Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s)
Bühler Group, CP Foods Group (Thailand), Indorama Ventures, TES, The Ascott
Organiser(s) SGInnovate
Industry Type(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Electronics, Energy & Chemicals, Sustainable Energy, Urban Solutions
Opportunities and Support Opportunities to co-develop, testbed solutions and hold pilot programs with challenge statement owners
Application Start Date 26 April 2022
Application End Date 1 June 2022
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

Presented by SGInnovate, EDB and in partnership with WEF Scale360°, the Reverse Pitch event series aims to spotlight market demands for frontier technologies to better inform the startup community to support their go-to-market efforts. At these Reverse Pitch events, corporate leaders will present their problem statements and innovation needs that they are open to working with startups. This session will feature Circular Economy focused problem statements from global corporations such as The Ascott Limited, Buhler Group, CP Foods Thailand, Indorama Ventures and TES.

Learn More
Challenge Owner(s)The Ascott
Industry Types(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Urban Solutions

The Ascott

As part of the Capitaland Master Sustainability Plan, The Ascott is committed to reducing water and energy use over the next few years. There is an increasing need for the group to find solutions that can address the needs of the properties that Ascott operates globally. The properties range from Serviced Residences, Rental Housing, Hotels, Senior Living Estates and Student Accommodations.

What We Are Looking For

To find a solution that will help Ascott-operated properties reduce water and/or energy usage.

Working Model

If possible, a charging model based on a revenue share where the vendor takes a cut out of the savings made from the utility bill. Allowing properties to implement easily without incurring large upfront CAPEX.

Learn More

Challenge Owner(s)The Ascott
Industry Types(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Urban Solutions

The Ascott

As part of the Capitaland Master Sustainability Plan, Ascott is committed to reducing waste over the next few years. There is an increasing need for the group to find solutions that can address the needs of the properties that Ascott operates globally. The properties range from Serviced Residences, Rental Housing, Hotels, Senior Living Estates and Student Accommodations.

What We Are Looking For

Because each Ascott property is on average 200 rooms, and does not operate F&B, the scale of the property does not justify the purchase of expensive equipment that costs tens of thousands of dollars.

The Ascott is looking for a solution that will help Ascott-operated properties with at least 2 out of 4 of the following:

  • Waste Measurement
  • Waste Tracking
  • Recycling
  • Waste Reduction

Working Model

The solution should be lightweight and if possible, offered on the as-a-service model.

Learn More

Challenge Owner(s)Bühler Group
Industry Types(s)
Agri-tech, Energy & Chemicals, Sustainable Energy

Bühler Group

Creating a Circular Economy in the AgriFood Value Chains

What We Are Looking For

To identify opportunities within the global availability of more than 1 billion tonnes of agri-food by-products (such as husks, hulls, bran, germ, etc) being under-valorised in terms of nutrients or components and going to waste.

Working Model:

Bühler group has identified three key opportunity areas but are open to all solutions.

  • Component extract
    • By using a process or technology that can extract valuable components from by-products of agro-industrial food processes
  • Direct nutrient recovery
    • Upcycling the micro and macro nutrients from by-products through an applied process or technology into new food products such as alternative meat/dairy, savoury/sweet snacks or others
  • Energy or heat recovery
    • Novel processes which can efficiently recover the energy value of low value byproducts

Learn More

Challenge Owner(s)CP Foods Group (Thailand)
Industry Types(s)
Energy & Chemicals, Sustainable Energy

CP Foods Group (Thailand)

CPF Thailand is looking for a renewable energy solution for their farms and factories. The solution has to be able to generate or store enough energy to power the farm and factory for 24 hours a day with a sound financial feasibility. This aligns with the group’s holding policy to help CP Group achieve carbon neutrality.

What We Are Looking For

To identify a renewable energy solution to power their farms and factories.

CPF Thailand has identified the following potential solutions to their problem but is open to all other ideas.

  • Installing a wind turbine to generate larger amounts of renewable energy
  • Installing an energy storage system to store enough energy to power their farms and factories throughout the day.

Working Model:

After partnering with selected startups, CPF Thailand will test solutions and co-develop a prototype or a POC before testing the solution at scale in a real environment to measure its business impact.

Learn More

Challenge Owner(s)CP Foods Group (Thailand)
Industry Types(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Urban Solutions

CP Food Group (Thailand) 

CP Foods Thailand’s business units produce around 270,000 tonnes of animal manure every year which is discarded into landfills. These waste products often consist of a mixture of manure and rice husks.

What We Are Looking For

CP Foods Thailand is looking to identify potential solutions to convert these waste products into value and reduce their carbon footprint.

One of the potential solutionss that CP Food Thailand would like to explore would be to convert these waste products into organic fertilizers or into renewable fuels. But they are also open to all other ideas.

Working Model

After partnering with selected startups, CPF Thailand will test solutions and co-develop a prototype or a POC before testing the solution at scale in a real environment to measure its business impact.

Learn More

Challenge Owner(s)Indorama Ventures
Industry Types(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Logistics

Indorama Ventures

Indorama Ventures is currently building the recycling infrastructure to close to loop for PET bottles. By using used PET bottles as a feedstock to make new bottles, this increases the value for these waste products and in turn de-risks investments in collection and sorting.

What We Are Looking For

Indorama Ventures would like to explore innovative approaches which can address the following problems:

  • Creating a higher demand for fully traceable plastic feedstock from ethical sources
  • Increasing the amount of funding committed to waste management solutions
  • Improving market segmentation by waste type
  • Increasing the amount of long-term plastic off-take agreements between large buyers of plastic feedstock and waste collection entities
Learn More
Challenge Owner(s)TES
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics

TES

Currently, TES receives a large amount of electrical and electronic equipment in their original packing in pallets or boxes. These pallets need to be unpacked and sorted into unique waste streams.

Some unique products will then have to be further de-manufactured, disassembled or dismantled into their individual components materials which may involve the removal of casings, screws, etc.

The current process is manual and labour intensive, and therefore time consuming, costly and error prone.  The effectiveness and efficiency are also currently heavily dependent on the competence and capability of individuals.

What We Are Looking For

TES would like to explore automating whole or part of the current process to improve efficiency. As there is a broad range of non-homogenous packaging, materials and products received, they are looking to define a standard process for this.

TES has identified some potential solutions to this problem.

  1. Can the unpacking process use robotics to unpack and de-box?
  2. Can the unpacked materials and products be automatically sorted based on material type, and value?  Consulting up to date pricing of the materials would increase value recovery.
  3. Can robotics and artificial intelligence be used during the de-manufacture process?
  4. Can we also use robotics to manage sortation of the packaging materials?
  5. Since removing screws from cases and interior is one of the most common de-manufacturing tasks, could a robotic system be developed that identifies the screws and removes them?
Learn More
Challenge Owner(s)TES
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Energy & Chemicals

TES

Currently TES receives a large amount of non-homogenous lithium-ion mobile phone batteries that need to be discharged prior to shredding. Non-discharged lithium-ion batteries represent a significant combustion risk if they are damaged or tampered. A damaged battery cell can go into thermal runaway, producing enough heat to cause adjacent battery cells to also go into thermal runaway. This produces a fire that repeatedly flares up as each battery cell in turn ruptures and releases its contents.  These types of fires are extremely dangerous, life-threatening, and difficult to extinguish.

The broad range of non-homogenous lithium-ion batteries received also makes it difficult to define a standard process.

What We Are Looking For

TES would like to explore the possibility of automating this process.

There are efficiency and risk mitigation benefits to be gained by establishing a timely, low risk and automated process.  Some of the questions to be posed include:

  1. Can a lithium-ion battery be efficiently and effectively discharged using a chemical process?
  2. Can a shredder be designed to safely accommodate thermal events during shredding of charged lithium-ion batteries?
  3. Could individual batteries be discharged by connecting to terminals? Would need AI vision to identify shape of battery, find terminals and start discharge. However, we do process thousands of these type of batteries per day, so the process has to be fast.
  4. With an efficient discharge process could the energy be captured to be put back into the grid.
Learn More
Challenge Owner(s)TES
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics

TES

The grading of equipment (e.g., mobile phone, laptops, desktops, monitors etc) is an important step in our process to establish the condition prior to sale. The grade of the equipment is based on both function and form/condition.

What We Are Looking For

TES would like to explore the possibility of automating whole or part of the current process. Some of the questions to be posed include:

  1. Can 3D image capture and AI be used to grade function and form?
  2. Can individual item grading be achieved at scale?
  3. Can technologies go beyond grading to determine the quantum of repair or refurbishment required?
  4. Could the image include barcode scan to capture key info such as age, specification and functionality as well as the cosmetic condition (perfect, cracked screen, major scratch, minor scratch, etc.?
Learn More

Reverse Pitch: Circular Economy

Watch the Reverse Pitch session here!