innovfest unbound returns to Singapore in its fourth year, expecting biggest turn-out yet
May 25, 2018

SINGAPORE, May 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- innovfest unbound, Southeast Asia's largest, most exciting and award-winning innovation festival, will be celebrating its fourth year of connecting disruptive innovations and encouraging entrepreneurship in Asia. To be held on 5th and 6th June 2018, over 12,000 entrepreneurs, brands, corporates, government agencies, institutes of higher learning, investors and tech startups across more than 100 countries will gather to exchange ideas, forge new partnerships and celebrate digital disruption at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

Leading the conversation on innovation

Co-Chaired by Yossi Vardi and Lily Chan, the award-winning innovfest unbound is the anchor event of Singapore's Smart Nation Innovations Week. It is jointly organised by Unbound and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, and in partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Visitors to this year's event can expect an exciting line-up of keynotes and panels from over 300 speakers including the biggest names across industries, such as Grab's Anthony Tan, National Gallery's Chong Siak Ching, Tencent's Steven Chang, ONE Championship's Chatri Sityodtong, Circles.Life's Rameez Ansar, The LEGO Group's Marjorie Lao, The Walt Disney Company's Mahesh Samat and Kuek Yu-Chuang from Netflix.

"innovfest unbound's growth since 2015 -- with ever more attendees and speakers from all industries, spanning the biggest names to the most disruptive startups -- is testament to the power and significance of innovation in today's digital age," said Daniel Seal, founder and CEO of Unbound. "At Unbound, we are passionate about driving the innovation conversation and creating mutually beneficial connections between forward-thinking brands and investors with startups and the cutting-edge technologies."

"innovfest unbound is unique. Every year, we have seen entrepreneurs, corporates, VCs, innovators, researchers, students and policy makers congregate to make the right connections and learn from the leading opinion makers and domain experts," said Lily Chan, CEO, NUS Enterprise. "The event acts as a catalyst to encourage and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders and game changers; helping to drive innovation and enterprise across the region."

This year's key content pillars will focus on the following topics: Artificial Intelligence, e-Commerce & Payment, Internet of Things, Immersive Media & Storytelling, The Digital Consumer & Generation Z, Future Talent and Open Innovation.

Four satellite stages will also be making a return since launch last year, ensuring attendees gain maximum value at the event by drilling down into the tech trends of 2018:

  • convergence -- Local and global marketers, brands, media owners and creative agencies will come together to examine how to can harness the power of adtech.

  • futurenow -- A showcase for universities, corporations and startups as they explore the future of healthcare, manufacturing and the digital economy.

  • arise -- Explores emerging trends in Artificial Intelligence and how it will affect the way we live and work in the years to come

  • Einstein -- Created in collaboration with Salesforce, Einstein focuses on the challenges, opportunities and trends in AI, Data, Cloud and Finance

    New for 2018, attendees will also have the opportunity to attend a proptech forum, Proptech Unleashed, hosted by JLL on 6th June, and explore the impact of smart cities, how real estate technology is changing our lives and how corporates can successfully innovate to keep up.

    Providing entrepreneurs with a springboard for greater innovation

    innovfest unbound 2018 will feature several notable key events that will support the transformation of the region's startup ecosystem.

  • Pitch@Palace ASEAN will take place this year at innovfest unbound to help ASEAN Entrepreneurs develop connections with the Pitch@Palace global network of Entrepreneurs. The event is hosted by The Duke of York, and provides a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of Entrepreneurs. 20 Entrepreneurs will be selected to Pitch at Pitch@Palace ASEAN on 5th June, 2018, and will have the opportunity to be coached by mentors who are leading investors, business executives and influencers in their respective fields and network with potential supporters for their businesses. The Winners will be invited to Pitch at Pitch@Palace Global 3.0 at St. James's Palace in London in December 2018.

  • The unbound50 ASEAN, powered by Accenture, will make its debut this year, showcasing 50 of Asia's most exciting and innovative startups in a dedicated area. Inspiring tech startups will be chosen to win a free exhibition stand, gain exposure to investors and corporate representatives, as well as have access to pitch sessions and competitions.

  • Data and AI-driven startups can look forward to the Unilever Foundry Startup Battle on the Main Stage of innovfest unbound. The competition will showcase groundbreaking startups with a solution or product in the Marketing, Advertising, E-commerce, or Retail vertical. Winners will receive $5,000 cash prize and the opportunity to work with Unilever Foundry.

  • The HSBC Hexagon Hive at innovfest unbound is an exclusive networking space with have the opportunity to connect with the HSBC's network of private and institutional investors, large corporates, startups and in-house financial experts, with pitch sessions and prizes of $30,000

    innovfest unbound started in 2015 and has grown to become Southeast Asia's largest innovation festival, welcoming over 11,000 registrations and more than 3,000 international delegates in 2017, with Unbound awarded "Best Trade Conference Organizer" at the Singapore Tourism Board Awards. For 2018, innovfest unbound is expecting an even more diverse turnout, with over 400 exhibitors, 5,000 startup participants and 6,000 corporate representatives.

    For more information about the upcoming innovfest unbound including the latest speaker line-up and purchase of tickets, please

    PR Newswire is a community partner of innovfest unbound 2018.

    Press contacts:

    Serene Chow
    Phone Number: +65 9836 4873

    About innovfest unbound

    Organised by NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, and Unbound, a global ecosystem of innovators, in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority Of Singapore (IMDA), innovfest unbound is the anchor event of Smart Nation Innovations Week. innovfest unbound is Southeast Asia's largest, most exciting and award-winning innovation festival, with an expected attendance in 2018 of over 12,000 delegates from across the world. Co-chaired by Yossi Vardi and Lily Chan, innovfest unbound is a cross-industry, cross-vertical event that brings together stakeholders from across the innovation ecosystem -- including entrepreneurs, corporates, academics, investors, as well as government officials and media representatives -- to discuss the latest trends shaping our world, forge lasting relationships, and create new business opportunities.

    About Unbound

    Founded by Daniel Seal in 2013, Unbound has quickly developed into an internationally recognised market-leading platform connecting grassroots innovation with corporates, brands and governments.

    Unbound has 3 offices around the world -- London, Miami & Singapore, with full capabilities to execute festivals, content creation and innovation discovery programmes. We pride ourselves on having a super talented energetic team. The company has scaled rapidly into new markets and firmly positioned in the centre of the innovation ecosystem.

    As a powerful, trusted brand with a globally respected voice on innovation, Unbound bridges the gap between entrepreneurs, corporate business, governments and trade agencies to fuel a digital future. It encourages innovation by showcasing pioneering ideas to digital communities around the world. Unbound creates fusion between grassroots entrepreneurs and established corporate businesses, pioneering human interaction with dynamic brands to inspire communities, powering digital economies around the world.

    About the National University of Singapore (NUS)

    A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore's flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

    NUS has 17 Faculties and Schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multidisciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives. NUS also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.

    NUS takes an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to research, working with partners from industry, government and academia, to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in NUS' Faculties and Schools, 30 university-level research institutes and centres, and Research Centres of Excellence cover a wide range of themes including: energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; risk management and resilience of financial systems. The University's latest research focus is to use data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore's Smart Nation initiative. For more information on NUS, please

    About NUS Enterprise

    NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement the University's academic programmes and act as a unique bridge to industry well beyond Singapore's shores. For more information, please

    Source: Unbound

    Photo credit / National University of Singapore

    World's largest innovation lab designed to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Singapore
    May 23, 2018

    SINGAPORE --( ASIA TODAY )-- UNLEASH is a global innovation lab, convening 1,000 carefully selected millennial thought leaders from more than 100 countries, who will collaborate on ideas and solutions to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Singapore is the official host of UNLEASH 2018.

    In 2017, the inaugural UNLEASH was held in August in Denmark, convening 1,000 talents from 129 countries. Last November, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was handed the host country torch for UNLEASH 2018 by Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. “We each have a valuable contribution to make to sustainable development,” observed PM Lee Hsien Loong. “I am happy that Singapore’s private sector will be hosting UNLEASH 2018 and doing their part for the Sustainable Development Agenda. This gathering of young, creative and innovative minds will harness the power of human ingenuity, to create imaginative solutions that achieve the SDGs.”

    For the upcoming event from May 30 to June 6, UNLEASH has again handpicked 1,000 talents from more than 100 countries, who will work on challenges related to the SDGs, in eight different themes: Zero Hunger, Health, Education, Water & Sanitation, Energy, Sustainable Cities, Responsible Supply Chain & Consumption, and Climate Action. UNLEASH, a nonprofit, is sponsored by leading organizations within their fields, including DBS Bank, Deloitte, National University of Singapore (NUS), Temasek, Keppel Corporation, Sembcorp Industries, Hempel Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation, PSA International, Ramboll Foundation, SP Group, ST Engineering, and World Diabetes Foundation.

    This year’s UNLEASH program will integrate powerhouse Singaporean businesses with local ways of living, thinking, and working: “Singapore embodies UNLEASH’s values of innovation, multi-culturalism, and cross-sector partnerships,” says Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of UNLEASH, Carlsberg Group, and the Carlsberg Foundation. “I’m looking forward to welcoming the new group of talents and to cement UNLEASH’s status as a global and influential movement for the SDGs.”

    An 8-day program to spark innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

    UNLEASH starts on May 30, when talents will be guided through a day of activities at Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU), The Wave. Scheduled speakers include the founder of the World Toilet Organization Jack Sim; and the founder of the Mara Group Ashish Thakkar.

    Starting May 31, the talents will go through a four-day Innovation Lab held at NUS and NTU. The talents will form teams that work on solutions within their areas of expertise. The lab will be facilitated by Lead Innovation Partner Deloitte, who is continuing their involvement in UNLEASH from last year.

    On June 5, the talent teams will pitch their solutions to experts, mentors and peers at NUS. Teams will then go on to showcase their solutions to the public at the market place, which will be held alongside Ecosperity, Temasek’s annual sustainability-focused conference at Suntec Convention Centre.

    On June 6, the final day of UNLEASH, five winning teams will be picked to receive special prizes at the UNLEASH Closing Ceremony. Here, 1,400 local and international stakeholders will convene to celebrate the talents and be inspired by speakers such as President of Singapore Mdm Halimah Yacob; Nobel Peace Prize laureate José Ramos-Horta; Oscar-winning actor and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation Forest Whitaker; CEO of DBS Bank Piyush Gupta; and UNDP Innovation Champion Sophia the Robot.

    Execution partners are the Carlsberg Foundation, Dalberg, and UNDP.

    Interviews with organizers, talents or VIPs can be arranged upon request.

    UNLEASH Partners

    UNLEASH works with a range of partners. The Diamond partners of UNLEASH include DBS Bank, Deloitte, National University of Singapore, and Temasek. UNLEASH also works with a range of track sponsors and ecosystem partners, who provide guidance and help to the talents.

    Partner quotes

    “We believe that businesses have a fundamental role to play in sustainable development. DBS is proud to be a key partner of UNLEASH, and to be championing social entrepreneurship – a cornerstone of our sustainability agenda. We’re excited to be supporting the 1,000 bright young minds coming together to create solutions for a better future, and to be part of an important initiative that contributes towards the SDGs.”

    - Sim S. Lim, Singapore Country Head, DBS Bank

    “Having played a role in the success of the inaugural UNLEASH in 2017, we are honoured to continue our support as lead innovation partner and bring this meaningful experience to Singapore. Deloitte will be sending a global team of 50 facilitators to help the UNLEASH talents advance their ideas through the innovation process and we are excited to see how these wonderful ideas can be translated to help make the world more sustainable for the future.”

    - Philip YUEN, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Southeast Asia and Singapore

    “Temasek is a generational investor and we believe in creating opportunities for the next generation. That is why we are happy to welcome UNLEASH as a partner for Ecosperity this year. Ecosperity is more than a conference. It is an intergenerational effort to build a sustainable tomorrow – starting today.”

    - Robin Hu, Head, Sustainability & Stewardship Group, Temasek

    “The National University of Singapore (NUS) is proud to be a Diamond Partner for UNLEASH. We wholeheartedly support UNLEASH’s search for innovative solutions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). NUS itself is committed to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of university life, from research, education, and enterprise, to public service and operations. NUS is pleased to provide accommodation for the 1,000 talents and to host many of the Innovation Lab activities on our campus. Our experts in various SDG themes will also guide the talents on their innovation process.”

    - Professor TAN Eng Chye, President of the National University of Singapore

    For further information, contact:
    Julie Buur Trærup,
    M: +6581514302,

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    International Experts Discussed Urban Transformation Through Art at SIAC in Shanghai
    May 21, 2018

    SHANGHAI, May 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The forum on "Urban Transformation Through Art", co-hosted by SAFA (Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University), Baowu Steel Group, TICCIH (The International Committee for Conservation of Industrial Heritage) and LIHC (League on Industrial Heritage in China), and organized by SIAC (Shanghai International Art City) Research Institute, is not a one-time idea platform to present a big project to transform Bao Steel's industrial heritage into an art city. The project is going to be an important test case in China where they have abundant industrial heritage resources today.

    The two-day forum (May 11-12) continues to be heard after the event because of its size, the reputation of the speakers, and the importance of the theme. SIAC (Shanghai International Art City) attracted the attention of the public because of the importance of converting the industrial heritage of key industries such as Bao Steel into an art city.

    Prof. Hang Jian, China Academy of Art, spoke about 100,000 ambitious heritage conservation plans currently under way by Chinese government, which includes regenerating the industrial heritage as well as conservation plans for traditional Chinese rural areas and their way of life. China has more than 5,000 years of history but the experience of industrialization is only 160 years.

    On the first day, participants visited the industrial heritage site of Bao Steel and felt the sweat that workers poured for the prosperity and industrialization of China. One of the participants suggested that Bao Steel's industrial heritage should be permanently preserved as a sacred work site through minimal restoration.

    The forum was divided into four different research topics under the main title "Urban Transformation through Art", a subject suggestive redevelopment of industrial heritage. The forum also discussed rejuvenation plans that utilize arts and how to revitalize industrial heritage through architecture and urban planning.

    Summary of the discussion

    1. A museum is not just a place for exhibition and a temple of collections but a platform for the public to relate, participate and suggest their active opinions. The audience today are not passive visitors to be educated by professionals of institutions but an opinionated neighbor. Museums should transfer their ownership to the audience.

    2. Relative success stories of industrial rejuvenation have been introduced in the west and in China. Orsay Museum in Paris from train station, Venice Biennale Arsenale Exhibition Space refurbished from shipbuilding and ship-fixing space, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin from Berlin train-station, Wiels Contemporary art center in Belgium, etc. In China, Chin Pagoda and Hangzhou Pagoda were also introduced by Stephen Hughes, secretary general of TICCIH. But unagreeable industrial rejuvenation cases have not been introduced. Success stories vary and are debatable. Failure cases are all varied and debatable as well.

    3. Why are most success stories of Industrial Heritages transformation focused on art museums, art centers or art-oriented facilities? Is art so important? Is art a victim? Is it simply because making art-related spaces is cheap? Is art casual, easy or at stake? Why not architecture?

    4. Industrial Heritage Rejuvenation should be able to preserve not only memory of the process of conservation but also of the history of users. Industrial heritage regeneration is understood as a surgery or demolition of buildings. But it could be a nutritional injection and reconnection to the history.

    5. SIAC (Shanghai International Art City) shouldn't be a city of tourism with art. Art city is not a tourist city that uses art, but the quality of the city is more important. Quality is a guarantee of life.

    6. Rejuvenation is about reusing. It is like two sticks which are called chopsticks, not a single chopstick, which is almost useless. Art is like Chinese chopsticks. Baowu heritage site is 26 square kilometers but in reality, there are 230 square kilometer sites in Shanghai that need to be rejuvenated.

    7. The relationship between art and rejuvenation of city is not inevitable and conclusive. Is it because art is cheaper than any other medium? Urban Transformation Through Art? Why not through architecture?

    8. Community culture needs to be related to the SIAC context. Eva Franch i Gilabert said that she doesn't work with business models in her architectural practice but an idea model. It alludes to the future of SIAC.

    9. The difference of value and capital are crucial matters that need to be reconsidered in the field of art given recent environments.

    10. Why do we pay attention to the legacy of the past? What is the role of heritage? What about living heritage? Energy of creating space and energy of memory go together.

    11. SIAC should also be a city for education for future generations.

    12. Academic Director of the forum, Yongwoo Lee, said in a conclusive comment "we make a house but the house shapes us. We don't seem to think that the city we create shapes the framework of our actions, habits and values."

    Source: Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    HKU Urban Studies and Planning team offers novel solution to a GPS blind spot for safer and smarter driving experience in multilevel road networks
    May 16, 2018

    Multilevel road networks such as flyovers and overpasses are built in large cities to solve traffic congestion. Instant correct identification of the road level that a vehicle is driving in a multilevel road network is important to make driving more pleasant, safer, and smarter.

    Vehicle drivers relying on GPS navigation who accidentally drive onto a flyover with intention only to proceed on the ground level will face this problem: the GPS navigation system does not realise the vehicle has entered a wrong level and continues to give instructions as if it were on the ground level. Only after quite a while will the system notice the wrong road level and begin to redirect to a new route.

    Present vehicle navigation system that uses GPS with positioning error of 10-30 meters has a long existing problem in determining which road level a vehicle has entered, especially for flyovers parallel to the ground level. The problem often creates confusion and “motorway anxiety disorder” that makes people more prone to accidents in driving.

    Professor Anthony Yeh Gar-On’s research team at the Department of Urban Planning and Design of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) offers a novel solution to this long existing vehicle navigation problem since GPS was used over 20 years ago by instantly identifying whether a vehicle has entered a flyover or is still on the ground level.

    The Angle Difference Method developed by the team compares the inclination angle of a vehicle and angles of different road levels stored in a Transport GIS to determine whether a vehicle has entered the ramp of a flyover or still on the ground level. It uses an ordinary smartphone that can be put anywhere at any angle in the vehicle with a plugged in or installed onboard diagnostic (OBD) device.

    The system provides a simple and inexpensive solution to warn drivers INSTANTLY when he has accidentally entered a wrong road level. The accuracy for identification is 100%. Such timely information will reduce the stress and uncertainty in driving in a complex multilevel road system, making driving more pleasant, safer, and smarter.

    The innovation won a gold medal award at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions in April 2018. It has received an US patent and an International PCT patent and generated several academic papers published in international academic journals including IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.

    The team is currently discussing with global GIS and vehicle navigation operators including major operators on the Mainland on potential application of the system to enable a major advancement in the current navigation system for vehicles, particularly in large cities with complicated flyover networks.

    Professor Yeh said: “The invention provides an innovative, simple, and inexpensive method to overcome the long existing vehicle navigation problem that many people have tried to solve since GPS was used over 20 years ago by determining instantly whether a vehicle has entered a flyover or still on the ground level. The research team will further apply this “Angle Difference Method” to the navigation of automatic cars.”

    HKU research teams won eight awards at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions, including the Prize of Patent Office of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf – GCCPO and Gold Medal with Special Recognition by the International Jury of Experts, three gold medals and three silver medals. (Please click here for a list of the HKU award winning projects)

    For videos to illustrate the innovation and show how vehicle GPS navigation works under the current system and the modified system utilising the innovation.

    Angle Difference Method for Vehicle Navigation in Multilevel Road Networks
    Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions Gold Medal Award
    - Professor Anthony YEH Gar-On and Dr ZHONG Teng
    Department of Urban Planning and Design, HKUrbanLab, GIS Research Centre and Institute of Transport Studies of the University of Hong Kong
    - Professor YUE Yang (PhD graduate of Professor Yeh)
    Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Spatial Smart Sensing and Services, Shenzhen University

    For media enquiries, please contact Ms Melanie Wan, Senior Manager (Media), Communications and Public Affairs Office, tel: 2859 2600/ email:

    SOURCE / The University of Hong Kong

    VestLink's Xinno (Cross-Innovation) Week leverages the power of Seattle tech hub to make China inroads for local startups
    May 15, 2018

    SEATTLE, May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- VestLink, a Seattle-based innovation platform, kicked off its inaugural 2018 Cross-Border Innovation (Xinno) Week on Sunday with an open-to-the-public Opening Day featuring the best of tech talent, entrepreneurs and investors from across the Pacific North-West and China to discuss emerging technology trends such as AI, Machine Learning, IoT, Blockchain, EdTech, HealthTech and FinTech.

    VestLink is a platform for connecting Seattle-based global innovators with the China market. Founder and CEO Amy Du says there are logistic and cultural challenges involved in fostering collaboration between US and Chinese companies and their aim is to bridge these gaps:

    "We need to bring these partners onto the same platform, into the same room, for them to have a mini conversation and the goal for that conversation is not to just meet and greet, but to become a starting point for people to explore interest and then have the opportunity to follow up and foster real partnership and real investment and that's why we created Xinno Week."

    Seattle's population is one of the fastest growing in the US. San Francisco for its part lost 24,000 people, many of whom simply jumped ship and headed north to The Emerald City. The US Census revealed that from 2016 to 2017 Seattle was the only metropolitan center north of the Sunbelt to have more people moving in than leaving.

    People came for more affordable living, a better lifestyle, but more pertinently, they came to work in tech.

    Of all new office jobs created in Seattle over the past two years, 69% have been in tech. IBM, Intel, Google, Apple - they're all here. China's big players - Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent - have all followed suit. In an era of growing cross-border innovation and collaboration, Chinese firms are now coming to Seattle too, to recruit, collaborate, invest, and acquire.

    VestLink CEO Amy Du experienced this all first hand when she became one of the very first consultants at Chinese systems integrator Digital China to be sent to Seattle to assist Microsoft. Through her connections on both sides of the Pacific, Amy introduced a local startup to one of China's biggest IT consulting firms iSoftStone; iSoftStone later acquired the startup and set up its US HQ in Seattle, where Amy ultimately took up the role of Vice-President, Worldwide Services.

    Yet in promoting China-Seattle collaboration and investment, Seattle needs to do more than overcome cultural differences; they must compete for attention with Silicon Valley's decades-long history as a high-tech hub.

    VestLink was created to fill this gap in Seattle. It now runs its own co-working space and incubation center designed specifically for startups with an interest in China. It also welcomes Chinese company, government or investment delegations almost every other week to host events and connect with local entrepreneurs.

    In education and research, Seattle finds itself locked in a similar scenario. University of Washington (UW) with its world-class computer science faculty still generates far less companies from its graduate pool than does Stanford.

    Still, UW's in-house incubator program Co-Motion recently partnered with Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University to co-launch the Global Innovation Exchange in the first-ever case of an official Chinese educational institution setting up its own brand abroad. In total, Co-Motion has produced 81 startup companies since 2013. It all points to a very encouraging trend in Seattle-China innovation collaboration.

    Just last year, Amazon in cooperation with United Innovation Services (UIS) opened their Qingdao-AWS Joint Innovation Center in China to promote AWS cloud services application in the market and provide startups with technical training and funding support.

    Vice-President of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Dorothy Nicholls is the tech giant's highest ranking Chinese employee. She says Amazon represents a great case study of a company that entered China over ten years ago yet is still transforming today and finding their identity in the China market:

    "So we ask ourselves: what do we want to be? What's our strength to the Chinese consumers? You really have to take a step back. I think the bottom line for me… here is a US company trying to appeal to consumers in China, and we really have to figure out what's our differentiation and what model we can have that's defensible, that cannot be easily copied."

    Dorothy joined a group of more than 30 speakers and panelists present on Xinno Opening Day, including senior executives of 12 unicorns, to discuss the trends of cross-border collaboration.

    "My team and I are looking to promote the technology and culture of the City of Jinan, and to attract local talents and companies here in Seattle to the city," says Zhaocun Xie, chief executive of Lixia District in Jinan, who signed the contract with VestLink Group to establish the "Seattle Cross-border Innovation and Collaboration Center" on Xinno Opening Day. Bin Yin, CEO of UIS, a China-based incubator and fund which oversees the operations of over 20 science and technology parks located both in China and the US, is also participating in the week-long event.

    Two more participants were Doctors Xuchen Yao and GuoGuo Chen, cofounders and former CEO and CTO respectively of PhD graduates at John Hopkins, Yao and Chen (both Chinese nationals) decided to move to Seattle to found their own startup; there they enrolled in the Allen Institute for AI where they developed a framework to build and power chat bots and voice-based applications. Within only a couple of years, the company was acquired by Baidu, which then went on to open its local R&D center. Amy Du says that for firms wanting to strengthen their competitive advantages in technologies like AI and Machine Learning, this "makes sense"; the best way being to set up an R&D center, the quickest to acquire a creditable local firm.

    Yao and Chen represent just two instances of a huge influx of Chinese students that now accounts for a massive 50% of Seattle's entire international student body. 3.4% of the population speak Chinese. China's FDI (foreign direct investment) into the city continues to grow. More signs that Seattle is well set to facilitate further collaboration with Chinese companies.

    VestLink has flown out investment partners from China and the Bay area for Xinno Week. Eight local startups, selected on the basis of their significant traction and interest in building cross-border collaboration with China will also be pitching to these US and China-based investors.

    About Xinno Week

    Xinno Week provides a platform for entrepreneurs, innovators, business and industry leaders to connect and gain valuable insights of technology and investment trends in both the US and China markets, to discuss emerging opportunities and foster future partnerships and collaboration. The event is jointly hosted by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Washington State (CCCWA), VestLink, MSUP and the Chinese Young Professionals Association (CYPA). Xinno Week kicks off in Seattle this Sunday 13 May.

    About VestLink

    VestLink is a leading platform for connecting global innovators with the China market. Entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists are able to leverage VestLink's large and rapidly growing network of startups and innovators to connect with investment opportunities in AI, Machine Learning, Big Data, IoT, CloudTech, HealthTech, FinTech, EdTech, RetailTech, smart cities and AR/VR. Its Seattle-based incubation center and co-working space, supported by its consulting expertise and team of seasoned mentors, creates an environment to accelerate startup growth with a unique focus on cross-border business and collaboration.

    Please visit - for more information.

    Source: VestLink

    Thai Scientist Invents Webcam Microscope to Beat Back Malaria
    May 07, 2018

    Innovation allows distance learning and diagnosis

    April 2018 — One could say that Angkana Saejeng got her professional start in life at a tender age in the shade of the White Elephant Gate in Thailand’s city of Chiang Mai. Here, a few steps from the 700-year-old wall protecting the country’s second city, Saejeng’s family boiled and ladeled fishball noodle soup in their small but popular Ong Tipros shop.

    From her earliest days on, Saejeng’s mission was to help her family succeed. Unlike some other young girls in her neighborhood, she had a knack and a passion for all things technical. Always fiddling, she fixed broken pipes and replaced light bulbs. One day, watching her mother struggle to keep up with a long line of customers, she fashioned an improved, larger noodle strainer to speed things up.

    As she continued in school, she contemplated becoming an engineer, which seemed like a natural career path. “I love finding solutions,” she said. “When I spot a problem, I can’t help but find a way to solve it.”

    Like the imposing wall behind her, however, the needs of the family kept her close to home, where she, as traditionally expected of many Thai women, could care for her parents.

    Her siblings suggested that she consider a career in health. She agreed, becoming a trailblazer in the field of medical technology and protecting her parents and many others over many years from disease. Luckily, she never could shake the impulse to innovate.

    This region is the epicenter for the development and spread of malaria that is multidrug-resistant, including resistance to the most widely used antimalarial throughout the world — artemisinins. The spread of drug-resistant malaria to Africa and beyond would have dire consequences for the continent that is most affected by the disease and would undermine global progress to date.

    There have been significant gains in Thailand's fight against the disease in recent years, however. Reported malaria cases have decreased 68 percent since 2011, dropping from 44,000 cases to only 14,000 last year. The number of villages with malaria transmission has also decreased 56 percent.

    Today, Saejeng is a medical technologist at the Office of Disease Prevention and Control in Chiang Mai. She started malaria work at the city’s Vector Borne Disease Control Office and was later offered a doctoral scholarship at the University of Sheffield. There, her studies on viral resistance in insects paved the way for developing a simple yet impactful innovation.

    While working on her thesis, Saejeng needed a microscope camera, but models available in the market were costly. Undaunted, she invented her own by attaching a webcam to a microscope. It came as a surprise to many that her low-budget device valued locally at $124 worked as well as the high-end microscope cameras. Emboldened and inspired by this early success, she set her sights on something bigger.

    While pursuing her Ph.D., her determination to work in health intensified after hearing that a close friend died from malaria. “I asked myself, ‘how could this happen?’ I deeply regretted that even though I worked in the malaria field at that time, I wasn’t there and couldn’t save her,” said Saejeng. “Looking back, if diagnosis was done accurately and timely, it could have saved many lives.”

    Currently, malaria diagnosis is conducted by microscopic examination of the patient’s blood. Errors in diagnosis can occur when blood slides are poorly prepared. Realizing this could hinder diagnosis, Saejeng invented a “webscope,” or webcam microscope—a webcam connected to a microscope using basic, everyday materials.

    Linking to the internet, this cost-effective, user-friendly device enables microscopists to provide real-time consultation on difficult or critical malaria diagnostic cases to malaria field workers in remote areas.

    And the big news: The webscope reduces blood slide cross-checking time on average from 21 days to only 10 minutes. Before remote cross-checking became available, slides had to be delivered back to laboratories by hand, which could take days. To cut costs, health technicians would often wait to accumulate slides before sending them back to the lab. Now, patients receive a more accurate diagnosis and timely treatment. The device has made a dramatic impact on the poor and vulnerable people living in rural and remote areas with limited access to health care.

    “The real-time consultation has improved malaria field workers’ skills and abilities to provide a high-quality diagnosis with less errors,” said Saejeng. “This is a sustainable approach toward the long-term goal of malaria elimination.”

    The webscopes were initially deployed in five malaria-affected areas in Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand and later expanded to 94 malaria clinics throughout the country. The initiative has earned several awards, including the Excellence Award 2016 of Sustainable Innovation Thailand Public Service from the Office of Public Sector Development Commission.

    The webscope has also been adapted for distance learning about other diseases from labs/patient wards. Hospitals and medical schools have widely used this technique for remote medical consultation and teaching among public health staff and medical students nationwide.

    Currently, Saejeng monitors antimalarial drug resistance with the support of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative through USAID and in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Her work, drawing on the success of her device, has helped to better diagnose and treat malaria in Thailand, with potential benefits to the entire region.

    "To end malaria for good, it’s important for all stakeholders to join hands and build a network of health professionals where effective and timely communications can be achieved,” said Saejeng.

    To realize her goal, Saejeng places importance on her plan to build a data bank as a resource and a training center for inexperienced or non-expert health professionals. The data bank, together with the webscope, is poised to improve and enhance health professionals’ skills in malaria diagnosis, case management and preventive treatment.

    Armed with a powerful weapon called innovation, this groundbreaking professional woman continues her fight against malaria in a small lab largely unknown to the world. This lab, a short drive from her family noodle shop where she still forms fishballs in the early morning and strains noodles at night, is where she cooks up innovation to help build a virtual wall to protect us all from malaria.


    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    Agenda Announced for Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo Seoul
    May 01, 2018

    SEOUL, South Korea, April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Legendary industry figures confirmed to speak at Inside 3D Printing Seoul include Avi Reichental, Founder & Chairman, Xponentialworks (former President of 3D Systems); Maurizio Costabeber, CTO, DWS; Byoung-Bag Lee, Senior Vice President, Sindoh; Terry Wohlers, Principal Consultant and President, Wohlers Associates; Michelle Baek, Director of Asia Sales, 3D Systems.

    Rising Media hosts the Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo, a globally-renowned event that takes place in major cities around the world and serves as a gathering place for all the innovators and disruptors in the additive manufacturing industry. Inside 3D Printing Seoul has become one of the most influential events in the worldwide series in just 4 years.

    Rising Media has just announced the schedule for the upcoming Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo Seoul, which will be held June 27-29 in KINTEX (Seoul), Korea.

    With the theme of 'New Era of Advanced Manufacturing', the conference will bring together over 40 industry experts to present on the latest AM applications, materials, processes and research. The agenda for the event has been announced, and there's a lot to look forward to as it approaches.

    "You'll hear from the most influential leaders in the industry about how 3D technologies can cut costs, reduce time to market, produce stronger and lighter parts, improve efficiency, create complex geometries, and solve many other challenges," said Christoph Rowen, Managing Director, Rising Media Asia-Pacific.

    The industry has been continuing to increase the focus on adoption and advancement of metal 3D printing, which is why Inside 3D Printing Seoul is making it easier than ever for conference attendees to find the presentations related to metals, like the Advances in Metal 3D Printing -- From Prototyping to Mass Production presentation, by Desktop Metal.

    One of the other fastest-growing areas of application for 3D printing technology is biomedical. South Korea is well-known for its advanced medicine and biomedical 3D Printing is actively used in various cases.

    "YB Kim, Project Manager, says, "From manufacturing of end-use surgical devices and personalized implants, to bone scaffolds and functioning organ replacements, 3D printing is changing our lives. At the conference, you can explore in-depth sessions covering design and manufacture of implants, dental devices, tissues and more using a variety of additive manufacturing technologies."

    Additional speakers include:

  • Peter Rogers, Additive Manufacturing Product specialist, Autodesk Netfabb
  • Alex Lalumiere, Director of APJ Client Sales, HP
  • Stephan Beyer, CEO of BigRep GmbH
  • Dermot Desmond, Sales Manager of LPW Technology
  • Amit Dror, CEO & Co-Founder, Nano Dimension
  • Shamil Hargovan, CEO, Wiivv
  • In-hyuk Hwang, Technical Director, MSC Software
  • Seok Jin Youn, Head of Digital Supply Chain and Manufacturing Division, SAP
  • Ilyong Jung, Sales Manager, GE Additive
  • Chun Kit Kan, APAC Regional Director, Desktop Metal
  • Youngjun Kim, Principal Researcher, Korea Institute of Science and Technology
  • Daejung Kim, Process R&D Director, InssTek
  • Tony Kim, Director, Hepzibah
  • Seung-chul Lee, Territory Technical Manager, Dassault Systemes
  • Tamer Mohammed, President & CEO, Aspect Biosystems
  • Mohsen Seifi, Director of Additive Manufacturing Programs, ASTM International
  • Shri Shetty, CEO, Printerprezz
  • Kyu Won Shim, Medical Doctor, Severance Hospital
  • Junyoung Lim, Manager, CGBio, Inc.
  • Jin-Hyung Shim Assistant Professor, Korea Polytechnic University
  • Mike Vasquez, CEO, 3Degrees

    Inside 3D Printing is proud to have PR Newswire as the Official News Distribution Partner.

    Inside 3D Printing Seoul, hosted by Rising Media, will be held at Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) on June 27-29. It starts in just 2 months, so make sure to register or contact for more detailed information.

    Source: Rising Media

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    Commercial and Collaborative Robot Shipments in E-Commerce Fulfillment to Increase Twenty-Fold by 2026
    Apr 26, 2018

    SINGAPORE, April 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Robots will start to populate e-commerce warehouses at a high rate. ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, estimates that shipments of global commercial and collaborative robots in e-commerce fulfillment will reach 443,000 units in 2026, twenty-fold of current shipments in 2018. This includes squat mobile platforms in goods-to-person systems, autonomous mobile robots with manipulators, last mile delivery robots, and collaborative robots.

    Two major types of customers in e-commerce fulfillment are the major-e-retailers and third-party logistics service providers who engage in the contract logistics business. Currently, warehousing, order processing, and last mile delivery are all extremely labor intensive. As both sectors are facing similar challenges in terms of a tightening in the labor market, the need to provide service differentiation and fight increasing operation costs, companies look toward commercial and collaborative robots to augment the efficiency of their warehouse employees.

    "The growth of global commercial and collaborative robots also coincides with the robust development of e-commerce in China," said Lian Jye Su, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. "Chinese e-commercial fulfillment robot suppliers, such as Geek+ and Flashhold, are being deployed by major e-retailers, such as Alibaba,, and Suning." Albeit growing at a slower rate in 2017, Chinese e-retailers have been enjoying double-digit year-on-year growth since 2014. Alibaba has also entered into Southeast Asia markets, bringing Flashhold solutions to overseas warehouses.

    At the same time, other companies have taken advantage of the advancement in machine vision and localization and navigation technologies to develop autonomous mobile robots that can share the same workplace with human workers. Robots from Seegrid, Locus Robotics and 6 River Systems are designed to carry and shift heavy payloads within the warehouse, while robots from other suppliers, like Fetch Robotics, IAM Robotics, inVia Robotics, and Magazino, feature built-in effector and gripper systems which enable them to perform goods picking and retrieval. ABI Research estimates that more robots will start to feature grippers in the warehouses to allow them to assist in parcel picking.

    "There is no doubt about the severe limitations of these technologies. Existing gripper systems are not designed to pick objects heavier than 10 kilograms. Image recognition technology is still in the nascent state, requiring heavy investment in cloud infrastructure and software capabilities," continued Su. It won't be too long before an autonomous mobile robot does more than just towing, lifting and picking objects. "Actuator and joint systems have become more robust, and 3D camera technology is becoming more accessible thanks to the iPhone X. The maturity of deep learning hardware and algorithm-at-the-edge will soon allow robots to perform both training and inference within the warehouse environment, allowing robots receive training like a human worker."

    These findings are from ABI Research's Commercial and Collaborative Robots for Retail E-Commerce Fulfillment report. This report is part of the company's Robotics, Automation & Intelligent Systems research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.

    About ABI Research

    ABI Research provides strategic guidance for visionaries needing market foresight on the most compelling transformative technologies, which reshape workforces, identify holes in a market, create new business models and drive new revenue streams. ABI's own research visionaries take stances early on those technologies, publishing groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms. ABI analysts deliver their conclusions and recommendations in easily and quickly absorbed formats to ensure proper context. Our analysts strategically guide visionaries to take action now and inspire their business to realize a bigger picture. For more information about ABI Research's forecasting, consulting and teardown services, visionaries can contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific or

    Contact Info:


    Deborah Petrara
    Tel: +1.516.624.2558

    Christopher Leary
    Tel: +1.516.624.2544

    Source: ABI Research

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    Houseware Fair Seminars Reveal Summer '19 Design Themes
    Apr 26, 2018

    International consumers are demanding bright, authentic and adventurous homewares, leading trendspotters told two trends seminars at this year’s HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair (20-23 April 2018). They identified the colours, features and textures that will define the collections of 2019.

    Visitors to the largest trade fair of its kind in Asia were welcomed to the twin seminars on the first and second days of the event at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The first seminar saw Lea Czermak, Senior Creative Project Manager for Paris-based trend-forecasting agency NellyRodi, identify four groups of consumers that dominate demand. The second seminar featured WGSN Senior Editor Anupreet Bhui, who presented four trends that drive product development.

    Four consumer types identified for summer 2019

    At the first seminar, entitled “Fascination NellyRodi Trends Spotting for Summer 19”, Ms Czermak presented four concepts to inspire buyers, delivering a look book of products in varying colours, materials, shapes and moods. She said the agency’s research had identified consumers that were eager to explore new solutions and built-in modularity in more functional and streamlined collections. “It’s a really sunny and positive disposition that today’s lifestyle proposes new decorative concepts and some new ideas to introduce to your home,” she told the seminar. “We really need to bring out a new creativity and new opportunities to create some fascinating and inspiring new worlds and ideas.” These social trends were linked to “four adventures” called Colonial Chic, Vital Vibe, Magnetic Mix and Super Solarium.

    Vital Vibe

    Simplicity, nature and environmental concerns drive the Vital Vibe, a type of consumer that identified with a laid-back Californian vibe. “They enjoy taking their time and simplicity but they also want to experiment. You can imagine them in a laboratory… creating new solutions to protect the world,” she said.

    These consumers would be keen to see products made of new resins and composite materials that were presented in natural colours, but also items crafted from sustainable sources, such as wood and cane that might be shaped by plaiting and weaving.

    Magnetic Mix

    Consumers inspired by a science-fiction-fuelled future – shiny, sleek and high-tech – fall into the Magnetic Mix category. “They want to find innovation everywhere and they want to experiment with new materials. They live in an extreme environment where they don’t have any superfluous things around,” she said.

    Buyers could tap into this market by delivering products that combined aesthetics and subtle technology, in modern textiles, sustainable plastics and creative shapes, in shades of green, blue and violet. Iridescence and pearlescence, chrome and frosted finishes, and pastel walls and surfaces were offered as design trends.

    Colonial Chic

    Demand for classic and heritage shapes with a twist, which may have been inspired by the Baroque or Colonial eras of Western history, identifies the Colonial Chic consumer – the shopper that likes to mix and match, filling their homes with exotic plants and collections that are elegant, precious and high-end.

    “They like to collect things and they like to put them together. They like to have a ‘social network staging’ and take pictures of their house, putting them on Instagram and sharing them. It’s a kind of show-off way to live,” she said. Design ideas included darker and more sophisticated shades, including blue, brown and gold; exotic shapes and unusual fruit motifs; intricate details; and well-designed decorative objects.

    Super Solarium

    The final consumer group identified by NellyRodi for summer 2019 was an upbeat, festive one, based on instinct, visuals and rooted in creative energy. Super Solarium consumers were fascinated by experimental design, brilliant light and electric primary colours everywhere that “were a manifesto”, Ms Czermak said.

    “They really want to mix and match… to customise and personalise their own products. They don’t want to just buy something from the shop, they want to recreate and to redesign.”

    Tribal designs, seaside motifs, recycled and up-cycled goods, the psychedelic and the 1960s were touchpoints that buyers could look to for inspiration.

    Emotional macro trends drive consumer behaviour

    At a second seminar presented on 21 April, buyers heard from WGSN, a leading global authority in trends for consumer markets. The “WGSN Presents: Lifestyles of the Future” seminar outlined four lifestyle directions that will most influence the agency’s clients for the next few seasons. Leading the seminar was WGSN Senior Editor Anupreet Bhui. From the company’s Hong Kong office, Ms Bhui focuses on consumer insights, marketing and product ideation. She suggested there were four “macro trends” based on emotion that are driving the agenda for consumers: Being Connected, Being Flexible, Being True and Being Well.

    Being Connected

    Based on the sensation of isolation that is typified by the “Empty Nest” youth of the Chinese mainland, younger consumers want real connections, Ms Bhui said. “Now, and in the future, people are reaching out to find solutions in working, living and shopping to stay connected,” Ms Bhui told the seminar. In the world of work, the rise of co-working spaces was an antidote to the isolation felt by freelancers and workers in the “gig economy”. The emergence of co-living spaces was a linked phenomenon. While these shared housing arrangements were also linked to financial inequality, dormitory-style living was increasingly common in affluent, Western cities.

    Similarly, retailers were doing less with more by offering fewer brands in smaller spaces, and increasing the sense of exclusivity felt by consumers. In large-scale retail, the idea of community commerce – or curating a mix of chain-store and establishment brands with independent stores – was gaining traction as malls once again become hubs of community interaction. Within the home, the trend to connect includes digital communications and technology. Artificial technology will continue to evolve, Ms Bhui said, creating an ambient technology that went far beyond the auto-replenishment functions of Amazon’s “Dash’ buttons.

    Being Flexible

    “We are seeing our customers living in smaller and even smaller spaces, yet demanding more from these spaces especially great design. In the US, in 2016, for the first time since 2009, the average size of a home built went down from the prior year,” she said. Energy efficiency, storage, flexible floorplans and doing less with more were all important drivers of consumer behaviour. For example, Ori Systems combines robotics and architecture to create modular furniture that changes shape, while IKEA is due to release a collection of space-saving furniture based on the research of space agencies. The flexible home was also a personalised one, where consumers wanted to express themselves – and were prepared to pay for it.

    Being True

    Well-being is now a mainstream concept that involves the seeking out of comfort and health throughout every aspect of our lives. Retailers have incorporated the feeling of homeliness through textures and soft furnishings in creating welcoming spaces. The “mood boosting” power of colour, crystals, lighting and music were leveraged by retailers to offer wellness and unique experiences that met a consumer desire for self-improvement, said Ms Bhui

    Both seminars were part of the 33rd HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, which took place alongside the ninth HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair. The two fairs brought together more than 2,600 exhibitors from 26 countries and regions.

    Fair Website:
    Hong Kong Houseware
    Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings

    Media Enquiries
    Please contact the HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department:

    Agnes Wat
    Tel: (852) 2584 4554

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    These Countries have the Greatest Density of Robot Workers
    Apr 25, 2018

    The usage of robot workers continues to rise. According to a report from International Federation of Robotics, South Korea has the highest density of automation in the world. On the other hand, Taiwan ranked 4th among the Asian countries.

    Industrial robots are no longer preserved for a select few companies. And they aren’t so much coming: they have now fully arrived. Between 2015 and 2016, the average number of robot workers globally increased from 66 units per 10,000 human workers to 74.

    This density shows no signs of slowing according to data from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), that reveals the number of installed industrial robots within the global manufacturing industry in 2016.

    South Korea had 631 robots per 10,000 human workers, the most of any nation. The IFR says this is thanks largely to the installation of a high volume of robots - particularly in the electrical/electronics and automotive industries.

    Singapore follows, with 488 installed robots for every 10,000 people. Roughly 90% of robots in Singapore are installed in the electronics industry, IFR says.

    Germany is Europe’s most automated country, ranking third worldwide. It has 309 robot workers per 10,000 people. According to the IFR, Germany also accounted for 41% of total robot sales in Europe in 2016, with supply expected to grow by 5% between 2018 and 2020.

    How the Continents Compare

    A number of other European countries also had far more robot workers than the global average. Sweden had 223 robots, Denmark had 211, Italy and Belgium had 185 and 184, respectively.

    The United Kingdom, however, was the only major G7 economy with fewer robots (71) per 10,000 workers than the global average in 2016. The IFR says in the UK, industry is in need of investment to modernize and increase productivity. “The low robot density rate is indicative of this fact,” it says.

    In eastern Europe, including Slovenia (137 units) and Slovakia (135 units), robot densities are increasing. In the Czech Republic, which had 101 robots per 10,000 workers, the fast-growing economy means plant owners are increasingly turning to machines.

    Speaking in the New York Times, Zbynek Frolik, whose company, Linet, makes state-of-the-art hospital beds, said the company has struggled to employ enough humans.

    “We’re trying to replace people with machines wherever we can,” he says.

    What’s more, a recent report by global management consultants McKinsey predicts more than a fifth of the global labour force - or 800 million workers - could lose their jobs because of automation.

    While these might be extreme examples, and the realization of a fear many workers have about the advance of automation, the number of robotic workers is only likely to increase in the coming years.

    North America

    In the United States, the world’s largest economy, robot density surged in 2016 to 189 installations per 10,000 workers.

    According to the IFR, the main driver impacting growth was the trend to automate production in order to strengthen American industries on the global market and to keep manufacturing “at home”.

    South of the border, Mexico had 33 robot workers per 10,000 people. This is despite it being a automotive production hub that predominantly exports to the United States.


    And while South Korea and Singapore lead the global and Asian markets in terms of installations, China has also seen a surge in robot worker numbers. Although it had just 68 units per 10,000 people in 2016, this was almost triple the number in had three years earlier (25).

    The government intends to continue this growth, pledging to break into the world’s top 10 most intensively automated nations by 2020. By then, its robot density is targeted to rise to 150 units, IFR says. Furthermore, the aim is to sell a total of 100,000 domestically produced industrial robots by 2020.

    Junji Tsuda, president of the IFR, says: “Robot density is an excellent standard for comparison in order to take into account the differences in the automation degree of the manufacturing industry in various countries.As a result of the high volume of robot installations in Asia in recent years, the region has the highest growth rate. Between 2010 and 2016, the average annual growth rate of robot density in Asia was 9%, in the Americas 7% and in Europe 5%”

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution