Updated on 17 September 2012
Singapore: Exploit Technologies (ETPL), the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) conferred a Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker (DTS) Award to Australian inventor Kia Silverbrook. Hailed as the world's most prolific inventor, Mr Silverbrook holds more than 4,400 US patents. The award was conferred at the DTS Forum, a platform aimed at inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging technologies in Singapore.
The DTS Forum, organised by ETPL with support from the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), presents entrepreneurs, industry leaders, researchers, scholars and students the opportunity to converge, share ideas and network with industry players and to seed the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship within the local community.
At the DTS Forum, Mr Silverbrook discussed his views on what spurs innovation as well as what hinders it. He also gave his views on which technologies will be key in the next few years and which ones are overly hyped. Mr Silverbrook, who is based in Sydney, filed his first patent at 14 and, in addition to his more than 4,400 US patents, also has more than 9,700 patents or patent applications internationally. In 2011, Mr Silverbrook topped Business Insider's list of "The 10 Greatest Inventors of the Modern Era."
Mr Silverbrook's notable inventions span a diverse range of technologies: from integrated circuit (chip) architecture and Internet commerce to cryptography and DNA analysis. He has also founded several companies that have successfully commercialised research.
In 2002, he co-founded the Memjet group of companies to commercialise Memjet technology - an award-winning printer technology that enables printers to produce one colour page every second. Memjet technology has won several accolades including Popular Science's "Best of What's New in 2011" and the Edison Awards Gold Medal this year.
He also co-founded Silverbrook Research which developed the Hyperlabel, an invisible optical tagging system that is an alternative to RFID. In addition, the company was responsible for Netpage digital pen technology: a pen that converts written text into data. Since 2008, Silverbrook Research has consistently been among the top patent "grantees" worldwide.
Mr Philip Lim, chief executive officer, of ETPL said that, "We are very honoured to award and host an inspiring figure like Mr Kia Silverbrook. His unwavering ethos of creative innovation and commercial inventions across diverse technical fields are a source of insight and underscore why the spirit of inventorship is important not just for A*STAR but all innovation and enterprise players. We hope that his first speaking engagement in Singapore will inspire the local research community towards their own success stories."
"Through the DTS forum platform, Exploit Technologies aims to expose each speaker to the local ecosystem and hopefully, engage their networks and expertise into the future. Dr Michael Hayden, acclaimed geneticist, was our DTS back in 2009. In March this year, he set up a joint Translational Laboratory in Genetic Medicine in collaboration with A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council and the National University of Singapore (NUS) to advance clinical research between Canada and Singapore. We will continue to seek out such mutually beneficial collaborative engagements with our DTS luminaries."
Ms Julia Ng, senior director, manufacturing and construction division, WDA, said: "WDA is pleased to support the DTS forum to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in Singapore. Innovation will be a key driver of Singapore's growth in the coming years, hence it is critical for entrepreneurs, supervisors and workers to share and learn from others on how to foster and harness workplace innovation. The forum is one such avenue for learning as it allows Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) in the manufacturing industries to gain valuable advice and knowledge from prominent speakers such as Mr Silverbrook."
Mr Silverbrook is the fifth recipient of the DTS Award. Past recipients include serial entrepreneur and Oxford Professor of research Stephen G Davies; geneticist Dr Michael Hayden; Molecular Biology authority, serial inventor and entrepreneur Sir Gregory Winter; and LED light scholar and pioneer Dr Shuji Nakamura.