4th ACE Grant Call & Outcome

The 4th ACE Call, which was launched on 19th May and closed on 10th July 2020, was a thematic round seeking proposals in two broad themes: i) Food Science and ii) Responsible Technology.

A total of 15 research proposals (9 in Food Science, 6 in Responsible Technology)  were received with COS, COE and COHASS as the top participating colleges.

During the call period, Prof Michael Khor, Director of Talent Recruitment and Career Support (TRACS) Office, conducted several ACE Clinics to assist faculty in preparation of their ACE proposals.

I am pleased that the ACE scheme has successfully achieved its objective in encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty at NTU schools and colleges to catalyse bold and unconventional research in addressing global research problems.

An ACE review panel comprising NTU Research Directors, Associate Deans (Research) and Associate Chairs (Research) of Colleges and Schools spent considerable time reviewing the proposals carefully and thoroughly.
Based on the evaluation and comments of the ACE review panel, we have selected the following four (4) proposals for the 4th ACE awards. Each project will receiving funding for 2 years.​
S/N Proposal Research Team
1 [Food Science]
A portable scent screening system for food freshness monitoring
Chen Xiaodong (MSE) - PI
Ling Xing Yi (SPMS) – Co-PI
Zheng Yuanjin (EEE) – Co-PI
Balázs Zoltán Gulyás (LKCM) – Co-PI
2 [Food Science]
Towards a green future: improving urban farming under tropical weather conditions, for locally-grown vegetables of high quality
Ma Wei (SBS) - PI
Huang Changjin (MAE) – Co-PI
Jimmy K. Hsia (MAE) – Co-PI
Chen Wei Ning, William (SCBE) – Co-PI
Shirley S. Ho (WKWSCI) – Co-PI
3 [Responsible Technology]
Unlocking human superpowers through AI-aided health and wellness model to enhance sleep quality
Josip Car (LKCM) – PI
May O. Lwin (WKWSCI) – Co-PI
Theng Yin Leng (WKWSCI/ARISE) – Co-PI
Chia Yong Hwa Michael (NIE) – Co-PI
Vivien Huan (NIE) – Co-PI
Ho Moon-Ho Ringo (SSS/ARISE) – Co-PI
Joty Shafiq Rayhan (SCSE) – Co-PI
4[Responsible Technology]
Robots as Medical Professionals: Unpacking and Mitigating Public’s Resistance towards Rehabilitation Robots
Sharon Ng (NBS) – PI
Domenico Campolo (MAE) – Co-PI
Gabriel Aguirre Ollinger (ARTICARES Pte Ltd) - Collaborator
Wee Seng Kwee (Tan Tock Seng Hospital) – Collaborator

The ACE projects under ‘Responsible Technology’ share similar bearing as the thematic clusters in NISTH (NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity) and therefore will be embedded within NISTH. We believe that embedding these ACE projects within NISTH will facilitate vibrant interdisciplinary networking as well as further develop this important area.  

The Talent Recruitment and Career Support (TRACS) Office will contact the awardees on the details and terms of the grant.

The ACE project funding aims to seed innovative and interdisciplinary ideas that will lead to competitive proposals. Therefore, we hope that all ACE teams will take this opportunity to apply for competitive external funding.

Please join me in congratulating the successful 4th ACE Call teams.  We look forward to the teams making impactful achievements from their respective projects.

Thank you.

Prof Lam Khin Yong
Senior Vice President (Research), NTU

About the Grant


The ACE Programme seeds bold and unconventional research at disciplinary intersection.  ACE grant calls can be either ‘Open’, to nourish unfettered, exceptional or curiosity-driven enquiry,  or ‘Thematic’, when there is a need to rapidly intensify areas of strategic importance to NTU.  In either case, the selection process is strongly biased towards uniqueness, timeliness and excellence.

The 4th ACE Call is a Thematic round and is accepting proposals from 15 May 2020 to 10 July 2020, 17:00 hrs.

Proposals are sought in two broad themes:

(1) Food Science: To prepare for the forthcoming launch the Temasek Life Lab TLL applications are requested where interdisciplinary topics and skills converge to deliver breakthrough innovation and technology.  Clear translational opportunities for the development of a future effective food system should be emphasised.  Focus areas are not restricted, but will likely include elements that enhance food production, nutrition or sustainability.

(2) Responsible Technology: Due to the convergence of ideas that are at the crossroads of humanities, social science, business, education and engineering with a AI, autonomous systems or data science component applications cutting across these disciplines are of growing importance.   These projects will address the societal impact of technological innovation that aligns well with the mission of the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH).

Eligibility criteria:

  • ​All faculty across NTU are eligible 
  • The proposed project must include participating faculty from at least two different colleges and/or research institutes
Successful applicants from the previous ACE Calls

  • To-date, 11 projects have been funded by the ACE seed grant. Each project is supported with up to S$200,000 funding over 2 years and given the freedom to conduct research outside the usual domain–constraints. ACE grant aims to seed innovative and interdisciplinary ideas that will lead to competitive proposals and eventually help the teams making impactful achievements from their respective projects.
S/N​​ProposalResearch Team
1Toward better future: Merging the lines between Fashion, Materials Science, Computer Science and Engineering• Galina Mihaleva (ADM) - PI 
• Ong Yew Soon (SCSE) – Co-PI 
• Chen Xiaodong (MSE) – Co-PI
2Design and development of digital coaching environment for Deeper Experiential Engagement Projects: co-evolution of education with Artificial Intelligence• Sze Chun Chau (SBS) - PI
• Wilson Goh Wen Bin (SBS) – Co-PI
• Tan Ooi Kiang (EEE) – Co-PI
• Christopher John Hill (SOH) – Co-PI
• Chua Bee Leng (NIE) – Co-PI
• Stefanie Chye Yen Leng (NIE) – Co-PI
3Tracking seeds and their animal dispersers in tropical forests: using engineering advances to address long-standing challenges in biodiversity conservation• Norman Lim T-Lon (NIE) - PI
• Lee Yee Hui (EEE) – Co-PI
• Shawn Lum Kaihekulani Yamauchi (ASE) – Co-PI
4Detecting and Tracking Volcanic Ash Using Social Media Data• Cong Gao (SCSE) – PI
• Benoit Taisne (ASE) – Co-PI
5A Tale of Two Deficits: Causality & Care in Medical AI• Melvin Chen (SOH) – PI
• Chew Lock Yue (SPMS) – Co-PI
6Tracing Early Trading in Singapore Using Geochemical Fingerprints and Artificial Intelligence on Archaeological Artefacts• Ivy Yeh Hui-Yuan (SOH) - PI
• Wang Xianfeng (ASE) – Co-PI
• Wen Yonggang (SCSE) – Co-PI
7Geography of Fake News: Misinformation Spreading and Implication for Capital Markets• Alper Darendeli (NBS) - PI
• Tay Wee Peng (EEE) – Co-PI
• Sun Aixin (SCSE) – Co-PI
8Artificial Intelligence for the Prediction of Alternative Splicing from Epigenomics and Transcriptomics Data in Cancer• Melissa Fullwood (SBS) - PI
• Kwoh Chee Keong (SCSE) – Co-PI
• Francesc Xavier Roca Castella (SBS) – Co-PI
• Kelin Xia (SPMS) – Collaborator
9Towards a Data-Driven, Explainable Framework for AI Start-ups’ Due Diligence• Wen Yonggang (SCSE) – PI
• Boh Wai Fong (NBS) – Co-PI
• S. Viswanathan (NBS) – Co-PI
• Kwan Min Lee (WKWSCI) – Collaborator
10From https to httpQ: envisioning ethics, security and trust in a world with quantum computers. (Q is for quantum)• Koh Teck Seng (SPMS) – PI
• Christina Chuang (SOH) – Co-PI
• Chew Lock Yue (SPMS) – Collaborator
11A Study of Adversarial Examples for Proactively Protecting Images against DeepFake and DeepNude• Adams Kong Wai-Kin (SCSE) – PI
• Guo Jian (SPMS) – Co-PI
• Xu Hong (SSS) – Co-PI
Interested applicants shall be asked to complete an application form outlining their research project of interest and submit the completed proposals to [email protected]

For more information refer to: https://intranet2.ntu.edu.sg/ace/Pages/index.aspx  

ACE Clinics will be scheduled to address any queries and assist faculty in preparation of their proposals for this ACE call. 

Kindly e-mail TRACS at [email protected] for available time slots.