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  • Writer's pictureJarratt Ong

Engineers and Sustainability in Singapore

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Thank you NUS Engineering for featuring Irsyad Ramthan & Sai Surya as part of the NUS Biomedical & Mechanical Engineering: Enabling Sustainability series! Engineers focusing on sustainable development is a natural progression as society and universities are pushing for more sustainable solutions, for example in environmental sustainability, to improve everyone's quality of life with a focus on creating a clean and healthy environment.

We wanted to explore the idea of sustainable cities and communities with NUS Engineering during the interview after spending years in NUS that has been pushing for environmental sustainability such as their food waste recycling initiative, green spaces and buildings with green roofs and thermal insulation, and more that makes the university feels like eco community/ eco village while enacting systems-level research in climate change and sustainability.

Here's what Irsyad and Surya had to say:

They recounted how Interseed started after running a pre-seed incubator for early-stage startups in the Southeast Asia sustainability space under the YSI SEA initiative which focused on food and agriculture, clean energy and waste and the circular economy.

There's actually a lot of talent, especially the younger folks, who are really interested in the sustainability space and they are looking for entry points to go into this space. YSI SEA offered them a chance to be surrounded by other ecosystem players with the access to resources, funding, and mentorship. (Check out our Virtual Demo Day 2020)

The program made them realized that there is a need to discover not just what is the problem in sustainability and what is a technical solution that can solve it but it's also a matter of whether or not people will pay for it or what are things that they can leverage on in order to get the adequate resourcing to make sure that this impactful solution will actually see the market.

Sustainability is a multi-disciplinary problem and to make things happen, we need an ecosystem:

Within sustainability, the systems go beyond just the human body. It talks about the climate, industry, and a lot of other complicated factors.

In order for us to be able to navigate all of that complexities, it's important to be able to speak the language of the different experts so that we can gain knowledge we need and we can get people to work together

Rather than trying to make a singular intervention, something that we could do is to bring together the different resources that are currently fragmented, where everyone's trying to do something and there are a lot of people are repeating efforts.

That's why we built We wanted to start consolidating these efforts and find a way to help individual entrepreneurs in the ecosystem so that people can help each other out rather than compete for resources. This can be through our open-sourced market research landscape studies, letting sustainability players host events to bring different regional communities together, and more hopefully coming your way!

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