SDG Innovate: Science and Technology for Sustainable Development | SGInnovate


32 Carpenter Street
Singapore 059911

SDG Innovate: Science and Technology for Sustainable Development

Presented by SGInnovate & UNDP
Partnered with Royal Danish Embassy

Creating knowledge and understanding through science equips us to find solutions to today’s acute economic, social and environmental challenges and to achieving sustainable development and greener societies. From high-tech systems that allow farmers to predict yield and waste to recyclable food packaging material, technology is being harnessed to overcome challenges such as climate change, pollution and the over-consumption of resources.

Our third SDG Innovate event, jointly presented by SGInnovate and the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development and in partnership with the Royal Danish Embassy, aims to bring together the scientific, corporate and international community who are committed to leveraging science and technology to build a sustainable future.

Date: 10 December 2019
Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Venue: 32 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059911


  • H.E. Dorte Bech Vizard, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore and Brunei
  • Prof. Karthik Kumar, Acting Director, Urban and GreenTech Office (UGTO), Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC)
  • Toshi Nakamura, CEO and Co-Founder, Kopernik
  • Bharathkumar Venkataraman, Solutions Development Manager, Building Performance & Sustainability, Siemens

Moderator: Prof. Vanessa Evers, Director, NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH)

Programme Details:
4:00pm – 4:30pm: Registration
4:30pm – 5:30pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A
5:30pm – 6:00pm: Networking

Speakers' Profiles:

H.E. Dorte Bech Vizard, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore and Brunei

Ms Dorte Bech Vizard is the Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore and Brunei since September 2016.  From 1 August 2018, she also holds the position at Chairman of the Danish Trade Council in Southeast Asia.  Prior to these appointments, Dorte was Director of Investment Promotion and Innovation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. As of 1 September 2019, she was appointed as Denmark’s Governor to the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

With a Master of Law from 1998, she started her career at the Royal Danish Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, followed by several roles with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, including a posting to the Royal Danish Embassy in New Delhi, India, as Counsellor on political issues.

She has also worked with the Ministry of Social Affairs of Denmark as Head of Department for Legal and International Affairs, and in the private sector with Deloitte Business Consulting as Manager of a strategy team. In 2013, Dorte Bech Vizard was awarded the Order of Dannebrog, a Danish knighthood. She is married and has two children.

Prof. Karthik Kumar, Acting Director, Urban and GreenTech Office (UGTO), Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC)

Prof. Dr. Karthik Kumar is currently Acting Director of the Chemicals, Materials and GreenTech Cluster and the Urban and GreenTech Office (UGTO) in the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). A 22 year veteran of the Singapore Public Service and awardee of The Commendation Medal (Pingat Kepujian) as part of the 2019 Singapore National Day Awards, he has been in this current position since December 2015. He is in charge of developing the R&D strategy in this sector and initiating research programmes that will lead to economic outcomes. He is concurrently appointed as adjunct faculty in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore since September 2017, and elected as a Committee Member (2018-2020) of the Materials Research Society, Singapore Chapter.

Karthik joined the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), A*STAR in 2010 as a research scientist. His topic of research was the study of light interactions with nano-patterned metal structures, and is credited as one of the inventors of the 100,000 dpi ultra-high resolution colour-printing technology.

Karthik moved to the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) in A*STAR in 2012 where he was in charge of implementing specific industry-related funding initiatives and was part of the central planning unit within the research council. In 2014, he was seconded to the Resource and Enterprise Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Singapore where he was in charge of driving new policies, strategies and plans to continuously enhance research, innovation and enterprise development among the business and research communities. Karthik was also the co-founding Director of Innospin Pte. Ltd. Singapore, a deep tech startup focusing on the manufacture of next generation magnetic resonance imaging systems from 2013 to 2017.

Karthik graduated in 2005 with a Dipl.-Ing (MSc Eng) in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, on scholarship from the Economic Development Board, Singapore and Glaxo SmithKline. In 2010 he received his Doctor of Sciences in Materials Science from the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, on scholarship from A*STAR. He is married with 2 children, and is variously a polymath, philomath, polyglot, multi-instrumentalist and bookworm.

Toshi Nakamura, CEO and Co-Founder, Kopernik

Toshi, together with Ewa, co-founded Kopernik in 2010 with a vision to make international development more effective. Before starting Kopernik, Toshi dealt with governance reform, peace building processes, monitoring and evaluation, and post-disaster reconstruction at the United Nations (UN) in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, the United States and Switzerland. Prior to joining the UN, Toshi was a management consultant for McKinsey and Company in Tokyo. He holds an LLB from Kyoto University and MSc Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is a Guest Professor at Osaka University's Center for the Study of Co*Design, Osaka University. Toshi was selected as a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader in 2012, and was a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Sustainable Development 2014-2016.

Bharathkumar Venkataraman, Solutions Development Manager, Building Performance & Sustainability, Siemens


Bharath has more than 12 years experience in Building Technologies & Energy Management/Consulting industry. He received his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University, USA. He was funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) - Industries of the Future (IOF) program. Bharath has worked in India and US before moving to Singapore in 2010. In his current role, he is responsible for the development of Siemens’ Energy Solutions business in the Middle East and Asia Pacific markets.

Moderator's Profile 

Prof. Vanessa Evers, Director, NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH)

Vanessa Evers is a full Professor of Social Artificial Intelligence at the school of Computer Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She is also a full professor of Human Media Interaction at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

Vanessa Evers currently is Director of NTU’s Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity with the goal to lead multiple research centres and programs in the responsible and cohesive development of innovative technologies and cross-disciplinary research for the benefit of people.
Her research focuses on how people interact with autonomous systems such as robots or agents and cultural aspects of Human Computer Interaction. She is best known for her work in social robotics developing robots that can interpret human social behaviours and engage with people in an ongoing interaction in a way that fits the social context in which they are used, be that at a hospital, school, museum, public spaces, factories or office buildings.
She received a M.SC. in Information Systems from the University of Amsterdam, and a Ph. D. from the Open University, UK. During her Master studies she spent two years at the Institute of Management Information Studies of the University of New South Wales, Sydney. After her Ph.D. she has worked for the Boston Consulting Group, London and later became an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Institute of Informatics. She was a visiting researcher at Stanford University and has published over 150 peer reviewed publications, many of which in high quality journals and conferences in human computer interaction and human robot interaction. She serves on Program Committees of HRI, CHI, CSCW and ACM Multimedia. She has acquired approx. 10 larger EU research grants and has been among the 50 most inspiring women in tech from 2016 onwards.

Topics: MedTech / HealthTech / BioTech

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