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

June 30, 2020 - 07:38
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


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 30 June 2020 - Samsung Electronics Singapore todayannounced the winners of Solve for Tomorrow 2020 competition, with teams SUSKINand JBSamsung taking home top honours for the Post-secondary andUniversity categories respectively. The virtual grand finale of thiscompetition, which took place on 26 June, saw 10 finalist teams -- fivefrom each category -- pitching their ideas and showcasing their prototypes to a panel of seven judges.


Supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) underNational Infocomm Competition (NIC), this year's Solve for Tomorrow was launched on26 February. The 10 finalist teams were shortlisted from over 200 teams comprisingmore than 640 students in Singapore.


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


"This year's Samsung Solve forTomorrow has demonstrated that the youths in Singapore are fiercely passionateabout the societal and environmental challenges faced in Singapore," saidEugene Goh, President, Samsung Electronics Singapore. "In these ambivalenttimes, it is ever important that we think out of the box to innovate fast andsolve real-world issues. By challenging contestants to solve societal problemsthrough technology, we aim to spark innovative thinking among our nextgeneration of leaders."


In a Samsung online poll2 comprising 110 Gen Zrespondents in Singapore, climate change and environment sustainabilitychallenges were rated as their most important concerns in the nation, followedby healthcare and mental health challenges, such as infectious diseases,chronic ailments and mental illnesses. The poll was conducted at the sidelineof the Solve for Tomorrow competition and its goal was to find out Gen Z's perspectiveon the different social challenges that the nation facesand how they are playing their part to address these issues.


Gen Z's top four most important societal and environmentalconcerns in Singapore

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


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


Solve for Tomorrow aims to encourage youth totake a more proactive approach in addressing Singapore's key challenges byproviding them with a platformto ideate and apply their knowledge andskills across multiple disciplines, including Science, Technology, Engineeringand Math (STEM) to make a meaningful impact in our community. Solve for Tomorrow reflects Samsung's investmentin youth and its commitment to inspiring and developing the capabilities of thenext generation of leaders so that they can fulfil their potential.


Entries showcase innovationand aspirations of Singaporean youths for the nation

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

  • Eugene Goh, President of Samsung ElectronicsSingapore
  • Terence Ng, Director, Innovation Office, HealthPromotion Board
  • Foo Hui Hui, Deputy Director, Digital Literacyand Participation, Infocomm Media Development Authority
  • Chan Swee Hoon, Country Sales Director, DigitalTransformation and Enterprise Sales, Intel Singapore
  • Richard Koh, Chief Technology Officer, MicrosoftSingapore
  • Annabelle Chiong, Deputy Director of Venture Investing,SGInnovate
  • Isabella Huang Loh, Chairman, Singapore EnvironmentCouncil

Thefinalist teams were assessed based on creativity and feasibility of theirideas, presentation effectiveness, as well as how they were applying STEMknowledge to the challenges they have identified in one of these themes -- (1) environmental sustainability, (2) health and well being, (3) activeageing and (4) inclusive, harmonious society. This year, the public also got tovote for their favourite finalist team's idea and the competition receivednearly 6,220 votes between 6 to 23 June 2020. The voting results were includingin the teams' final scores. 


Winners of the Samsung Solve forTomorrow 2020 competition


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


University category

  • 1st prize: NationalUniversity of Singapore -- DeafSpeak, a programme specially designed to aidvisually-impaired children in learning and development.
  • 2nd prize: NationalUniversity of Singapore -- LIBERO, a smart, convertible wheelchair-walkerthat provides independent and safe mobility for the elderly.
  • 3rd prize: NationalUniversity of Singapore -- Movelei, a gamified fitness machine thatencourages physical exercise as well as faciliates social interaction andcognitve engagements for the elderly.   
  • People's Choice award3: NationalUniversity of Singapore -- DeafSpeak

Post-secondary category winner: SUSKINfrom Republic Polytechnic

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


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


"We are thrilled to be one of the winners of the competition andglad that SUSKIN, our vegan leather idea resonated with the judges," saidSokwei Wong, team leader of SUSKIN. "When my teammate, Kai Lin, and I learnt the impact of the leather industry on ourenvironment, we started looking at how we can create a sustainable, highquality alternative for consumers and promote a circular economy. Solve forTomorrow is a proof-of-concept for us to grow our business model, explore newproduct lines and forge brand partnerships."


University categorywinner: JBSamsung from National Universityof Singapore

JBSamsung, University category winnercomprising Zhang Zhi Yao and Hu Jia Jun, developed DeafSpeak, a programme forhearing-impaired children. The team aspires to enable audio-verbal therapists (AVTs) and caretakersto better engage in the child's development. The programmeconsists of three parts: a web portal for AVTs to assign tasks and remotelymonitor users' learning progress; a mobile app that provides learning games tosustain motivation and real-time mouth shape correction for speaking; and amotion-activated phonetics activity to improve the vocabulary ofhearing-impaired children.


This problem statement was supportedby Samsung's online pollwhich found that 41 percent believed thatcreating equal opportunities regardless of class, abilities and gender is themost important aspect to building an inclusive and harmonious society.


"In Singapore, there is a lack of AVTsto aid in hearing-impaired children's development," said Zhang Zhi Yao, teamleader of JBSamsung. "Solve for Tomorrow gave us the opportunity to addresschallenges in this area through the creative use of technology, using facialrecognition and artificial intelligence to improve our training curriculum andprovide real-time feedback to the users. We hope to bring this solution to morehearing-impaired children in Singapore and help create a more level playingfield for them in the future."


For moreinformation on Solve for Tomorrow, visit

1 Subject toglobal travel restrictions and developments of Covid-19.

2 An online poll by Samsung among 110 respondents inSingapore, 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 votesfrom the public in the category.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

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