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Singapore’s Path to Sustainable Innovation

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Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment in an inspiring address recently highlighted the pivotal role of technology and innovation in advancing Singapore’s Environmental Services (ES) industry towards greater sustainability and efficiency.

Dr Khor began by emphasising the critical importance of the Environmental Services industry in Singapore. With 71,000 workers across 1,700 establishments, this sector undertakes essential tasks ranging from waste management to cleaning and pest control, ensuring public health and environmental protection. The industry has evolved significantly since the launch of the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM) in 2017, which aimed to enhance innovation, productivity, and job quality.

Central to the ES ITM’s strategy is the integration of innovation and digitalisation. Dr Khor highlighted several groundbreaking technologies showcased at CESG 2024. Notable among these was the Enhanced Automated Tray Return System (ATRS), developed in collaboration with Mishima under NEA and Enterprise Singapore’s joint initiative. This system, employing AI and robotic arms, has revolutionised tray collection and sorting processes, significantly boosting productivity.

Another standout innovation was the solar-powered Waterway Cleaning Robot by Weston Robot, achieving remarkable efficiency in cleaning Singapore’s waterways. Dr Khor underscored the role of CESG in fostering such innovations, providing a platform for local companies to develop and showcase solutions with global potential.

Addressing the challenges faced by start-ups in commercialising their technologies, Dr Khor urged them to leverage government support and partnerships available through initiatives like Urban Solutions and Sustainability Innovation & Enterprise Office (USS IEO) and Enterprise Singapore’s Innovation Partner for Impact (IPI). She highlighted the new Enviro Tech Innovation Hub (ETIH), launched to facilitate collaboration and test-bedding of environmental technologies, offering a vital resource for aspiring innovators.

Dr Khor announced an additional SG$ 90 million in funding through the Productivity Solutions Grant to drive the adoption of innovative technologies in the ES industry. This funding aims further to enhance public hygiene and cleanliness standards in Singapore, reflecting the government’s commitment to continuous industry transformation.

Looking beyond local boundaries, Dr Khor emphasised Singapore’s role in championing global sustainability efforts. She encouraged industry players to explore international markets with support from initiatives like Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance, promoting Singaporean innovations on a global scale.

Dr Amy Khor’s address at CESG 2024 underscored the transformative potential of technology and innovation in Singapore’s Environmental Services industry. By embracing digitalisation, fostering collaboration, and supporting budding entrepreneurs, Singapore is poised to lead in sustainable development regionally and globally.

As attendees explored the various exhibits and engaged in pitching sessions at CESG, Dr Khor’s vision resonated as a call to action for all stakeholders to contribute to and benefit from the ongoing evolution of Singapore’s Environmental Services industry.

Singapore is eager to drive sustainability through technology and digital innovation, exemplified by its leadership at the IPEF Clean Economy Investor Forum. At the IPEF Clean Economy Investor Forum, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Gan Kim Yong emphasised the nation’s commitment to advancing sustainability through technology and digital innovation.

Hosted with 13 partners, the event gathered 300 investors and startups to promote clean energy and climate-friendly infrastructure. Highlighting 69 projects worth over US$23 billion, with US$6 billion ready for investment, the forum showcased regional leadership in sectors like energy and transportation. Initiatives like the IPEF Catalytic Capital Fund and Japan’s Hydrogen Fund underscored efforts to spur private investment in clean technologies, reflecting a strong public-private partnership towards sustainable development in the Indo-Pacific.

The commitment to advancing environmental sustainability through technology is not just a strategy for economic growth but a crucial step towards creating a cleaner, more livable world for future generations.


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