Ideas on sustainable, vegan leather and programme to aid hearing-impaired children clinch top prizes at Samsung Solve for Tomorrow 2020 competition

A new Samsung poll shows that Gen Zs in Singapore are most concerned about environmental issues, and 81 percent of them feel empowered to be actively involved in solving the nation’s challenges

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SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 30 June 2020 – Samsung Electronics Singapore today
announced the winners of Solve for Tomorrow 2020 competition, with teams SUSKIN
and JBSamsung taking home top honours for the Post-secondary and
University categories respectively. The virtual grand finale of this
competition, which took place on 26 June, saw 10 finalist teams five
from each category — pitching their ideas and showcasing their prototypes to a panel of seven judges.


Supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) under
National Infocomm Competition (NIC), this year’s Solve for Tomorrow was launched on
26 February. The 10 finalist teams were shortlisted from over 200 teams comprising
more than 640 students in Singapore.


The top team from each category walked
away with $10,000 worth of Samsung products, internship opportunities with
Samsung, $6,000 cash prize and a study trip1.


“This year’s Samsung Solve for
Tomorrow has demonstrated that the youths in Singapore are fiercely passionate
about the societal and environmental challenges faced in Singapore,” said
Eugene Goh, President, Samsung Electronics Singapore. “In these ambivalent
times, it is ever important that we think out of the box to innovate fast and
solve real-world issues. By challenging contestants to solve societal problems
through technology, we aim to spark innovative thinking among our next
generation of leaders.”


In a Samsung online poll2 comprising 110 Gen Z
respondents in Singapore, climate change and environment sustainability
challenges were rated as their most important concerns in the nation, followed
by healthcare and mental health challenges, such as infectious diseases,
chronic ailments and mental illnesses. The poll was conducted at the sideline
of the Solve for Tomorrow competition and its goal was to find out Gen Z’s perspective
on the different social challenges that the nation faces
and how they are playing their part to address these issues.


Gen Z’s top four most important societal and environmental
concerns in Singapore

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The poll also found that the majority
of Gen Z (85 percent) are optimistic that Singapore can solve the societal and
environmental challenges it faces, and 81 percent of them feel empowered in
solving these issues.


However, when it comes to what the
respondents are doing to address the key challenges in Singapore, only eight percent are tackling
these challenges by volunteering with NGOs and just 21 percent are working
towards a career that can help solve these challenges. Just under half (45
percent) of the Gen Zs polled are tackling the societal and environmental
issues by making changes to their lifestyle.


Solve for Tomorrow aims to encourage youth to
take a more proactive approach in addressing Singapore’s key challenges by
providing them with a platform
to ideate and apply their knowledge and
skills across multiple disciplines, including Science, Technology, Engineering
and Math (STEM) to make a meaningful impact in our community. Solve for Tomorrow reflects Samsung’s investment
in youth and its commitment to inspiring and developing the capabilities of the
next generation of leaders so that they can fulfil their potential.


Entries showcase innovation
and aspirations of Singaporean youths for the nation

The judges for Solve for Tomorrow 2020
consisted of an esteemed panel of industry leaders. They included:

  • Eugene Goh, President of Samsung Electronics
  • Terence Ng, Director, Innovation Office, Health
    Promotion Board
  • Foo Hui Hui, Deputy Director, Digital Literacy
    and Participation, Infocomm Media Development Authority
  • Chan Swee Hoon, Country Sales Director, Digital
    Transformation and Enterprise Sales, Intel Singapore
  • Richard Koh, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft
  • Annabelle Chiong, Deputy Director of Venture Investing,
  • Isabella Huang Loh, Chairman, Singapore Environment

finalist teams were assessed based on creativity and feasibility of their
ideas, presentation effectiveness, as well as how they were applying STEM
knowledge to the challenges they have identified in one of these themes — (1) environmental sustainability, (2) health and well being, (3) active
ageing and (4) inclusive, harmonious society. This year, the public also got to
vote for their favourite finalist team’s idea and the competition received
nearly 6,220 votes between 6 to 23 June 2020. The voting results were including
in the teams’ final scores. 


Winners of the Samsung Solve for
Tomorrow 2020 competition


  • 1st prize: Republic Polytechnic
    SUSKIN, an all-vegan alternative to leather derived by converting food waste to
    textile, using biomaterials engineering for better sustainability.
  • 2nd prize: Republic
    — Bam-Boots, a cost-effective, lightweight bamboo prosthetic
    designed to allow individuals with leg amputations move around easily. 
  • 3rd prize: Temasek
    Junior College
    — TechBoards, a machine-learning mobile app to support
    technicians in accurate circuit board diagnosis, thereby reducing e-waste.
  • People’s Choice award3: Republic
    — SUSKIN


University category

  • 1st prize: National
    University of Singapore
    — DeafSpeak, a programme specially designed to aid
    visually-impaired children in learning and development.
  • 2nd prize: National
    University of Singapore
    — LIBERO, a smart, convertible wheelchair-walker
    that provides independent and safe mobility for the elderly.
  • 3rd prize: National
    University of Singapore
    — Movelei, a gamified fitness machine that
    encourages physical exercise as well as faciliates social interaction and
    cognitve engagements for the elderly.   
  • People’s Choice award3: National
    University of Singapore
    — DeafSpeak

Post-secondary category winner: SUSKIN
from Republic Polytechnic

The Post-secondary category winners,
Sokwei Wong and Kai Lin Ong, have created SUSKIN, an all-vegan alternative to
leather that is sustainable, durable and ethically-sourced. Tapping on
biomaterial engineering to create vegan leather out of food waste, the winners
aspire to provide a more sustainable textile substitute. This can help to
reduce pollution and greenhouse gases emitted by the leather industry while
still allowing consumers to enjoy the same functionalities of leather.


According to the Samsung poll2,
respondents highlighted promoting greater usage of recyclable materials as the
most important element to them when it comes to environmental sustainability,
with 36 percent of respondents indicating this as most important. This is
followed by developing and implementing more energy efficient technologies (23
percent) and harnessing of alternative energy sources such as solar power (22


“We are thrilled to be one of the winners of the competition and
glad that SUSKIN, our vegan leather idea resonated with the judges,” said
Sokwei Wong, team leader of SUSKIN. “When my teammate, Kai Lin, and I learnt the impact of the leather industry on our
environment, we started looking at how we can create a sustainable, high
quality alternative for consumers and promote a circular economy. Solve for
Tomorrow is a proof-of-concept for us to grow our business model, explore new
product lines and forge brand partnerships.”


University category
winner: JBSamsung from
National University
of Singapore

JBSamsung, University category winner
comprising Zhang Zhi Yao and Hu Jia Jun, developed DeafSpeak, a programme for
hearing-impaired children. The team aspires to enable audio-verbal therapists (AVTs) and caretakers
to better engage in the child’s development. The programme
consists of three parts: a web portal for AVTs to assign tasks and remotely
monitor users’ learning progress; a mobile app that provides learning games to
sustain motivation and real-time mouth shape correction for speaking; and a
motion-activated phonetics activity to improve the vocabulary of
hearing-impaired children.


This problem statement was supported
by Samsung’s online pollwhich found that 41 percent believed that
creating equal opportunities regardless of class, abilities and gender is the
most important aspect to building an inclusive and harmonious society.


“In Singapore, there is a lack of AVTs
to aid in hearing-impaired children’s development,” said Zhang Zhi Yao, team
leader of JBSamsung. “Solve for Tomorrow gave us the opportunity to address
challenges in this area through the creative use of technology, using facial
recognition and artificial intelligence to improve our training curriculum and
provide real-time feedback to the users. We hope to bring this solution to more
hearing-impaired children in Singapore and help create a more level playing
field for them in the future.”


For more
information on Solve for Tomorrow, visit

1 Subject to
global travel restrictions and developments of Covid-19.

2 An online poll by Samsung among 110 respondents in
Singapore, aged 15 to 24 years old, conducted between February and June 2020.
Please refer to Appendix B for more details.

3 People’s Choice award – Finalist team that received the most votes
from the public in the category.

News Source: MediaOutreach



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