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MIT Technology Review Unveils 2017 Regional List of ‘Innovators Under 35’

Ten tech visionaries from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia honoured


· EmTech Asia

Top (L-R): Angela Wu, Dawn Tan, Wang Gang, John Ho and Prateek Saxena. Bottom (L-R): Simon Gross, Sumeet Walia, Yong Lin Kong, Zhi Weh Seh and Dhesi Raja

7 December 2016, SINGAPORE – EmTech Asia, in association with MIT Technology Review (, today announced the top 10 young Innovators under the age of 35 in the region. The 10 ‘Innovators Under 35’ are given tribute annually at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Asia conference. The list recognises the development of new technology or the creative application of existing technologies to solve global problems in industries such as biomedicine, computing, communications, energy, materials, web, and transportation.

EmTech Asia’s Disruptive Innovation Partner, SGInnovate, will host the ‘Innovators Under 35’ segment, where its Founding Chief Executive Officer, Steve Leonard (pictured, above), will present the honourees with their award. “We want to encourage and support innovators who have the courage to embrace risk, and the vision to do important work on difficult challenges. Our hope is these amazing young innovators will want to see their science and technology-based work increase its positive impact through active commercialisation efforts with teams such as SGInnovate.”

Now in its fourth edition, Asia received nominations from talented researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs across nine countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand) to be considered for the 2017 list. This year, the list of 10 brilliant researchers and entrepreneurs come from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. They are:

  1. Dawn Tan, 33, Assistant Professor, Engineering Product Development, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), SINGAPORE. Dawn receives the award for developing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) nonlinear optical devices for unprecedented nonlinear photon efficiencies in multi-wavelength sources. Her research brings cheaper light sources to the chip, enabling 100X better bandwidth capacity in the transmission of data.
  2. Gang Wang, 34, Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering & Associate Director of the ROSE Lab at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), SINGAPORE. Gang is recognised for his work in artificial intelligence and deep learning that will benefit industries such as mobile, virtual/augmented reality and self-driving cars. He founded Ultramind, which provides core artificial intelligence technologies including object detection, optical character recognition (OCR), and action recognition.
  3. John Ho, 27, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS), SINGAPORE. John is awarded for his pioneering research on developing wireless technologies for bioelectronic systems that can be used to help treat intractable diseases like cancer and diabetes. By enabling smaller and deeper bioelectronic devices, these technologies could one day enable doctors to prescribe a tiny, wireless device instead of a pill.
  4. Prateek Saxena, 33, Dean’s Chair Assistant Professor, School of Computing, National University of Singapore (NUS), SINGAPORE. Prateek’s expertise is in cybersecurity. His work on symbolic tracing has being used to discover security flaws in Microsoft’s largest web product and his work on auto-sanitization of web programs to make them robust against attacks has already been adopted in Google Chrome’s extension platform and Google’s web compilation infrastructure.
  5. Zhi Wei Seh, 30, Research Scientist, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), SINGAPORE. Zhi Wei receives the award for designing advanced materials for clean energy storage and conversion. His pioneering design of sulfur-titanium dioxide yolk-shell structures for lithium-sulfur batteries, have five times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries today.
  6. Yong Lin Kong, 29, Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MALAYSIA. Yong Lin was nominated for his work on developing next-generation ingestible electronic devices that could improve the quality of life for patients with diseases that require long-term on-demand drug administration.
  7. Dhesi Raja, 32, Cofounder, Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology (AIME), MALAYSIA. Dhesi receives the award for his work in artificial intelligence in medicine. His AIME platform has the capability of identifying dengue and Zika outbreaks up to three months in advance.
  8. Angela Wu, 31, Assistant Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Founding Member, Agenovir Corporation, AUSTRALIA. Angela was instrumental in launching Agenovir, which uses genome editing technologies to cure chronic viral infections. Using genome editing technologies to target destruction of viral DNA instead of human DNA, Agenovir’s future products will be able to remove these viruses from the cell, resulting in a permanent cure.
  9. Simon Gross, 33, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, AUSTRALIA. Simon is recognised for his work in integrated optics. He developed a fabrication process that enables integrated optics access to the third dimension, using a laser to sculpt optical circuits embedded in a block of glass, a process similar to 3D printing, which is being used to develop the next generation of ultra-high bandwidth optical communication networks.
  10. Sumeet Walia, 28, Lecturer, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), AUSTRALIA. Sumeet is noted for his work in nanoelectronics. He specialises in the use of metal oxides for the next-generation of high performance electronic devices and systems.

The 10 honourees will give elevator pitches about their work at EmTech Asia which will be held from 14 – 15 February 2017 in Singapore. These pitches typically result in further publicity for their work, along with investment opportunities, as those that attend EmTech represent a wide cross section of the business, research and technology communities.

The 10 also automatically qualify for consideration on the global MIT Technology Review magazine '35 Innovators Under 35 List'. MIT Technology Review will showcase these 35 innovators in the September/October 2017 issue. (Ref

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Selena Sheikh


M: +65 9746 8519



  1. Images and Biographies: Low-resolution images and biographies/synopses of the finalists may be downloaded here.
  2. The MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 nominations were judged this year by the jury panel listed here.

About Innovators Under 35

Since 1999, MIT Technology Review has identified the top young innovators under the age of 35 who receive the Innovators Under 35 Award at EmTech. Innovators Under 35 honourees are recognised annually for their contribution in transforming the nature of technology in industries such as biotechnology, energy, medicine, computing, materials, transportation and the web. Past global Innovators Under 35 honourees include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Tumblr’s David Karp and Spotify’s Daniel Ek among others.

About EmTech Asia

EmTech Asia is MIT Technology Review’s annual conference on emerging technologies that matter, hosted annually in Singapore. EmTech is where technology, business, and culture converge. It is the showcase for emerging technologies with the greatest potential to change our lives. It is an access point to the most innovative people and companies in the world. Most of all, EmTech is a place of inspiration — an opportunity to glimpse the future and begin to understand the technologies that matter and how they will change the face of business and drive the new global economy.

EmTech Asia is organised by MIT Technology Review and Koelnmesse. The event is supported by SGInnovate, Accenture, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and Analog Devices. Sponsors include L’Oréal, SAP, and MIT Professional Education; the event co-organiser, Koelnmesse, was recently recognised by the Singapore Tourism Board as Best Trade Conference Organiser for EmTech Asia.

About MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review (, which is wholly owned by MIT, creates award-winning technology-related editorial content on a variety of platforms for an audience of millions of business leaders, innovators, and thought leaders, in six languages and in 147 countries. At readers access daily news and analysis, and the award-winning MIT Technology Review magazine has set the standard for technology publications since 1899. In addition to producing engaging live events, the company manages the global entrepreneurial organization MIT Enterprise Forum.


David Sweeney

T: +1 617-475-8018

About SGInnovate

SGInnovate is wholly owned by the Singapore government, under the purview of the National Research Foundation with a focus on enabling the entrepreneurial potential of ambitious men and women based in Singapore who believe they can build a start-up. With an emphasis on science and deep-technology, SGInnovate brings together partners from the private sector, institutes of higher learning, and research organisations as part of Singapore’s broader ecosystem of innovation. Through this ecosystem, SGInnovate connects these aspiring entrepreneurs with support for business-plan development, sources of funding, and go-to-market efforts.

For more information, please visit


Ranjeet Kaur

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

+65 6390 3376 | +65 9025 7674

About Koelnmesse

Koelnmesse Pte Ltd is one of the world's largest trade fair companies. Its more than 70 trade fairs and exhibitions have the broadest international scope in the industry, as 60 percent of the exhibitors and 40 percent of the visitors come from outside Germany. The Koelnmesse events include the leading global trade fairs for 25 sectors, such as Imm cologneAnugaIDSINTERMOTInterzum Cologne, PhotokinaGamescom and the International Hardware Fair Cologne. Koelnmesse is MIT Technology Review’s local partner for EmTech Asia, EmTech Hong Kong and TR35 Asia. 

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