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Entrepreneurs and enterprises to help improve HDB living

Minister for National Development & Second Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, launched the inaugural HDB Innovation Festival today. Celebrating the spirit of innovation, the Festival showcases fresh ideas developed to improve HDB’s living environment and residents’ quality of life.

Minister Wong also announced two new initiatives. These aim to provide more resources to help aspiring entrepreneurs and enterprises advance the development of innovative solutions for better HDB living.

HDB’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Cheong Koon Hean said, “Innovation is part of HDB’s DNA. HDB has been investing in the latest construction and digital technologies to constantly seek new solutions to deliver better products, services and experiences for our residents. We would like to build more partnerships with the community and industry to drive greater innovation and to facilitate entrepreneurship by test bedding their ideas in our housing estates.”

Cool Ideas Enterprise

The first initiative, Cool Ideas Enterprise, seeks to help aspiring entrepreneurs and enterprises with products or solutions which are ready for implementation. Funding can be applied for and mentorship sought to burnish ideas or scale up their solutions for implementation.

An open innovation program, it looks to deliver solutions for the built environment. Energy, Urban Greenery, Living Environment, Building Technology and Waste & Water are the domains participating entities can submit proposals under.

HDB will offer practical assistance to improve good design solutions for implementation. Participants will have the opportunity to testbed their solutions at the HDB’s Centre of Building Research to pilot the solutions in HDB estates such as Punggol, Yuhua and Tengah, where possible.

Main support will come from Enterprise Singapore as they connect enterprises with innovative solutions to HDB. Successful applicants can look forward to leveraging on Enterprise Singapore’s business networks to kickstart their business. ACE will also offer relevant training workshops on how to market their solutions and expand their business outreach.

Moreover, these applicants can look forward to their solutions going abroad through the ACE Connected Ecosystem. They will have access to ACE’s Regional Innovation Hub, which provides corporates, SMEs, and local and regional startups with the necessary networks, resources and capabilities to drive co-innovation. Additionally, successful applicants may draw on IPI’s technology marketplace to source for existing and emerging technologies to improve their products or services.

Up to 70% of the development cost of each project will be funded. Over a period of two years, Enterprise Singapore will award an estimated SGD 5 million to multiple qualifying projects.

Pulse of the Heartlands MoU

In partnership with local startup, telco, a tech giant and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), HDB will develop an ecosystem of applications and services useful for residents. The collaboration will drive the domain of Smart Community under the framework, where HDB will leverage smart technologies and data analytics to better understand the needs and preferences of residents and create communities that are inclusive and resilient.

The arrangements were made in the Pulse of the Heartlands MoU signed today. Pulse of the Heartlands is part of the Smart HDB Town Framework. It maps out how HDB will create liveable, efficient, sustainable and safe towns for residents.

­The ecosystem taps on the startup’s AI and Data Platform. Through this, information on amenities in HDB towns will be available as well as a voice-enabled chatbot which can be integrated in future web and mobile applications for residents to interact with.

A beta version of the app will be available for download by the first quarter of 2019. Additional features will be released in time to come.

For now, there are plans to enrich the platform with additional datasets as other public agencies and private companies participate and share their data. App developers can tap on the data amalgamated on this platform to build more apps, thus growing it into an ecosystem of apps and services that will benefit residents in HDB estates.

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