Applying the knowledge acquired from their Diploma in Business Process & Systems Engineering (BZE) course, a group of students conceptualised a business plan to market their invention, the “Elderly Safe Wheelchair” to enhance the safety of wheelchair users while giving them newfound independence.
Unlike conventional wheelchairs available in the market, the students’ modified wheelchair comes with a ratchet mechanism to prevent it from sliding backwards when it is going uphill, as well as a gravity motion stopper to automatically slow it down when descending a slope.
The students envisage that, since the percentage of Singapore’s population aged 65 and above is expected to rise from the current 14% to 27% by the year 2030, and considering that the average lifespan of Singaporeans is expected to increase along with better healthcare, it follows that the number of long-term wheelchair users – many of whom are elderly – would also increase dramatically from the current 100,000 users. More wheelchair-friendly facilities, such as ramps in public places, would also make it more feasible for wheelchair users to wheel themselves around the neighbourhood moving forward. These developments are anticipated to spur strong demand for their wheelchair.
The students’ marketing plan took the Silver award in the IdeaSLAM! – an inter-polytechnic Business Plan competition, held on 19 Jan 2019.
The students’ success demonstrates the versatility of the BZE diploma course, in which students acquire not just engineering skill-sets, but also business know-how. This dual competency ultimately gives them an edge in today’s competitive job market.
For more information about the TP Diploma in Business Process & Systems Engineering, please click here.