Incubator for Neurotechnology
As SINAPSE grows, a core goal is to develop an Incubator for Neurotechnology Innovation. The Incubator will be an open laboratory for development of innovative instrumentation that are both industrially relevant and clinical, problems. The Incubator invites clinicians and surgeons to present their problems in need for technological solutions and engineers, mainly students and their mentors as needed, to come up with practical solutions. We focus on applied research and development and produce intellectual property, and often, prototypes and feasibility studies. In selected cases, the incubator serves as the site for startups and spinoffs, providing shared technological resources and seed funding. We will networks with the regional business schools to offer assistance with developing business plans, technology transfer office for obtaining sponsorship and facilitating interactions with industrial partners and seed venture community.
SINAPSE houses laboratory facilities and resources to help incubate ideas and to develop prototypes. This laboratory, which we are patterning after similar innovations lab, such as D-Lab at Stanford, is open to students and collaborators to try innovative ideas to the stage of prototyping. When completed, the facilities will include electronic shop, machine shop, rapid prototyping shop, CAD and modeling facilities. Projects may include ideas such as "dry" electrodes for EEG (useful for brain computer interface/gaming, mobile EEG), or microsurgical forceps for measuring forces while operating on nerves or microvessels, or building a camera for imaging brain tumors. These innovative designs will lead to intellectual property (patents) and potentially commercial spinoffs.
Clinical collaborators often in the need for specialized technologies, solutions to their clinical needs and for their translational research work. SINAPSE, with its design as well as small animal experimental capabilities, as well as the engineering resources (workshops, personnel) is the place where they bring ideas for developing prototypes to doing experimental testing. Some of these ideas will lead to genuine collaborations, research proposals, and potential path to clinical translation and commercialization.
The third stem in these partnerships is the business/industrial partner. These may be companies who may sponsor R&D projects or students, engineers, or clinician who want to do a startup with seed funding from the Institute or from various Singapore programs. This will be a way to draw small or large companies to form partnership with the researchers and affiliates of SINAPSE. Importantly, they will receive some assistance with respect to their projects and also with generating IP, and networking with business community to develop business plans.
Measurable outcomes and metrics of success will be innovative prototypes and devices, creation of intellectual property, forging clinical and industrial partnerships and spinning off startups.