We enable large corporations to address Southeast Asia's challenges today and opportunities of tomorrow through collaborations with innovative, agile companies. This is our monthly update on recent innovation programmes and ecosystem developments, as well as upcoming activities at Padang & Co's innovation hubs.

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Launch of Bright Science Hub Nutrition Series

A Bright Science Hub event with Royal DSM.

In the first of our Nutrition Series, Anand Sundaresan, VP APAC, Royal DSM, Barbara Guerpillon, Global Head, Dole Ventures, and Anna Lam, Co-founder, Crunch Cutlery, discussed the discovery of innovative, scalable technologies through ecosystem collaborations. Key takeaways:

•  Changing consumer demand: Consumers are taking charge of their health and are more intentional with their nutritional intake, especially as they spend more time at home. Manufacturers are responding to increased demand for immunity-boosting and plant-based products.
  Nutrition: Besides the nutritional content, the delivery format is key. Nutritious food has to be tasty and suit the Asian palate. It is also critical to educate children, the next generation of consumers, on the importance of nutrition.
  Emerging and promising technologies: Sugar reduction or replacement are of great interest. Personalised nutrition, digital coaching, and health tracking are increasingly popular, as data becomes more readily available to consumers.
  Startup-corporate partnerships: Startups should look beyond the brand name and partner with synergistic, engaged corporates. Jointly defining success metrics accelerates pilots and product co-development.

Revisit the conversation here.

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A Built-to-Last Mentality for Healthcare in the Asia-Pacific 

A CATALYST collaboration KPMG.

2020 has highlighted how the current healthcare infrastructure and funding systems in the APAC region are not sustainable for long-term maintenance.

•  For the healthcare system to become more sustainable and resilient, simply increasing financing of the public healthcare system is insufficient. Preventive care is one of the more cost-efficient measures. Critically, regulation should be more flexible to enable emerging cost-saving technologies.
•  Getting buy-in for solutions sometimes requires creativity around financial models, because it may be a matter of cash flow instead of an unwillingness to pay. Hence, modular financing (i.e. payments over time) could be an option.
•  Challenges arising from an ageing population and wasteful, disposable medical tools are emerging concerns for sustainable healthcare that also present opportunities for innovation.

Revisit the discussion here.

Transformation at "COVID-20 Speed": Part 4 - Mental Health

A CATALYST collaboration with PwC Singapore's Venture Hub.

"Mental health is the cancer of tomorrow." That statement - which aptly sums up the importance of mental health - kicked off the discussion by the panel consisting of Mairin Reid, Co-founder of Cogniant, Avetis Muradyan, CTO of Mobio Interactive, and Yau Teng Yan, Chief, Digital Therapeutics of Holmusk. Our key takeaways:

•  Digital therapeutics is emerging as a method to tackle mental health through the use of evidence-based therapeutic interventions driven by high-quality software. The panellists shared about their companies' real-world evidence platforms and the use of digital biomarkers and psycho-biometrics. 
•  As with other tech solutions in healthcare, clinical validation is critical. 
•  As mental health is an emerging sub-sector, strong, clear regulations need to be in place.  
•  Awareness about mental health must come from the top and be espoused by organisational leadership.

Revisit the discussion here.

Ask Me Anything: Accelerate The Sustainability Transformation

A LEVEL3 collaboration with WOMAG. 

In this intimate, safe-distanced networking session, sustainability experts, leaders and enthusiasts exchanged ideas and discussed sustainability as a form of opportunity to Look Ahead, Look Inside and Look Around. Our key takeaways:

•  View sustainability as a source of growth and innovation.  
•  For the textile and fashion industries, circular development and sustainable sourcing should be part of the business value chain.
•  It is essential to take an open and dynamic stance towards "green" investments which are defined across different asset classes.
•  There is an urgency to consolidate the knowledge and experience of sustainability experts to develop a global set of sustainability standards that can contribute to transparency, comparability and consistency.

Read more here.

CapitaLand X Sustainability

A LEVEL3-supported event. 

From over 270 entries across more than 25 countries, six finalists of the CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge (CSXC) have been selected by their panel of esteemed judges.

From achieving onsite clean energy solutions for buildings to insulating glass retrofit technology, find out which solution(s) will win the opportunity to pilot, test and implement their solution with CapitaLand.

11 June 2021, Friday 
4.00pm - 6.30pm (GMT +8)


Building Safe and Reliable AI for Healthcare: Using Insights from Real World Use Cases

A CATALYST collaboration with Zuhlke, a global innovation company.

Today, there are no clear norms or guidelines for the development of AI devices in the medical field. Few approved applications of AI can be found in medical practice.

Join this webcast to learn how the Data Science Process can be adapted at each phase to satisfy regulatory requirements. Zulkhe will share real-world medical ML projects of building a Decision Support System for diagnostics, getting FDA clearance for a wearable medical device, and developing an ML pipeline for a surgical robot.

2 June 2021, Wednesday
5.30pm - 6.30pm (GMT +8)

AI for agricultural pests and diseases diagnosis
An AgTech Vietnam startup


Plantix helps farmers worldwide with remote agricultural know-how in 18 languages. The app automatically detects more than 500 types of plant damage. Once the farmer uploads an image, Plantix identifies the disease and suggests an appropriate remedy.

Plantix was part of AgTech Vietnam, Padang's acceleration programme with International Financial Corp for global AgTech companies to partner with Vietnamese agribusinesses and pilot solutions for smallholder farmers.

Upcycling surplus ingredients into beverages  
A Bright Science Hub member

CRUST Group utilises surplus ingredients like bread and fruit peels to create CRUST Beer and CROP fruit sparkling waters.

The team is working with DSM on their rollout of a new non-alcoholic beverage line.

CRUST Group was also recently featured on Money Mind on Channel News Asia. Watch their feature here.

Don't Let Financial Metrics Prematurely Stifle Innovation

In our last two editions, we explored how organisational structures are key to the discovery and execution of innovative ideas, and how internal champions are more effective than digital gurus in executing these ideas.

In this edition, we continue the train of thought down the innovation value chain and explore metrics to measure innovation.

Early activity metrics (e.g. number of prototypes or pilots) need to eventually transition to a more defensible set of metrics demonstrating the impact and value created. Developing the right set of metrics is an art and science, that will improve only if companies set aside the intention and time.

Read more on Harvard Business Review.

We create and curate thematic ecosystems that change the way we innovate to drive sustainable growth and impact. Learn more about our programmes at and about our innovation hubs below. Connect with us on LinkedIn or contact us at


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20 Pasir Panjang Road,
Mapletree Business City
Singapore 117439

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