SGInnovate Launches Deep Tech for Good Initiative | SGInnovate

SGInnovate Launches Deep Tech for Good Initiative

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

30 June 2020, Singapore: SGInnovate today announced the launch of Deep Tech for Good, a new initiative that seeks to accelerate the development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other frontier technologies such as Autonomous Systems, BioTech, Food Technologies, MedTech and Quantum Technologies to improve the human condition and drive sustainable development across different markets.

In partnership with globally renowned organisations, the initiative aims to convene global leaders across the public and private sectors committed to harnessing science and technology for social and economic good. The Deep Tech for Good initiative will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge and success cases where research-based innovations have helped improve lives; help build and scale Deep Tech solutions and catalyse collaborations among corporates, startups and governments.

Strategic partners include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), XPRIZE Foundation, and the NTU Institute for Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH). A*StartCentral, an open innovation platform that incubates and accelerates the growth of Deep Tech startups under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Element AI and Salesforce have also joined the initiative as ecosystem partners. (Please refer to Appendix for details on partners.)

“At SGInnovate, we have always looked at how we can enable the growth of a robust Deep Tech community and talent pool, as well as push for the commercialisation of meaningful research,” said Dr Lim Jui, CEO, SGInnovate. “I am excited to elevate our work through this partnership with leading organisations that share our belief that Deep Tech has the power to change lives. When deep science and technology is supported by deep relationships with like-minded partners, we will be empowered to solve even the toughest challenges. And we urge more players from across the innovation ecosystem to join us and rally behind Deep Tech for Good, to create a sustainable, liveable future for everyone.”

The Deep Tech for Good initiative was launched today at a virtual event attended by more than 200 participants. An international line-up of experts also shared their perspectives on how Deep Tech can be advanced for social and economic good at the panel discussion held during the event. The speakers included Amir Banifatemi, XPRIZE Chief Innovation and Growth Officer; Bradley Busetto, Director, UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development; Cecily Ng, General Manager, Singapore, Salesforce; Professor Vanessa Evers, Director, NISTH; and Jonathan Wong, Chief of Technology and Innovation, ESCAP.

Professor Subra Suresh, President, NTU Singapore said, “As a university at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies such as AI and Machine Learning that are part of Deep Tech, NTU is privileged to be a partner in this commendable initiative. Deep Tech for Good is a timely call to action for individuals and organisations to use Deep Tech as a force for good in society. Deep Tech solutions can potentially offer better quality education to every student, reskill and upskill every worker, and mitigate the impact of climate change. These are also among our top priorities at NTU.”

“As we enter the Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals, frontier technologies have the potential to accelerate progress. To realise this potential, we need to harness the collective technological intelligence of the entire region. The Deep Tech for Good initiative is a partnership between government, private sector, academic, philanthropic and multilateral organisations. My hope is that this partnership develops and scales effective tech solutions to sustainable development challenges, and demonstrates how multi-stakeholder tech collaborations can save and change lives,” said Mia Mikic, Director of Trade, Investment and Innovation, ESCAP.

“We want to harness the power of tech and innovation, especially during this pandemic, to help countries in the developing world⁠ – in emerging and frontier markets⁠ – to leapfrog in their development journeys. How can we use AI and Quantum Computing, as well as other cutting-edge technologies to not just build markets, but to improve lives? For example, through telemedicine in rural areas, or digital farming, or the production of rapid testing for a coronavirus. This launch represents a concerted effort by leading Deep Tech players to solve some of the biggest problems in the world⁠ – whether it is to build sustainable, liveable urban environments, or to bring lifesaving remote medical service to those that need it the most. We are proud to partner with SGInnovate on this goal, and look forward to collaborating more,” said Bradley Busetto, Director, UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development.

Solving today’s problems for a better tomorrow

Following the launch, the Deep Tech for Good initiative will sustain conversations and discussions through a series of thought leadership events, jointly hosted with our partners. The goal is to reach out to at least 10,000 individuals including startup founders, investors, corporate leaders, researchers, and government representatives in 2020. One of the major events that will take place after the launch will feature Professor Yoshua Bengio, Scientific Director of Mila and Co-Founder of Element AI, and Dr Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and President of Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute. They will be sharing their perspectives on the topic “AI for Good” on 23 July, 9am (SGT).

Other partnered activities under the Deep Tech for Good initiative include:

  • Deep Tech for Society Insights Paper: This paper will showcase the potential impact offered by emerging deep technologies and discuss issues that governments and societies should consider when regulating the scope of these technologies (e.g. in security and privacy). Through interviews with historians of science and technology, government officials, scientists and more, this paper – targeted to be released in July – will offer valuable perspectives on the evolving place of technology in our society.
  • Deep Tech Talent Programmes: To take up a career in Deep Tech, young talent need opportunities to explore how emerging areas such as AI, Robotics and Quantum Computing could be utilised to build meaningful solutions to big problems. Programmes such as the Infinity Series and Summation seek to provide these opportunities by matching top talent with high-potential Deep Tech startups.
  • Innovation Challenges: SGInnovate and the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development are planning an innovation challenge that is seeking Deep Tech solutions to address the needs of our circular economy, benefit the environment and create economic opportunities. The global challenge is targeted to be launched later this year.
  • Upcoming Virtual Events:
    • 22 July: Building Deep Tech Talent for Meaningful Causes
    • 30 July: Deep Tech for Good – Business Opportunities and Collaborations between Corporates and Scientist-Entrepreneurs

SGInnovate continues to seek international organisations, research institutions and universities, corporations and notable startups to be part of the Deep Tech for Good initiative. For more information, please visit


About SGInnovate

At SGInnovate, we build and scale Deep Tech startups into high potential companies with global impact. We believe that hard global problems can be solved using Deep Tech, and Singapore, where we are based, is uniquely positioned to realise Deep Tech innovations that can tackle these challenges. Our Deep Tech Nexus Strategy is focused on adding tangible value to the Deep Tech startup ecosystem in two key areas – development of Human Capital and deployment of Investment Capital. With the support of our partners and co-investors, we back entrepreneurial scientists through equity-based investments, access to talent and business-building advice. Our efforts are prioritised around emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Tech, MedTech and Quantum Tech, which represent impactful and scalable answers to global challenges.

SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government. For more information, please visit

Media contacts

Eugenia Lee

Dion Lim
IN.FOM (Partnering agency of SGInnovate)

Appendix — Deep Tech for Good Partners

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