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Going deep into the future

Envision groundbreaking changes on a global scale at the Deep Tech Summit

The inaugural Deep Tech Summit, which will be held on Sept 18 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, is a day-long conference that brings together a global cast of industry visionaries, investors, researchers and government officials.

Organised by SGInnovate as part of the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) 2018, the summit’s themes include artificial intelligence (AI) across industries, blockchain beyond fintech, medtech innovation as well as venture building and deep tech investments.

Speakers include international leaders in research and innovation like Mr Ben Goertzel, chief scientist at Hanson Robotics, and Ms Susan Oh, chair of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain for Impact, the United Nations General Assembly and chief executive officer of MKR AI. Local speakers include Prof Subra Suresh, president of Nanyang Technological University, and Prof Chen Tsuhan, chief scientist at AI Singapore and a distinguished professor at the National University of Singapore.

The summit aims to become a showcase for the increasingly larger role tech will play in shaping our future and addressing key challenges.

“We want the Deep Tech Summit to be an annual event with a foundational theme of how technology will continue to play a vital role in creating a better future for humanity,” said Mr Steve Leonard, the founding chief executive officer of SGInnovate.


Deep tech, which refers to revolutionary or major breakthroughs in technology, science and engineering, is often said to have the potential to redefine the world. It utilises technological or scientific leaps to address serious problems affecting humanity and the environment, such as preventing epidemics, healthcare for an ageing population, and managing sustainable energy production and usage. 

With the advancement of technologies, a much-discussed topic around data privacy prevails. Recent years have seen highly-publicised data breaches and hacks, both internationally and in Singapore. Protecting data while also ensuring it can be used quickly and efficiently by multiple parties is a perennial challenge faced by businesses and governments.

Dr Caroline Hargrove, chief technical officer at McLaren Applied Technologies, is one of the panellists at the summit’s “Data Dialogue: Is Bigger Data Better?”. McLaren Applied Technologies is the sole supplier of electronic control units (ECUs) to Formula 1 teams. 

An F1 car’s ECU is a small, powerful computer that controls numerous systems in the car, like the engine and gearbox. It also transmits live data to the teams to help them monitor the performance and status of each car in real time.  

Said Dr Hargrove: “As a supplier of data acquisition, processing and analytics technologies to all the F1 teams as well as the series’ organisers, data privacy is exceptionally important and built into the core of our products. It’s of the foremost importance to a team that they have secure access to high-quality telemetry data from their cars in as close to real time as possible.”

According to Dr Hargrove, designing a secure architecture can ensure that different parties have “immediate privileged access to their respective portions of the data whilst respecting the privacy and sharing policies that govern each of the streams and individual groups of parameters”.

Other panel discussions at the Deep Tech Summit include “Blockchain and the Decentralised World”, “The Future of Work: AI for Hire”, and “Technology & Society: Advancing Human Development”.


In conjunction with the Deep Tech Summit, SGInnovate is holding an invitation-only Investors Night during the evening of the summit, as well as a Blockchain and Industry Introduction Workshop on Sept 17.

Mr Leonard sees the Deep Tech Summit – which is set to draw an estimated 500 participants –  as an essential part of SGInnovate’s efforts to draw deep tech entrepreneurs and investors to Singapore’s burgeoning innovation scene. Backed by the Singapore government, SGInnovate is a private entity that invests in and builds deep tech start-ups.

It was formed to work with Singapore-based scientist-entrepreneurs who believe their deep tech research could lead to the formation of start-ups with the potential to become regional or global players.

Said Mr Leonard: “Through hands-on work with hundreds of scientists, engineers and investors, SGInnovate has gained a unique perspective of the challenges and opportunities for scientist-entrepreneurs who want to build a deep tech start-up from Singapore.

“Hosting and organising the inaugural Deep Tech Summit is a very exciting time for us. Come Sept 18, it will be a rare opportunity to see global tech leaders and scientists come together in Singapore to exchange ideas on topics such as venture building, deep tech talent, and the realities of technologies in society.”

Register for the #DeepTechSummit at


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