In many ways, Nanofilm Technologies International is the kind of company that will be held up as a poster child by Singapore Inc’s to attract talent and grow the economy and the capital markets.

Founder Shi Xu, who was from China, was a tenured professor at Nanyang Technological University. With some 100 published papers, Shi could have just settled for a stable and comfortable academic career. However, he saw the potential to apply his R&D efforts in nanotechnology in the commercial world.

“I find myself good at doing things that are more practical, putting multiple things together, combining them into something that works, creating this synergy from multiple disciplines,” Shi tells The Edge Singapore in an interview in 2017, when he won that year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.

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