The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents a not-so-bright future for our planet. We are likely to reach or exceed 1.5 degrees C of warming, the ambitious limit set during the 2015 Paris Agreement. In fact, the current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is 417 parts per million (ppm), almost double that of pre-industrial levels. 

There is little doubt that climate change is threatening city infrastructure, food production, and health. Unpredictable weather patterns, decreased harvests, and supply chain disruptions will drastically affect food security. Furthermore, higher temperatures increase the risk of illness and affect other aspects of health like air, water, and shelter.

But we can take steps to alleviate these harmful effects for ourselves and future generations, such as by harnessing the power of sustainable technology. Transformational changes are needed to make cities sustainable and resilient in the face of these challenges.

One such technology which has helped mitigate the negative effects of climate change is solar power, a much more environmentally friendly form of electricity compared to traditional sources like fossil fuels. In July, Singapore-based Sunseap Group announced a US$2 billion project to build the world’s largest floating solar farm and energy storage system in Indonesia. Other technologies like electric transport and sustainable buildings can also help upend some of the consequences of climate change.

TechInnovation, a premier technology-to-industry matching event, is back for the 10th edition

To help industries fully leverage sustainable technologies, Singapore-based innovation catalyst IPI is holding its tenth edition of TechInnovation, its yearly technology brokerage event, from 28 to 30 September 2021. In light of emerging climate change-related challenges, this year’s theme is ‘A Sustainable and Resilient Future’.

This theme was selected because of the new and emerging challenges that the world is facing, said Wong Lup Wai, chief executive officer at IPI.

“Climate change has created challenges on cities’ infrastructure, carbon footprint, food production, and health,” said Wong. 

TechInnovation is IPI’s flagship technology brokerage event. It will bring global technology providers and enterprises together to foster open collaboration and facilitate the commercialisation of emerging sustainable technologies.

During the event, attendees can hear from a variety of speakers and thought leaders, such as executive director of Energy Research Institute Prof Subodh Mhaisalkar and AgFunder’s Asia director John Friedman.

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Attendees can also use TechInnovation to explore partnership collaborations with corporates crowdsourcing for new ideas and solutions, and discover technologies for commercialisation. The event is also a conducive platform for connecting with collaborators and mentors, allowing for one-to-one meetings through chat and video.

“What differentiates TechInnovation is that the organiser, IPI, actively matches the technology showcase providers with industry and participants that have indicated their needs to forge collaboration,” shared Wong. 

IPI’s role as a catalyst allows TechInnovation to serve as a springboard for enterprises to accelerate innovation, providing them access to the tools and insights necessary for ultimate business growth.

Key focus on sustainability, nutrition, and health

In this year’s edition, TechInnovation will focus on showcasing innovative technologies to achieve sustainability in the areas of resource consumption, food production, and healthcare provision. The topics are:

  1. Green & Sustainable Future — Day 1 (28 September)
  2. Sustainable Food & Nutrition — Day 2 (29 September)
  3. Health & Wellness —  Day 3 (30 September)

On Day 1, sessions will revolve around the theme of ‘Green & Sustainable Future’. The event will start off with two keynote sessions, ‘Powering a Green and Sustainable Future’ and ‘Designing a Sustainable Future for Our Planet’, before diving deeper into three thematic sessions. In chronological order, these are ‘Crowdsourcing — Open Innovation Challenge’, ‘Smart and Sustainable Built Environment’, and ‘Sustainable Solutions in Recycling and Waste-To-Worth’. 

Moving on, Day 2 will look at sustainability in food and nutrition. The day will begin with two keynote sessions on the future of food, ‘What Will Be the Future of Food’ and ‘Digging Deep to Meet Our Future Food Needs’. After that, attendees can look forward to sessions like ‘Design Think Tank’, ‘Trash to Treasure — Upcycling Food Side Streams’, and ‘Innovations in Sustainable and Intensive Urban Farming’.

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A key highlight for the second day is IPHatch 2021, a programme challenge that matches technologies from MNCs with startups to give them a boost to accelerate their business. IPHatch empowers startups with deep tech in sustainable food production and agritech to bring about the social and economic impact in this sector.

Finally, Day 3 features a host of events surrounding the theme of healthcare, which is more important than ever with Covid-19. Like previous days, it will begin with two keynote sessions, ‘Healthcare Innovations in the New Norm’ and ‘Reimagining Health & Wellness Solutions Post-Pandemic’. The event will close off with two thematic sessions, ‘Non-invasive Diagnostics in Healthcare’ and ‘Evidence-based Traditional Herbal Medicine’.

IPI’s key partners will also be showcasing their technologies during TechInnovation 2021. These include organisations such as German Entrepreneurship Asia, Innovate UK, Japan Science and Technology Agency, and many more.

Creating opportunities, catalysing innovation

IPI is a subsidiary of Enterprise Singapore, a government agency geared at helping businesses develop and transform. Established in 2011, IPI provides companies with access to its global innovation ecosystem and has been bringing TechInnovation to the world for 10 years. 

Companies can tap on IPI’s multidisciplinary expertise and international network. On top of industry events like TechInnovation, IPI also facilitates companies’ innovation processes, such as by advising and supporting their commercialisation and go-to-market strategies. This accelerated innovation benefits enterprises, technology partners, and government agencies alike.

This year marks IPI’s tenth anniversary. Since its launch, IPI has engaged with enterprises via a variety of initiatives such as Open Innovation Services, Innovation Advisors Programme, Innovation Marketplace, and many more, helping them embark on their business transformation journeys.

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For example, food commodities supplier Par International Holdings, for example, decided to participate in the Innovation Advisors Programme in order to tap into new expertise and technologies, like alternative proteins, and expand their business portfolio.

Hence, IPI linked them up with innovation advisor Dr Rebecca Lian, who advised Par International Holdings on how to upcycle spent grains into high-protein and high-fibre products. With Dr Lian’s expertise, the company has already conducted initial trials for the repurposing of spent grains with their food manufacturing partner. 

“This year, IPI celebrates a decade of impact, catalysing innovation for enterprises and partners across a wide spectrum of industries and covering different technical domains since its setup in 2011,” said Wong.

The tenth-year mark of IPI’s presence is crucial, as it signals the importance of constant innovation. By providing end-to-end support for enterprises and helping them grow beyond their boundaries, IPI’s role in helping enterprises innovate and boosting the industry ecosystem is an undeniably significant one.

For more information on TechInnovation and IPI’s other projects, visit https://www.ipi-singapore.org/.

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by IPI.

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