Medtech and healthtech-specific co-working space launched in Singapore

Dubbed Catalyst, the co-working space brings together public and private-practice clinician-innovators, medtech and healthtech startups to develop products and services that help prevent and cure diseases, in a scalable manner.
By Dean Koh
02:46 am

Above photo: Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (left), Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative officiated the launch of Catalyst on August 19, 2019. Credit: Catalyst

Singapore-based medtech startup Aardvark Labs and Padang & Co, an innovation catalyst, joined forces to launch Catalyst, a co-working space which aims to creates new partnerships that deliver real health outcomes and meaningful business impact in the healthcare industry. At Catalyst’s official launch on August 19, Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between Aardvark Labs and SingHealth, National Healthcare Group (NHG), and National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC). 

SingHealth and NHG are two of Singapore’s largest public healthcare clusters and NHIC coordinates and supports commercialisation activities of Singapore’s clinical community.

Under the MoUs, Catalyst will offer clinician-innovators and start-ups nurtured by the healthcare clusters access to events, programmes, and partners to help accelerate their development. Currently, more than 10 international and local startups have already established themselves at Catalyst, including AEvice Health, Biorithm, ConnectedLife, Crely Healthcare,, Precision Medical and Privi Medical.


Last month, Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) launched a national Health Technologies Consortium (HealthTEC) to facilitate companies to translate research outcomes into products and services that can improve the health and wellness of individuals. In May this year, Sydney’s BlueChilli and Enterprise Singapore launched a Singapore-based health tech accelerator to spur innovation and build startups that address health challenges and opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Initiatives such as Catalyst can potentially narrow the gaps between clinicians and the health tech industry, especially when it can be a challenge for clinicians in public healthcare organisations in Singapore to carve out time to be involved in the health tech companies or innovations. This was a point mentioned by Dr Yau Teng Yan, Chief Medical Officer, Holmusk in an earlier MobiHealth News report.


“Catalyst is Singapore’s first specialist co-working innovation space for medtech and healthtech startups. We hope that this avenue will inspire more clinician-innovators and startups to bring their ideas to market and nurture them into products and services that aid disease prevention and health promotion, transforming medicine and improving lives in a scalable manner,” said Dr Rena Dharmawan, one of the co-founders of Aardvark Labs, in a statement. Dr Rena is also an Associate Consultant, Head & Neck Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre, and Clinical Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Centre of Technology & Development (CTeD) at Duke-NUS Medical School.

“We at Padang & Co are on a mission to connect people and organisations in the technology startup ecosystem to catalyse innovation. Catalyst is a physical manifestation of this ethos. We envision Catalyst as a vibrant workspace and a springboard for startups to build and scale successful products and services,” said Derrick Chiang, CEO, Padang & Co.


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