SMU centralises innovation and enterprise support under Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

SMU will be centralising all innovation and enterprise-related services under the SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SMU IIE) from 1 April 2023. As part of this consolidation, the Intellectual Property (IP) and Tech Transfer portfolio of the SMU Office of Research and Tech Transfer will move to SMU IIE.

The consolidation represents a significant step forward in achieving SMU’s vision to become a world-renowned global university that tackles world’s greatest challenges and makes meaningful impact on economy and society.

With this move, SMU faculty members and researchers will receive seamless and comprehensive support to translate their cutting-edge research for economic and social impact. The newly established Knowledge Transfer and Commercialisation unit at IIE will collaborate with SMU faculty members and researchers from invention disclosure, to IP protection such as patent applications, to generating awareness of SMU innovations, and negotiating licencing agreements with external partners. Through the MOE De-Centralised Gap Funding (MDGF), the Commercialisation Team supports SMU researchers and faculty to transform their knowledge into applicable solutions that can create real impact and tackle pressing societal challenges.

“SMU places a high priority on innovation and industry collaboration, which are key enablers to support our strategies in Vision 2025,” said SMU President Professor Lily Kong. “Our goal is to enhance SMU’s efforts and build our reputation as a university that can support research translation and knowledge transfer for economic and social impact. Centralising our innovation and enterprise efforts under SMU IIE will enable us to more effectively engage with the city, industry, and entrepreneurial ecosystem to create value for all.”

SMU Vice President for Partnerships & Engagement Professor Lim Sun Sun emphasised the importance of knowledge transfer beyond academia. “SMU’s research outcomes should not only benefit the academic community but also make a tangible impact on society and industry. By consolidating our innovation and enterprise services under SMU IIE, we will enhance our capacity to engage with industry partners and translate our knowledge and deep-tech research into practical solutions to real world problems,” said Professor Lim.

SMU IIE also announced the appointment of Dr Sze Tiam Lin as its Senior Licensing Advisor to helm its knowledge transfer and commercialisation activities. Dr Sze was the founding Director of IPI, a subsidiary of Enterprise Singapore, with the charter to create opportunities for enterprises to grow through innovation with ready access to global innovation ecosystem and advisory services. Prior to IPI, Dr Sze was the Senior Vice President at Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (now A*STAR Enterprise), the commercialisation arm of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and played a pivotal role in the commercialisation of new technologies and contributed to various best practices in industry-research collaboration, licensing, technology and competitive intelligence, IP management and strategy as well as in the training and development of technology transfer professionals.

“SMU IIE has a strong track record of supporting startups and entrepreneurs through its various programmes, including incubation, mentoring, funding and networking opportunities. By bringing together IP, Tech Transfer and Commercialisation services under one roof, we can offer a more streamlined and comprehensive approach to supporting faculty members and researchers in their pursuit of impactful innovation,” said Hau Koh Foo, Director of SMU IIE. “With the appointment of Dr Sze Tiam Lin, a seasoned expert in technology transfer and commercialisation, we are confident that we can enhance our capacity to engage within SMU and externally with industry and contribute to Singapore’s growing innovation ecosystem.”