About Singapore Biodesign
Mission: High-touch development of healthtech talent centered on needs-based approach and quality industry mentoring to accelerate health technology innovation and adoption for Asia’s* unmet healthcare needs.
Vision: To be Asia’s leading HealthTech talent development and knowledge partner for accelerating health technologies innovation towards commercialization and adoption.
Launched in 2010, the Singapore-Stanford Biodesign (SSB) Programme is a joint partnership between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Stanford University. Modelled after the established Biodesign Programme at Stanford University, this capability development initiative aims to train and nurture the next generation of medical technology innovators for Singapore and Asia. Since 5 December 2018, SSB has been re-named as Singapore Biodesign, signifying a move to being more Asia and implementation focussed to bring about economic benefits and healthcare value through healthtech innovation training.
As the medtech ecosystem matures, new challenges emerge as our nation strives to address impending healthcare needs and towards an innovation driven economy. As highlighted by the Committee for the Future Economy and Joint Steering Committee (JSC)’s on Medtech in 2018, there remains a requirement for talent trained in biodesign methodology to meet the growing ecosystem and industry’s needs in the following:
- Validation of local healthcare needs in relation to global market potential;
- Increasing throughput and quality of projects/spinoffs in an effort to secure commercial interest through R&D and investment dollars, and
- De-risking commercialization hurdles and accelerating spinoffs into the global market and/or towards healthcare adoption.
Our programme continues to produce high value outcomes, investing in motivated people as a foundation and building upon their passion and knowhow to forge meaningful relationships and to advance health technology innovations.
Talent Outcomes: SSB fellows continue to pursue a career in healthcare post-fellowship in four key paths: CEOs/Co-Founders, Project Managers, Business Development Managers and Clinician Innovators. A significant proportion of SSB Fellows play enabling roles to plug translation and commercialization gaps in the local ecosystem. Those that remain in clinical institutions and academia continue to support training and project origination in their workplace.
Innovations Outcomes: Arising from our talent development initiatives and as a natural evolution of the programme, SSB’s Fellow and class alumni have witnessed increasing success in its spin-off output, with 2 technologies reaching >1k patients. A respectable innovation pipeline of 31 technical disclosures filed, 20+ funded projects (>S$5M funding) and 7 spin-offs has established SSB not only as a training programme but also as a high fidelity spin-off platform and a source of deal-flow for investors/incubators.
SSB innovation pipeline has also seen an increasing shift towards digital and connected health products and services. The strong foundations in Biodesign methodology serves to increase the chance of project success upon spinoff. This seeding of innovation projects and formation of start-ups is seen as the strongest validation of our training programme.
Ecosystem Outcomes: A vibrant ecosystem is vital in order to continue nurturing talent, both during and post-training. With this view in mind, SSB has been playing a role of an enabler to bring together various players of the medtech ecosystem in Singapore and Asia. In addition, initiatives like the regional clinical immersion has allowed SSB to spread its wings outside Singapore.
Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies
Stanford University launched Stanford Biodesign in 2000 as a multidisciplinary educational programme dedicated to the training of aspiring medical technology innovators. Its curriculum (“the biodesign innovation process”) provides a systematic approach to the identification of important unmet healthcare needs, the development of novel technologies to address them, and the subsequent development of business and commercialization plans to bring them into patient care. Now known as the Stanford Center for Biodesign, the organization has trained nearly 200 fellows, more than 1,000 students, 25 faculty members from universities around the world, and over 200 executives from multinational corporations in its proven process for creating innovative healthcare technologies.