New technologies and process of innovation have always helped Homo sapiens to enjoy services more efficiently in an era of unequalled population and workload growth. No doubt entrance of technology have eased our work to a great extent, but ever we realized that the time span at which a technology is born somehow harms the water bodies directly or indirectly. Earlier the source of drinking water was natural water reservoir, but in today’s pollution prone environment it’s hard that one can rely on such sources anymore.

So this week we bring you an idea that builds a path for startups through the recourse of drinking water.
Dr. Praveen Tiwari is speaking to Professor NG, How Yong, PhD, IWA Fellows, Director-Designate, NUS Environmental Research Institute, Director- Sembcorp-NUS Corporate Laboratory, Deputy Head (Administration), Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, who is working for the future of drinking water.


Approximately over the last 2 decades we have observed innovation at a global scale in all fields however particularly in communication technology and electronics. But what merely is innovation? And why do we need it?
“Innovation can be defined simply by new solutions or products that solve new problems or are better than current solutions. A new solution or product can only be recognized as an innovation when it truly brings tangible benefits to users such as ease of doing a task, convenience in life, reduce cost in doing things, etc.” -Prof. How Yong NG
Honestly whether one believes or not but when our ancestors invented fire for the first time that was the innovation.

Also Read: Innovation Doesn’t depend on ‘Age’ but the ‘IDEA’

“Human has been practicing innovation since the ancient time from the innovation of tools to the modern smart phones, internet and transportation system.” -Prof. How Yong NG

NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, supports start-ups from all over the world through BLOCK71. BLOCK71 is an initiative by NUS Enterprise in collaboration with established corporate and government agencies.

It is an ecosystem builder and global connector which catalyses and aggregates the start-up community, as well as spearheads new initiatives and provides mentorship and growth opportunities in local and global markets.

“Certainly India should consider having similar unit especially in universities, where there are a congregation of great minds. Programmes and platforms to encourage innovation should be initiated.” -Prof. How Yong NG


No doubt, we all are well aware of the fact that how on a yearly basis the drinking water has been transformed to some sort of toxic fluid. And not a single house would be there who won’t have RO purifier. So majorly this why the need of the hour is to innovation in the water treatments is necessary.
“I believe the future of Drinking Water is to provide safe drinking water to every single people in the world and this should be the goal of all leaders and government. To meet this challenge, innovation in water treatment and production solutions that are efficient and cost effective will be paramount important.” -Prof. How Yong NG

Also Read: Innovation Doesn’t depend on ‘Age’ but the ‘IDEA’


NUS is quite supportive in generating startups as there are many programs that induce skills in the new comers, for e.g. annual Summer Programme offers a two-week immersive entrepreneurial experience to local and international students. But since ages startups have faced challenges such as understanding the particular subject and understanding the business is quite different in nature. And many of them are not successful because they might be great in their respective fields but not that good in the understanding of business and management aspects too, but one stop solution for all such challenges is diverse skills.
“I believe the chance of success for a startups will be greatly enhanced if the founders of startups include young entrepreneurs with diverse skill sets including relevant technical/engineering skill, business, marketing, etc. Alternatively, education programme in universities and institutes should include training on these diverse skill sets to well equip young entrepreneurs.” -Prof. How Yong NG


In India at this point it has become a debatable issue that complete education system must be change and theoretical subjects must be converted into practicals and trainings

“Conventional Education in terms of providing strong fundamental knowledge is still necessary. On top of this, programmes that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship spirit and teaches relevant skills should be provided in schools and universities.” -Prof. How Yong NG

Indians are no less than any other citizens of developed countries, in fact it might surprise you that in a government survey it came out that 36% of scientists at NASA are Indians.

“Certainly, there is no reason why Indian StartUps cannot enter international markets. For example, India has excellent IT training and professionals. To do so, first of all, India must create a conducive environment to encourage and support innovation and startups. Efforts by government and private entities are necessary to create this environment.” -Prof. How Yong NG

Singapore is now an Ideal in water treatment techniques all over the world and it’s time for India to start taking actions for its continuous deteriorating rivers that is non-renewable resources, it won’t come back once vanished. It’s time that government must realize that strict actions are the need of the hour. Because when a person takes a small step, he might take long but eventually hard work gives the results.


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