Singularity University

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Singularity University
Singularity University Logo.png
Type Private
Established September 2008[1]
Location Moffett Federal Airfield, CA, U.S.

Singularity University (abbreviated SU) is a Silicon Valley think tank that offers educational programs and a business incubator.[2][3] According to its website, it focuses on scientific progress and "exponential" technologies.[4] It was founded in 2008 by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil at the NASA Research Park in California, United States.[5]


Singularity University initially offered an annual 10-week summer program and has since added conference series, classes, and a business incubator for startups and corporate teams.[6]

Instruction is offered in eleven areas.[7][8] Singularity University was created in 2009 based on Ray Kurzweil's theory of "technological singularity." Kurzweil believes that emerging technologies like nanotechnology and biotechnology will massively increase human intelligence over the next two decades, and fundamentally reshape the economy and society.[9] In 2012, Singularity University the non-profit began the process for conversion to a benefit corporation, to include non-profit as well as for-profit aspects.[10] In 2013, the new for-profit corporation incorporated as "Singularity Education Group" and acquired the descriptive "Singularity University" as its trade name.[11]

In 2015, Singularity University and Yunus Social Business (YSB) announced a partnership at the World Economic Forum to use "accelerating technologies" and social entrepreneurship for global development in developing areas of the world where YSB is active.[12][13]

Singularity University also partners with organizations to sponsor annual "Global Impact Competitions", based on a theme and geography.[14][15]

Administration and funding[edit]

Singularity University is overseen by a Board of Trustees.[16] Rob Nail, one of the organization's Associate Founders, was named CEO of Singularity University in October, 2011.[17] Director of "Global Grand Challenges" in 2013 is Nicholas Haan.

Corporate founding partners and sponsors include Google,[18] Nokia,[19] Autodesk,[20] IDEO,[citation needed] LinkedIn,[citation needed] ePlanet Capital,[21] the X Prize Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation and Genentech.[22]

Global Solutions Program[edit]

Students at Singularity University's "Global Solutions Program" (GSP, formerly the "Graduate Studies Program") learn about new technologies, and work together over the summer to start companies.[23] In 2012, the Global Solutions Program class had 80 students, with an average age of 30.[24] In 2015, Google agreed to provide $1.5 million annually for two years to make the program free to participants.[25] The 80 students are selected from over 3,000 applicants each year.[23] A substantial portion of the GSP class comes from the winners of SU's sponsored "Global Impact Competitions".[25]

Executive Program[edit]

The Executive Program is targeted to corporate leaders, and focuses on how rapid changes in technology will impact businesses.[23]

Innovation Partnership Program[edit]

In 2013, Singularity University announced a three-year partnership with Deloitte and XPRIZE called the "Innovation Partnership Program" (IPP). The program consists of a multi-year series of events where Fortune 500 executives partner with startups.[26] The program consists of an array of workshops on crowdsourcing, the advancement of "exponential" technologies, and how to innovate through incentivized competitions. Executives from 30 large companies, including Google, Shell, Qualcomm, The Hershey Company and Sprint, met for the first four-day executive summit.[26]

Exponential Conference Series[edit]

Singularity University hosts annual conferences focused on "exponentially accelerating technologies", and their impact on fields such as finance, medicine and manufacturing.[27] The conferences are produced with Deloitte,[27] as well as CNBC for the "Exponential Finance" conference.[28]

Singularity Hub[edit]

Singularity Hub is a science and tech media website published by Singularity University.[29] Singularity Hub was founded in 2008 [29] with the mission of "providing news coverage of sci/tech breakthroughs that are rapidly changing human abilities, health, and society".[30] It was acquired by Singularity University in 2012, to make content produced by Singularity University more accessible.[30]

SU Labs[edit]

SU Labs is a seed accelerator by Singularity University, targeting startups which aim to "change the lives of a billion people"[31]

The company "Made In Space", which has developed a 3D printer adapted to the constraints of space travel, was founded at Singularity University. The first prototype of Made in Space, the "Zero-G Printer", was developed with NASA and sent into space in September, 2014.[32]

In 2011, a Singularity University group launched Matternet, a startup that aims to harness drone technology to ship goods in developing countries that lack highway infrastructure. Other startups from SU are the peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround, and BioMine, which uses mining technologies to extract value from electronic waste.[7]

Impact partners[edit]

In 2013, Singularity University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF announced a partnership to create technologies to improve the lives of vulnerable people in developing countries.[33][34]


  1. ^ "FAQ". Singularity University. Retrieved 2009-02-03. An exploratory meeting was held in November 2007, followed in September 2008 by a founding meeting hosted by NASA Ames. 
  2. ^ Kulkarni, Nitish (30 September 2015). "Singularity University Launches Accelerator To Seize Academia's Innovation Monopoly". TechCrunch. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  3. ^ John Hagel III and John Seely Brown (2013-09-26). "When the professor works at Google". Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  4. ^ "What Is Singularity University?". Singularity University. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Tate, Ryan (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University's Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. 
  7. ^ a b "Where science fiction meets reality". Mountain View Voice. August 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Academic Tracks". Singularity University. Archived from the original on 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  9. ^ "Elite University Aims to Solve World's Problems". May 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ Ryan Tate (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University's Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  11. ^ Brian Warmoth (July 20, 2012). "Singularity University planning to go for-profit". Education Dive. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Singularity University and Yunus Social Business Partner To Impact Global Development In Some Of The Most Vulnerable Areas Of The World" (Press Release). Reuters. January 21, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  13. ^ "World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015". World Economic Forum. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  14. ^ Meskó, Bertalan. "Singularity University's Global Impact Competition in Central Europe". Science Roll. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  15. ^ Dahlberg, Nancy (February 23, 2015). "Singularity University opens competition in Miami to address sea-level rise" (the starting gate). Miami Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Board of Trustees". Singularity University. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  17. ^ "Singularity University Names Rob Nail CEO". BusinessWire. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  18. ^ Vance, Ashlee (June 12, 2010). "Merely Human? That's So Yesterday". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ "Nokia Supports Singularity University as Fifth Corporate Founder". Nokia Research Center. November 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Autodesk Increases Support for Singularity University to Corporate Founder Level". MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.: Autodesk. February 12, 2010. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Asad Jamal". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. 
  22. ^ Leuty, Ron (February 6, 2012). "Genentech, Singularity University ink deal". San Francisco Business Journal. 
  23. ^ a b c "Elite University Aims to Solve the World's Problems". May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  24. ^ Kenrick, Chris (August 24, 2012). "Where science fiction meets reality" (News). Mountain View Voice. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Singularity University Announces Google Support for Increased Global Access and Diversity in Tech" (Press Release). January 28, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Deloitte, XPRIZE and Singularity University form alliance and launch the Innovation Partnership Program" (Press Release). Deloitte. May 14, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Exponential Conference Series". Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Exponential Partnerships". Exponential Finance. Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "About Us". Singularity HUB. Singularity University. 
  30. ^ a b Kleiner, Keith (November 14, 2012). "Singularity Hub Acquired! Now Part Of Singularity University". Singularity University. Singularity HUB. 
  31. ^ "La Singularity University, ovni 3.0 de la Silicon Valley" (The World Economy). Le Monde. March 13, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Made in Space Milestones". Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Singularity University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Partner to Advance Global Innovations That Benefit Women and Children" (Press Release). MarketWatch. June 27, 2013. 
  34. ^ "UNICEF and Singularity University innovate together as a force for change". UNICEF Stories of Innovation. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°24′55″N 122°03′46″W / 37.415229°N 122.062650°W / 37.415229; -122.062650