organisations and small and medium enterprises from various industries.

MOU with RMG to jointly provide medical/healthcare insurance solutions as well as healthcare management services and explore health-related real estate opportunities

CTIG and SGX-listed RMG will explore setting up a joint venture company in China to offer a range of medical and healthcare insurance products as well as healthcare management services. The MOU will enable CTIG to appoint RMG as its preferred network of medical providers for its insured members (covering individual and corporate), staff and their dependents, as well as affiliates of CTIG. CTIG and RMG will also co-operate to actively explore opportunities in investment, management and/or consulting businesses in health-related real estate in China including medical facilities, elderly homes and retirement villages.

Strategic Agreements between CTPIS and BOC and CTPIS and ICBC

CTPIS meanwhile inked two strategic agreements with both Bank of China ("BOC") Singapore Branch and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch ("ICBC Singapore") with CTPIS and both banks in collaboration to provide various financial solutions for their customers and employees.

Further details of the MOUs and Strategic Agreements can be found on the attached Factsheet.

Cheque Presentation to the ST School Pocket Money Fund

Following the signing ceremony, CTPIS also made the auspicious occasion more meaningful with a notable donation to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund ("STSPMF"). A cheque of S$90,000 was presented by Mr. Hong Bo and Mr. Yang Yamei to STSPMF trustee Mr. Arthur Lang and SPH representatives Mr Anthony Tan and Ms. Tan Bee Heong.

"Corporate Social Responsibility is part of our culture of giving back to society. Helping children in their formative years is something we are committed to do as we see this as our responsibility to nurture our next generation. Children are our assets for future growth and we are happy to have this opportunity to contribute to their well-being and development," said Mr. Yang.

CTPIS also undertook an active 80th anniversary campaign to celebrate this milestone in Singapore. Some of its anniversary activities include a fund raising 5KM Fun Run, outdoor and print advertising campaigns as well as product promotions for travel, home, maid and motor insurance.

About China Taiping Insurance Singapore

China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (“CTPIS”) is a leading composite insurer for both life and general insurance businesses, originated from Tai Ping Insurance Co. Ltd Singapore Branch established in Singapore since 1938. CTPIS has a financial strength rating of “A” and issuer credit rating of “a” by the A.M. Best, and the outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. CTPIS has been assuring our customers in Singapore with financial peace of mind for the last 80 years. Our personal insurance protection covers travel, motor, home, personal accident, hospital and domestic maid. Our business insurance includes various business operation packages, property, casualty (includes work injury compensation), bonds, engineering, marine and medical & health. CTPIS is wholly owned by China Taiping Insurance Holdings Company Limited (“CTIH”), which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2000, making it the first Chinese-funded insurer listed overseas.

About China Taiping Group

China Taiping Insurance Group Limited, CTIPS’ parent, is a large transnational financial and insurance group with 500,000 employees, 24 subsidiaries, more than 2,000 business outlets and total assets of RMB 600 billion. Its business network covers Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, North America, Europe, Oceania, East and Southeast Asia. In July 2018, it became one of the Fortune 500 companies. Its business scope includes life insurance, general insurance, pension insurance, reinsurance, reinsurance brokers and insurance agency, internet insurance, assets management, securities brokerage, financial lease, real estate investment, pension industry investment and other business, thus providing our clients with one-stop financial and insurance services.

About Enterprise Singapore

Enterprise Singapore, formerly International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING Singapore, is the government agency championing enterprise development. We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise.

We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups. As the national standards and accreditation body, we continue to build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards.

About Raffles Medical Group

Raffles Medical Group Ltd is a leading integrated private healthcare provider in Asia incorporated in 1976 and headquartered in Singapore. Raffles Medical Group is listed on the Main Board of Singapore Exchange (SGX: BSL) since 11 April 1997. It runs medical facilities in fourteen cities in Singapore, China, Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia, with two international hospitals under construction in Shanghai and Chongqing. It is the only private medical provider in Singapore that owns and operates a fully integrated healthcare organisation comprising a tertiary hospital, a network of family medicine and dental clinics, insurance services, Japanese and Traditional Chinese Medicine clinics, and a consumer healthcare division.

About Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Established in 1906, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) is an internationally renowned business organisation and the apex body of the Chinese business community in Singapore. It is the founder of the biennial World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, a global business convention. It plays a key and pro-active role in representing the interests of the local business community. In its continued drive for service excellence, the SCCCI has become the first business chamber in the region to be awarded ISO 9001 certification since 1995. In 2009, the Chamber successfully upgraded its ISO certification to ISO 9001:2008.

The SCCCI has a membership network comprising 5,000 corporate members and has more than 160 trade association members, representing over 40,000 companies including large financial and business organisations, multinational corporations, government-linked companies, and small and medium enterprises from a wide spectrum of trades and industries. These members together provide vast resources and opportunities which enable the SCCCI to develop an influential global Chinese business network for business, education, culture and community development. In return, they share a strong sense of pride and identity together and benefit immensely from the SCCCI’s membership services, facilities and activities.

About Bank of China

Bank of China Singapore Branch (BOCSG) was established in 1936. It holds a Qualifying Full Bank License (QFB) in Singapore since 2012. Out of over 120 foreign banks in Singapore, 10 have obtained this license. BOCSG has a network of 23 financial touch points in Singapore, including 13 sub-branches and 10 self-service banking outlets, and at the same time providing banking services at over 200 automated teller machines through the ATM5 network island-wide. Leveraging on the Group’s extensive global network and local expertise, it provides customers with a full suite of banking services such as traditional commercial banking services, investment banking services, and private banking services.

BOCSG, on behalf of the Head Office, manages and operates several regional business centres, including Commodity Business Unit (which consists of The Commodity Finance Unit, The Global Commodity REPO Centre and The Commodities Trading Desk), Forfaiting Unit, Debt Capital Market Centre (Asia), Private Banking Centre, Card Unit, Innovation Lab and Overseas Training Centre. With the direction to support the internationalisation of China and Singapore enterprises, its operations cover Southeast Asia and extend to the global market.

Since its establishment, BOCSG has been committed to innovation and development. In 2016, BOCSG was the first Chinese enterprise to be conferred the “Business China Enterprise Award”. In 2017, BOCSG became a council member of the Association of Banks in Singapore, and was elected as the chairman of the Southeast Asia Regional Committee of the International Trade and Forfaiting Association. BOCSG also actively supports RMB internationalisation. It is the pioneer bank in offering RMB products in Singapore, and also the largest RMB service provider currently. With the deepening collaboration between China and Singapore, BOCSG will persistently enable advancement through technology, drive development through innovation, deliver performance through transformation and enhance strength through reform, in an effort to build Bank of China into a world-class bank in the new era, bringing greater contributions to Sino-Singapore relations.

About Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (ICBC Singapore), the first overseas institution of ICBC, was established in 1993. Over years of arduous endeavour, ICBC Singapore has become one of the leading commercial banks in Singapore, offering a full range of financial products and services covering retail banking, private banking, corporate banking, institutional banking and investment banking.

Issued on behalf of CTPIS:
For more information, please contact:

Ms. Tham Moon Yee
Mr. Soh Tiang Keng
Mr. Julian Kay

Stratagem Consultants Pte Ltd:
Tel: 65 6227 0502
Fax: 65 6227 5663

Media Contact:
Cindy Cheng
Head, Marketing
China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6389 6158
Cindy.cheng@sg.cntaiping.com

Ms. Tham Moon Yee
Stratagem Consultants Pte Ltd:
Tel: (65) 6227 0502
tmy@stratagemconsultants.com

Mr. Julian Kay
Stratagem Consultants Pte Ltd:
Tel: (65) 6227 0502
julian@stratagemconsultants.com

About ST School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF)

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) was started in 2000 as a community project initiated by The Straits Times to provide pocket money to children from low-income families to help them through school. The children can use this money for school-related expenses, such as buying a meal during recess, paying for transport or using it to meet other schooling needs. The financial help also eases the burden of the many parents who are already struggling to feed their families on their meagre incomes.

The Fund supports more than 10,000 children and youth a year. Since the project started in 2000, the Fund has disbursed more than $60m and helped over 160,000 cases of children and youth in providing them with monthly school pocket money.

STSPMF was established as a Trust on 20 October 2010 with a Board of Trustees and was granted charity status on 14 November 2011 with Institution of A Public Character (IPC) status effective from 1 January 2012.

The funds works with the Ministry of Education, mainstream and special needs schools, youth centres, family service centres and children's homes in disbursing the funds to students from low-income families.

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
Drones solving safety challenges within the tank storage industry
 
Sep 03, 2018
Category:

Singapore, 03-09-2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- A report published within the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries uncovered that 74 percent[1] of accidents that occurred within industrial facilities took place in oil storage terminals and petroleum refineries. Human error was also identified as the biggest risk to terminal operators.

As a result, the tank storage and terminal industry is increasingly turning to drones to improve safety. Growing at an annual rate of 20.9 percent[3], the unmanned aerial vehicles and drones’ market has grown beyond its initial defence application. The technology is revolutionising the industry by enabling businesses to cut costs and reduce staff exposure to risk.

Four times faster than traditional inspection methods[4], drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have enabled oil and gas businesses to report seven-figure savings. The technology also reduces or in some cases eliminates ‘Persons on Board’ (PoB) issues and downtime.

Cyberhawk Innovations and Avetics Global Private Limited, two of the leading drone experts, will be speaking at the upcoming Tank Storage Asia conference at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Malcolm Connolly, Founder and Technical Director of Cyberhawk Innovations, comments: “We conducted the first UAV tank inspection in 2015 and have seen the industry embrace the technology wholeheartedly.

“Traditional inspection methods require scaffolding and teams of surveyors and technicians to perform visual surveys and take measurements. There are multiple liabilities associated with this type of work, ranging from dropped objects when lowering equipment into the tank, to potential damage to the tank coating, and working at height within confined spaces. UAV inspection not only reduces this risks but also offers a quicker, cost-effective means of inspection”

Drone inspection involves capturing, storing and analysing large quantities of data. When tapping into advancements such as ‘machine learning’, recording and processing data from the same site over time can help operators to better monitor tank structure. Advancements in drone technology are turning essential maintenance efforts into a safer and more streamlined data collection process for implementing maintenance management systems.

Nick Powell, StocExpo & Tank Storage Portfolio Divisional Director, states: “Safety is key within the industry, but despite safety measures being taken, accidents do still occur. Unmanned aerial vehicles are a welcome addition to the industry, and are already making a marked difference. That’s why we’ve invited Cyberhawk Innovations and Avetics Global Private Limited to speak at the Tank Storage Asia conference - we think this is a real area of progress for our industry.”

Tank Storage Asia takes place in Singapore on the 26th – 27th September, the conference is a ‘must-attend’ for professionals with a vested interest in safety, inspections, efficiency and cost-saving.

To view the conference programme, please visit: www.tankstorageasia.com

-- Ends --

About Easyfairs
Easyfairs enables communities to “visit the future” at must-attend events that anticipate their needs and present solutions in the ideal format.

The group currently organises 218 events in 17 countries (Algeria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Emirates, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States). Easyfairs also manages 10 events venues in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden (Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen-Brussels North, Namur, Gorinchem, Hardenberg, Venray, Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm).

The group employs more than 750 people and generated revenues exceeding €160 million for its financial year 2016-2017.

Easyfairs strives to be the most adaptable, agile and effective player in the events industry by employing committed individuals, deploying the best marketing and technology tools and developing strong brands. Visit the future with Easyfairs.

For more information, visit our website http://www.easyfairs.com

Contact Easyfairs
Maya Harruna
Senior Account Executive, Flame PR
+44 (0)20 3357 9744

Rani Gill
Senior Account Manager, Flame PR
+44 (0)20 3357 9746

Libby Brodie
Head of Marketing, StocExpo & Tank Storage Events
+44 (0)20 3196 4391
libby@stocexpo.com

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

 
 
Nurturing Asian leaders
 
Sep 02, 2018
Category:

Sixty-four returning NUS and incoming scholars from Asia attended a two-day Service Learning Workshop at the Fort Canning Lodge from 11 to 12 August organised by NUS Global Relations. The workshop was part of the Temasek Foundation International Leadership Enrichment and Regional Networking (TF Int’l LEaRN) programme @ NUS.

The workshop featured interactive activities and in-depth group discussions with volunteer mentors from Compass @ Campus — a group of experienced industry leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs and professionals — and provided the participants with opportunities to develop camaraderie and strengthen their shared commitment to developing a thriving and prosperous Asia. It culminated in a sharing and question-and-answer session over dinner with Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin.

In his illuminating and inspiring talk titled “Journey of a Trusted Leader”, Mr Tan emphasised that analysing one's purpose in life and nurturing it with a strong personal value system are central to developing one’s leadership qualities. “Leadership is stewarding the next generation,” he said, highlighting that leaders must be purpose-driven, readily provide clarity, motivate through guidance and appreciation, and facilitate the unlocking of one’s full potential through passion and the commitment to “chiong” (charge ahead). “Leaders are the levers that bring about change,” shared Mr Tan, adding that inculcating a “sense of others” is pivotal to the success of trusted leadership.

The scholars tapped not only on Mr Tan’s experience as Speaker of Parliament but also his contributions as a Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces and as a Member of Parliament; as well as his leadership as the Minister for Manpower and the Minister for Social and Family Development. They raised questions ranging from setting personal goals in life to professional management of underperformers in the public sector, and the relevance of Asian countries emulating Singapore’s development model.

Learning about their life stories and struggles helped put our priorities in perspective.
— Year 3 NUS Arts and Social Sciences student Sim Wee Kong

The workshop was well received by the participants. Shared Yib Sotheary, a Year 3 scholar from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Cambodia, “It was a fascinating experience to learn about creative concepts and experiences from well-known speakers and mentors”. She said that through the workshop, she was able to gain cross-cultural understanding of diverse societies through interactions with peer participants from different countries in Asia.

Year 3 NUS Arts and Social Sciences student Sim Wee Kong found the allocated mentor-to-scholar format inspirational. The mentors were professionals in their respective fields. “Learning about their life stories and struggles helped put our priorities in perspective,” said Wee Kong. Bryan Wong, a Year 4 NUS Engineering student, found Mr Tan Chuan-Jin’s sharing of his role as Speaker of Parliament “eye-opening” and believed that he is now better able to understand national challenges facing the government.

This workshop is part of a series of activities organised for TF Int’l LEaRN scholars in NUS, which also included an academic writing course, learning journeys to Singapore companies and a TF Int’l LEaRN Young Asian Leaders Forum. The TF Int’l LEaRN programme @ NUS nurtures the next generation of Asian leaders by providing opportunities for cultural exchange, networking, community engagement and leadership development through the Student Exchange Programme platform. This is the 11th year of the University’s partnership in this programme.

 
 
Fly high and far with Asia’s first fully solar-powered quadcopter drone created by NUS students
 
Sep 02, 2018
Category:

Aircraft that can take off and land directly without the need for a runway – such as helicopters and quadcopters – are attractive for personal, commercial and military applications as they require less physical space and infrastructure compared to traditional fixed wing planes. A team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has achieved a major step forward in stretching the capabilities of quadcopter drones by powering the flight solely by natural sunlight.

A first in Asia, the current prototype has flown above 10 metres in test flights – higher than a typical three storey building – utilising solar power with no battery or other energy storage on board.

This solar-powered drone, which was developed as a student project under the Innovation & Design Programme (iDP) at NUS Faculty of Engineering, can take-off and land vertically without a runway. Constructed using lightweight carbon fibre material, the quadcopter drone weighs only 2.6 kg, and has a surface area of about 4 sqm. It is fitted with 148 individually characterised silicon solar cells and supported by a frame equipped with four rotors.

A major aviation feat

Rotary winged aircraft are significantly less efficient at generating lift compared to their fixed wing counterparts. Hence, while there have been examples of solar airplanes in recent years, a viable 100 per cent solar rotary aircraft that can take-off and land vertically remains a major engineering challenge to date.

“Our aircraft is extremely lightweight for its size, and it can fly as long as there is sunlight, even for hours. Unlike conventional quadcopter drones, our aircraft does not rely on on-board batteries and hence it is not limited by flight time. Its ability to land on any flat surface and fly out of the ground effect in a controlled way also makes it suitable for practical implementation,” said Associate Professor Aaron Danner from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS Faculty of Engineering, who supervised the project.

The solar-powered quadcopter drone can be controlled by remote control or programmed to fly autonomously using a GPS system incorporated into the aircraft. The aircraft can potentially be used as a ‘flying solar panel’ to provide emergency solar power to disaster areas, as well as for photography, small package delivery, surveillance and inspection. Batteries can be incorporated to power the aircraft when there is no sunlight or for charging to take place during flight to enable operation when it is cloudy or dark. Other hardware such as cameras can also be included for specific applications.

Since 2012, eight NUS student teams have made successive design improvements and worked towards a fully-solar powered aircraft under the supervision of Assoc Prof Danner, who also holds a joint appointment at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore at NUS. The first solar-assisted quadcopter drone developed by students in 2012 could only achieve 45 per cent of flight power from solar cells and the rest from on-board batteries.

The latest team, comprising then-final year NUS Engineering students Mr Goh Chong Swee, Mr Kuan Jun Ren and Mr Yeo Jun Han, made further refinements to the earlier prototypes of the quadcopter drone. They eventually achieved a fully solar-powered flight with their latest prototype. The team members, who have just graduated from NUS in July 2018, were jointly supervised by Mr Brian Shohei Teo from the iDP programme for this project.

Mr Yeo said, “We encountered many engineering challenges when building the drone. These included finding an optimal number of solar cells efficient and light enough to power the propulsion system, which in turn has to be light and at the same time able to produce sufficient thrust to lift the aircraft. Other issues we faced included tuning and calibration of flight controls to enhance flight stability, as well as designing a frame that is lightweight yet sufficiently rigid. This has been an excellent learning opportunity for us.”

“To be able to make something fly under control for a long time is a very complex engineering problem. Our students have attained flight in its purest form, powered by natural sunlight. This is an amazing achievement,” said Mr Teo.

The team will continue to fine-tune the aircraft to further improve its efficiency. With these enhancements, they hope to bring the technology closer to commercialisation.

 
 
​NTU and Harvard scientists discover fat-blocking effect of nanofibres
 
Sep 02, 2018
Category:

Tiny balls of nano-sized cellulose fibres added to food reduced fat absorption by up to half in laboratory and animal experiments, report scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Harvard University, United States.

This discovery could aid in the global battle against obesity, as experiments done in a simulated gastrointestinal tract showed that nanocellulose fibres 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair could cut fat absorption by up to 48 per cent.

In animal experiments, rats fed with heavy cream containing nanocellulose absorbed 36 per cent less fats than rats fed with heavy cream alone.

Associate Professor Joachim Loo and Associate Professor Ng Kee Woei from NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, together with senior author of the study, Associate Professor Philip Demokritou, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discovered how nanocellulose can bind and trap fat molecules known as triglycerides.

Typically, digestive enzymes in the gut will break down triglycerides into fatty acids, which are absorbed by the small intestines and converted to fat by the human body.

However, when triglycerides are trapped in nanocellulose fibres – like how cotton balls absorb oil – enzymes involved in breaking down triglycerides for fat absorption are less effective, thus reducing the amount of fatty acids that can be absorbed by the body.

Published in the scientific journal ACS Nano in June, this new method of using nanocellulose fibres as fat blockers has been granted a US provisional patent, jointly filed by Harvard and NTU.

Assoc Prof Ng Kee Woei, a biomedical engineer and materials scientist, said their finding reinforces the conventional wisdom that eating a high fibre diet is good for health.

“We’ve known for a long time that fibre in the diet has positive health benefits but what we have shown now, is that in animal experiments, fibres at the nanoscale are much more effective at reducing fat absorption than in its bulk form,” Assoc Prof Ng said.

In experiments, 1 mg of nanocellulose was added to 100mg of heavy cream, a ratio of 1:100. Prof Ng thinks that if more nanocellulose was added, it could have absorbed and trapped a larger percentage of fat.

“Nanocellulose could be used as food additives or supplements that could help to mitigate fat absorption for certain groups of people, as the concentration can be adjusted for different applications. We look forward to establishing whether this will be safe and effective for people to take.”

Assoc Prof Joachim Loo, a scientist researching on nanomaterials said cellulose is categorised by the US Food & Drug Administration as a Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) material as it is found in all plants. Nanocellulose can be easily produced by grinding cellulose into extremely fine powder.

“In our study, three types of nanocellulose were compared to commercially available fat-reducing options, and all of them performed much better in the amount of fats they trapped,” Assoc Prof Loo said, although he highlighted that more studies are still needed to determine why the three had better performance.

Professor Philip Demokritou, Director of Harvard’s Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology, said the discovery is like “having your cake and eating it too”.

To him, the most exciting aspect is that fat absorption can be curbed simply through the use of a nanoscale material made of naturally-obtained fibres derived from plants, engineered using mechanical means without any chemicals.

“I’m a believer that we should learn more from nature and use more nature-inspired and derived materials,” he said. “There’s 4 billion years of free R&D there, and instead we always look toward chemicals.”

Giving an independent comment from the medical perspective, Dr Terence Tan, Head, Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre in Singapore, said: “To date, there is sufficient evidence to show that the absence of excess body fat has a cancer-preventive effect, and lowers the risk of developing thirteen different types of cancers including common cancers such as colorectal and post-menopausal breast cancers.

“Avoidance of weight gain in the form of excess body fat is therefore an important strategy in our fight against cancer. Excess fat in our food can easily tip the scale towards an excess of energy intake over energy expenditure, which in turn drives weight gain over time,” added Dr Tan, a cancer specialist researching on nanotechnology in food for healthier living and cancer prevention.

“This new nature-derived nanocellulose technology has the potential of reducing digestion and absorption of excess fat from our food without compromising on quality and taste, and is very exciting and promising. I look forward to the further evaluation of this technology in animals and humans to validate the findings of this study."

Moving forward, the NTU and Harvard scientists will continue to probe the toxicological profile of nanocellulose to examine its safety for consumption in large amounts in further animal trials.

***END***

Media contact:
Lester Kok
Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Email: lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past five years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.

For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.