Propelling Research and Educational Excellence

FBN Asia welcomes Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as a programme partner to further support the success and sustainability of family businesses in Asia. NTU is one of the world’s fastest rising universities. Having key strengths in engineering, technology and research, NTU is forging ahead as a leading global institute, offering students a holistic education with real-world relevance. NTU has always emphasised on technological innovations and scientific research, as it firmly believes that technological advancements are able to offer new, promising and next-generation solutions that will improve lives and shape the future. It has ambition, aligned with FBN Asia’s interest, to invest in and build a repository of knowledge of Asian family business through research and scholastic studies.

Explaining how NTU drives its mission to propel educational excellence, Mr Victor Tay, Chief Development Officer, NTU, said, “Our faculty, researchers and students operate in a multi-disciplinary setting to harness global solutions and make pioneering discoveries in the fields of sustainability, the arts, healthcare, innovation and security. We have had fruitful collaborations with professional and trade associations, foundations, philanthropic partners and family businesses on various projects to create innovative and sustainable solutions. As Singapore moves towards deepening its technological expertise, NTU will continue to move in tandem to deliver cutting-edge scientific research and revolutionary technological innovations across multiple disciplines.”

NTU’s investments and progress to transform learning and research has earned them the 13th spot in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings. In addition, NTU’s Engineering and Technology climbed three positions to No. 6 in the world and 2nd in Asia in the QS 2016/17 World University Rankings.

five pillars of impact

Pioneering technological advancements

NTU is a familiar name for many technological innovations given its nurturing environment for science, technology and entrepreneurship. Most prominently, NTU has pioneered the creation of Nadine – the world’s most human-like social robot that has her own personality and emotions, along with the ability to recognise people and remember what they have said. Such social robots may be useful for the healthcare services sector in the future to serve as a companion to the young and the elderly, as well as ease manpower shortages in the labour market.

The university has also developed inventions practical and convenient for day-to-day use. Celex® is NTU’s new, ultrafast high-contrast camera that could help self­driving cars and drones steer through extreme road conditions and in bad weather by recording the slightest movements and objects in real time. Celex® is in the final prototype phase.

Moving forward in the future, NTU will continue to reinforce its research capabilities, deliver solutions to global issues and nurture leaders that are able to make a difference to the evolving future. The university also aims to boost efforts to promote and pursue industry collaborations with enterprises and market leaders. A true leader in innovation and technology, NTU seeks to make greater strides to enhance transformation in the global economy, powering the university to achieve higher global distinction.

Making a Difference in Singapore’s Economy and Future

Did you know that the plan to set up NTU in the 50s (then known as Nantah) received overwhelming support from the Chinese community, with both the rich and the poor donating generously to the building fund? Contributions were received from the working class, including taxi drivers, hawkers, trishaw pullers and cabaret dancers. Donations also flowed in from businessmen and associations in countries around the region. In her autobiography, author Han Suyin, who strongly rooted for the University’s establishment, recalled the fervent efforts of the local community: “The trishaw pedallers of Singapore and Malaya pedalled for three days and turned in all they earned for Nanyang University, and theirs was the greatest sacrifice, for they were so very poor. Rubber tappers flocked to give; they knew that their children would never have a chance to go to university; but it was a gesture of cultural identity. It was incredible and magnificent, and it must be remembered.”

Reflecting on the importance of support and partnership, Mr Tay said: “Giving toward education has a long and distinguished history in Singapore. And NTU is the only institute of higher learning that can proudly trace our early roots to one of Singapore’s largest acts of grassroots philanthropy when members of the public from coolies to bankers gave generously to found our antecedent institution Nanyang University in 1955”.

He added: “More than ever, contributions to the University have continued to pave the way for new excellence pertinent to issues of the twenty-first century. We continue to seek partnerships and supporters to help us make tremendous differences in our future and economy, as well as groom and prepare our students to become the leaders of tomorrow.”