Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI) was established under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. IPI focuses on industry needs and translates their innovation objectives into specific technology requirements to enable enterprises to develop new processes, products and services. IPI is a Catalyst, Enabler & Partner that connects Singapore-based businesses with solution providers to enhance innovation capability.
All IPI's success stories can be found here: https://www.ipi-singapore.org/success-stories
More than two billion people lack access to clean and safe drinking water. Factors like water scarcity, urbanisation and climate change also continue to add pressures on the demand for water which is expected to grow.
Singapore-Sweden collaboration leads to development of compact water purification system
Liquinex Group, a Singapore design and engineering specialist in wastewater treatment had developed a water purification system targeting remote areas, humanitarian aid and rural applications. In its search for technology partners with complementary technologies to co-develop an upgraded water purification system, it got to know about LightLab Sweden’s UV disinfection technology after the green technology company exhibited at TechInnovation 2017.
An introduction facilitated by IPI led to a collaboration where both parties synthesized the efficacies of Liquinex’s ceramic ultra-fibration membrane and Lightlab Sweden’s mercury-free UVC tubes and co-developed the H20-KASE, a compact water purification system for clean drinking water. The innovative system, the size of a suitcase, was launched in July 2018. Powered by battery or solar energy, the portable system can produce up to 500 litres of clean water per hour and operates under challenging maintenance and site conditions. This makes it suitable for humanitarian missions.
Johan Tingsborg, CEO of LightLab Sweden, shared, “Tapping into IPI’s platforms have led to the successful integration of our UV disinfection technology with Liquinex’s next-generation water purification system. This cross-border partnership underscores our vision to contribute to a better environment through sustainable technologies.”
“Our innovation has been deployed by our customers to disaster-hit places such as Kerala, India after the floods in August 2018; and Sulawesi, Indonesia following the major earthquake and tsunami more recently on 28 September 2018. Liquinex is currently working to increase production to support their disaster-relief efforts,” said Bashir Ahmad, CEO and Technical Director, Liquinex Group.
Second collaboration to build scalable water treatment solutions
Through TechInnovation 2017, Liquinex was also introduced to Grafoid Inc, a Canadian graphene research, development and investment company, to explore the use of graphene in its water treatment applications. A year later at TechInnovation 2018, both companies announced their strategic collaboration to provide commercial scale water treatment solutions using Grafoid’s graphene-based filtration technology which can overcome limitations of standard filtration materials and treat a wide variety of contaminants.
“TechInnovation is certainly helpful to companies that are looking for suitable technology partners for collaboration. We are extremely pleased to have found a partner like Liquinex and see potential global impact in our partnership,” said Dr Kiran Manga, Engineering Manager, Grafoid Inc.
“We recognise that we need to be different from what is available in a highly competitive market. The support provided by IPI has been integral for a young start-up like ours. Through their open innovation services, we have been able to connect with new partners with promising technologies beyond our own network. This has reduced our sourcing time and accelerated our product development efforts,” remarked Ahmad.
IPI understands that each organization’s needs are specific and unique. To this end, it assigns specialists who will work hand-in-hand with the organization to understand their business and determine the gaps where innovation can make a difference. IPI will define the problem statements, identify the objectives and translate these into specific IP and technology innovation requirements that will solve those problems. IPI's aim is to help the organization to jumpstart the process to improve and enhance their companies’ innovation pipelines.
Once both the problems are defined and the objectives are identified, four core services might be provided:
- Technology Sourcing: Once IPI has identified the technology needs of the company, it will search for the right IP from its extensive network of technology partners from across the globe. It will contact the most appropriate technology providers for the company's requirements and help in establishing business models for licensing and collaboration.
- Technology Scanning: IPI searches its global network for technologies and expertise. This includes scanning technology portals, conducting patent analysis, and building technology partnerships across a diverse range of industries. All this is done with the intent to provide a robust IP network featuring the best available technologies and expertise that IPI's clients can leverage for their business.
- Technology Matching: IPI's IP Marketplace and global technology partner network facilitates matching of technologies and businesses, bringing opportunities to attract the best solutions provider. IPI also helps to take the company's technologies to the marketplace and find viable market opportunities by creating a summarised technology write-up – a short description of the technology, its benefits and possible applications.
- Technology Assessment: IPI's experienced and industry-savvy specialists help assess if the company is business-ready recommending how to leverage technologies or expertise and giving a competitive edge in service offerings, ensuring viability to compete effectively in the real world. IPI identifies how IPI’s network can provide companies with innovations to boost operational efficiencies, improve business processes and costs.