Press Releases

RS Components partners with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to nurture future engineers and technopreneurs of Singapore

A three-year industry and academic collaboration includes the first fully student-run RS Shop

Singapore, 23 October 2015:

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global distributor for engineers, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to confirm a three-year partnership that will plant the seed of entrepreneurship and innovation in the school’s education programme.  The partnership includes the establishment of the first student-run RS Shop in Singapore, funded by the RS University programme.

Two final year Business Studies student entrepreneurs, Zane Tee Kai Li (age 19) and Sebastian Alejandro Rozo (age 18) have been selected by Ngee Ann Polytechnic to run the retail operation under the guidance of RS and Ngee Ann Consumer Co-operative Society Limited (Ngee Ann Co-Op). As part of their entrepreneurship learning, RS will provide them with a start-up fund as well as training to master the RS eCommerce trade process and systems.  The students will gain hands-on experience running a retail shop, from taking orders, managing stock, deliveries and making manpower decisions.

“The Singapore government has continuously stressed the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in its next phase of economic development. The student-run RS Shop will be a unique endeavour to nurture entrepreneurial talents in a campus environment. The MOU confirms our partnership with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to support the development of engineering research and entrepreneurship learning opportunities.  This partnership further reiterates our commitment to industry and academic collaborations in Singapore to empower young engineers,” said Pauline Swarbrick, Head of Sales, Southeast Asia, RS Components.

RS and Ngee Ann sign MOU   Ribbon cutting ceremony to open RS Shop in Ngee Ann

Ngee Ann Polytechnic has an established ecosystem to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the campus. From kickstart funds to incubator programmes, students have many avenues to develop and commercialise their ideas.  “The RS Shop will provide an opportunity for students to run a real retail business.  Eventually, we hope our students will be inspired to build and sell their own products through such real life exposures,” said Patrice Choong, Director, The Sandbox, Ngee Ann Polytechnic. “Today, they can design and prototype their ideas in our laboratories, showcase their products in our virtual store and sell their creations. Interested students can easily buy these creations through an in-house app we have developed,” added Mr. Choong.  The Sandbox is Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s innovation and entrepreneurship playground.  

“Running the RS Shop will give us a chance to put into practice what we have learnt in our business course.  It's exciting to experience the day-to-day operations of a physical shop. Through this opportunity, we can also learn more about engineering, which is a new domain for us," said Zane Tee, co-owner of the RS Shop.  

Together with Zane, co-owner Sebastian Alejandro Rozo has set some goals for their RS shop venture. He said, “While NP staff and students are our primary customers, we would like to expand our customer base to include students in other tertiary institutes. We also hope to raise the importance and awareness of engineering through organising tech festivals and exhibitions on campus.”

In addition to setting up the RS Shop, the recently signed MOU includes an annual grant which supports any initiatives that nurture engineering research and learning opportunities in Ngee Ann Polytechnic.  These can include book prizes and learning materials and tools such as 3D printers or new development kits such as Arduino, mbed and Raspberry Pi. 

To help students gain real-world experience, RS has committed to internship opportunities and study tours of its production lines for Ngee Ann Polytechnic students. RS will also run engineering design workshops and competitions based on its DesignSpark Mechanical and DesignSpark PCB tools to help the students learn basic 3D modelling and PCB design skills. 

About Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Inaugurated in 1963 as Ngee Ann College with only 116 students, Ngee Ann Polytechnic is today one of Singapore’s leading institutions of higher learning with more than 16,000 full-time students, about 2,000 part-time students and an alumni community of over 130,000.

The polytechnic offers 49 full-time courses through its nine academic schools - School of Business & Accountancy, School of Design & Environment, School of Engineering, School of Film & Media Studies, School of Health Sciences, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, School of InfoComm Technology, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and School of Life Sciences & Chemical Technology. Ngee Ann supports Continuing Education and Training (CET) through its CET Academy which offers a wide range of part-time programmes. The Polytechnic has also established two Centres of Innovation - in Environmental & Water Technology and Marine & Offshore Technology - to work on collaborative research and technology projects.

Learning takes place amid a caring and conducive environment with top-notch facilities ranging from broadcast, multimedia and animation studios to research laboratories as well as simulation and technology centres. With our emphasis on broad-based learning, global exposure and character development, Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s vision is to prepare graduates with a passion for learning, values for life and competencies to thrive in a global workplace.

For more information, please visit

About RS Components

RS Components and Allied Electronics are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. With operations in 32 countries, we offer more than 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping around 44,000 parcels a day. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronic components, electrical, automation and control, and test and measurement equipment, and engineering tools and consumables.

Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2015 had revenues of £1.27bn.

For more information, please visit the website at

Further information is available via these links:

Twitter: @RSElectronics; @alliedelec; @designsparkRS

RS Components on Linkedin

Relevant Links:

Electrocomponents plc

RS Components