News: LKCMedicine hosts co11ab, a $15 million BioMedtech incubator


By Kimberley Wang, Manager, Media and Publications, Communications and Outreach

On 9 September, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and National Healthcare Group (NHG) launched co11ab Novena (co11ab), an incubator to support biomedical technology start-ups making the leap from research and development into commercialisation of their innovations. The collaboration was inked between NTU, A*STAR and NHG at the event.

To facilitate the clinical adoption of new technologies that will create value for patients, co11ab is situated within Health City Novena and located in LKCMedicine. The S$15 million incubator aims to be a national innovation and translational hub that brings together research, clinical, and venture creation activities, creating an environment that spurs knowledge sharing, innovation, and collaboration.

Expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2023, co11ab will drive new BioMedtech start-ups by providing entrepreneurs access to industry expertise, mentorship, and funding support to develop their ideas and concepts into products. The start-ups will also be guided to implement viable growth strategies to expand overseas.

LKCMedicine Dean and NTU Senior Vice-President (Health & Life Sciences) Professor Joseph Sung said, “Interest in BioMedtech has been on the rise due to demand for innovative and affordable healthcare solutions on the back of rising healthcare costs and ageing populations. But due to technical, market, regulatory, and certification challenges, the lab-to-market for BioMedtech start-ups are often long and arduous. 

“The collaborations formalised today pair start-ups incubated at co11ab with the medical and industrial expertise of NTU LKCMedicine faculty and our partners to overcome these challenges. The result is an innovation ecosystem that benefits research and innovation, and nurtures next-generation entrepreneurs in the burgeoning BioMedtech space.”

As Executive Director of co11ab, LKCMedicine Associate Professor Yen Choo will lead these efforts. He said, “Owing to the incubator’s location in NTU’s medical school surrounded by national research centres and hospitals, co11ab is uniquely able to support start-up ventures at each stage of the BioMedtech value chain, from R&D through prototype development, to clinical testing, product launch and beyond.” 

Strategically located in the heart of the Novena healthcare district, start-ups incubated by co11ab can potentially tap on the expertise of LKCMedicine scientists and NHG clinicians, who specialise in several key research areas: skin and chronic wounds; ageing/rehabilitation; mental health; infectious diseases; metabolic health/vascular diseases; and regenerative medicine.

co11ab will also work together with partners in programmes and events that encourage a culture of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Examples include innovation programmes such as makeathons, which provide an opportunity for NTU, A*STAR, and NHG staff to transform their innovative ideas into prototypes. Read more here.