(10 Dec 2020, Singapore) To foster innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of young people, improve the practical ability of undergraduate students in Singapore in new product development, the Department of Materials Science Engineering (MSE) in NUS has jointly launched the “E.Y.E”(Explore Young Entrepreneurism) innovative video contest with Fortune Times, a leading Chinese business magazine in Southeast.

As an innovative practice for the course module of “Innovation and new product development” offered by the Department of MSE, E.Y.E is target for the MSE year-4 students. Different from the traditional teaching, the E.Y.E project requires students working as a team to develop new products and the business proposal, and produce a video within 1 minute, with the unique selling point of products. Through posting the video clip on social media platform, the student will explore the entire process of a product from design and development to product marketing.

The presentation ceremony of “E.Y.E” innovation video contest is held on 8 Dec at Changi Business Park.

The “E.Y.E” video contest formed the judge panel who are from the scientific, business, investment, design and media. They evaluated the video clip in terms of the concept, design, creativity and marketing. Finally, there are 3 winner groups generated, the Best Idea Award, the Best Design Award and the most Popular Design Award.

Prof Daniel John Blackwood, deputy head of MSE Faculty of NUS, said at the award ceremony, “With the development of artificial intelligence and the advent of the Industry 4.0 era, future materials engineers need to work in interdisciplinary teams. The university is not only to cultivate students with the ability to collaborate in team working, it also requires them to play a leading role in innovative technology concepts, product design and entrepreneurial practice. Most importantly, our students must understand all aspects of the commercialization process. ”

Prof Daniel John Blackwood , Deputy Head, MSE Faculty of NUS

During one-month posting in social media, the product video of the 5Head team topped the list with 23,000 “likes”. The product concept was favored online and won the Most Popular Design Award. The team leader, Chia Wenhao introduced, the team took about 3 weeks to discuss on the product concept, the final decision is to make a thermally conductive material for mobile gamers. He shared methods of content marketing through social media, such as sharing videos to websites that gamers love to visit, and inviting tech bloggers to write articles for the product to attract traffic. Wenhao said at the award ceremony: “Through this course of innovation and new product development, our group has carried out meaningful practice and experimentation of entrepreneurial ideas. I also thank the team members for working together to achieve the gratifying results we have today.”

Most Popular Design Award –  Chia Wen Hao on behalf of 5HEAD team(left), Prof Daniel John Blackwood(right)
Ms Hu Ying, Creative Lead of IDEAN(left) , Best Design Award —— Lim Yi Xin, Patricia on behalf Lazarus team(middle), Mr Ignatius Ong, Head of IDEAN SEA & HK(right)
Best Idea Award – Lim Yun Han on behalf of Tasty Potatoes team(left), Ms Annie Song, the Editor-in-Chief of Fortune Times(right)

“MLE4213 Innovation and New Product Development” is a curriculum of the Department of MSE, NUS, mainly for the final year students. The module lecturer, Dr. Zhang introduced, last year he took the task of teaching, in considering how to improve students’ ability to respond to future challenges, including team leadership and application ability in digital technology rather than material science knowledge learning. He brought a Brain Experiment model to redesign courses, set up a direction and required the students to simulate the development of New Products. For example, every 5 – 6 students as a team, each person in the team played a different role in respect of product development, marketing, manufacturing, supply chain management, financial management, legal compliance etc. Starting from determine a product, the team has experienced conceptualization, product prototype, product launch, and finally complete the process of new product development, such as technical support after sales. At the same time, the industry experts who are in different field were invited to the class,  to give sharing on topics such as innovation and new product development, business development, finance, product compliance and intellectual property protection.

Dr. Zhang Jun, lecturer of the course “MLE4213 Innovation and New Product Development”

Dr. Zhang said, “Through the curriculum theory and practice, students will increase proficiency and mastery. The guest lecturers who were invited to the class are CEO, executives, creative director, or senior management from MNC and technology companies. Their experience in new product development process and R & D cases, surely increase students’ understanding of knowledge from practical point of view. Most importantly, the students improve the leadership through closed team working and job allocation, while experiencing the complete development chain of innovative products from the course. ”

The E.Y.E awards ceremony received the support from IDEAN, a global creative design company. IDEAN has Nordic design genes and is committed to changing the way people creation and thinking to make them more entrepreneurial and resilient. It has 19 offices worldwide, Singapore studio is the Asia-Pacific headquarters, and it is committed to providing the most localization for the enterprise zone, digital design services most valuable and innovative. Mr Ignatius Ong, Head of IDEAN SEA & HK said, “From energy to transportation, design thinking can be applied to a variety of products to help these sectors or fields make great leaps forward in the future.”

Sumit Nurpuri(right), COO of Capgemini, which is the parent company of IDEAN.

Sumit Nurpuri, COO of Capgemini, which is the parent company of IDEAN, also congratulated the award winners and said in an interview with Fortune Times, “It is a learning experience for us, listening to the creative students and their starting point for capturing consumers’ needs. Combining product development and design with the real needs of users, rather than separating the process, is what Capgemini strives to achieve in every project as well.”

Annie Song, the editor-in-chief of Fortune Times

The E.Y.E innovation video contest is co-organised by Fortune Times. The editor in chief, Annie Song said, “Innovation is the driving force of society development. As a Singapore home grown Chinese business media, Fortune Times is pleased to co-organize the E.Y.E project to provide young talents with an opportunity to get in touch with digital marketing, open up ways of thinking, and enhance future work capabilities and career development opportunities. During the epidemic, we hope more youth benefited from the platform, which is also one of the social responsibilities of Fortune Times.”

The presentation ceremony of “E.Y.E” innovation video contest was held on 8 Dec at Changi Business Park. As the inaugural event, the “E.Y.E” project was jointly launched in October by the NUS MSE and Fortune Times, aiming to discover young people with innovative ability and entrepreneurial spirit. This year, 7 teams participated in this project, submitted a total of 11 videos. During a period of a month on social media, these 11 videos have attracted nearly 50,000 ‘Like’ and 100,000 viewers.

The Singapore government advocate innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in post-Covid-19 world, various industrials tend to speed up business transformation toward digital technology. The E.Y.E project, provides the final year graduates with a “warm-up” opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship. Through new media platforms to improve the digital marketing capabilities of products, this project will help students improve their work abilities and increase their confidence in meeting future challenges.