HONG KONG, May 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — New World Development’s Impact Kommons, Asia’s first United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) based accelerator, has successfully hosted a Demo Day for its second cohort. A total of 14 startups presented 12 business integration solutions, working closely with the Group’s business units and partners, ranging from construction, elderly care, education and facilities management. Combined with the first cohort of Impact Kommons, the startups have already achieved 21 integrations. The Group also announced that recruitment for the next cohort has begun and will focus on further business collaboration opportunities between startups and New World Group’s business units and partners.
Adrian Cheng, Executive Vice-chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The successful integration of innovation is crucial to New World Development’s business units and partners. These innovations have contributed great value to the group, and they are especially important to our expansion in the Greater Bay Area. I look forward to the start of the new cohort for more innovative and groundbreaking solutions which can bring synergy to companies across the Group.”
Solutions from the 14 participating startups show great potential for solving unique socio-environmental problems in Hong Kong, in total covering 14 of the 17 UNSDGs. Through the real-life scenarios and proof of concept opportunities from business units and partners across the group, these startups can make the best use of the group’s resources and network to facilitate the process of commercialization and quantifying their impact on sustainable development.
Provided with problem statements from the business units and partners, the startups were able to create solutions to issues, such as:
Optimizing elderly home business intelligence, improving manpower management and improving residents’ quality of life: This problem statement from the Humansa elderly home team covered UNSDG 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and UNSDG 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. They selected Israel-based Vayyar, which created a sensor that allows them to track falls in elderly homes. They are piloting the sensor at one of their elderly homes, where it would instantly alert staff of a fall.
Recycling and reusing wooden pallets: This problem statement from NWS and Hip Hing Construction covers UNSDG 9 to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation; UNSDG 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; UNSDG 12 to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; and UNSDG 17 to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. They selected Hong Kong-based HM Environmental Technologies and CLS Environmental Technologies to help them reach these goals. Instead of having Hip Hing’s wood sent to landfill, HM collected and processed 2,250 kg of it to be turned into recycled products. Hip Hing also worked with CLS to upcycle wooden pallets, that would otherwise go to landfill, into biochar, which traps the carbon within and then converts that into a plaster additive. CLS has so far collected 500kg of wooden pallets from Hip Hing, which will produce 300kg of biochar.
Another startup from the cohort, Rice Robotics, has autonomous robots that can operate elevators and turnstiles, recharging themselves and navigating crowded areas without help. They piloted their delivery robot to office tenants at K11 Atelier in Tsim Sha Tsui and their disinfection robots offered a multi-robot deployment at K11 MUSEA. With these solutions they helped to reduce human touch and improve our customers’ confidence in the new normal. Keeping our stakeholders safe is our ultimate priority and this supports UNSDG 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. These successful trials and deployment led to further opportunities, including a 60 unit deployment in the pipeline and a substantial investment by C Ventures, a fund co-founded by New World Development CEO Adrian Cheng.
Ellie Tang, Head of Sustainability at New World Development, said, “At New World Development, we are always looking for opportunities to explore new innovations and sustainability initiatives. The new normal caused by the pandemic has presented us and our startups with both challenges and opportunities.”
Ben Wong, Head of Open Innovation at New World Development, said, “This programme has enabled our startups to develop solutions that can successfully support the group’s business units in tackling business and operational challenges and give them the very much needed opportunity to do proof of concept in real life scenarios. Leveraging the success we have seen this year, we are excited to commence recruitment of the next cohort and we look forward to receiving more applications from quality startups that are aligned with the UNSDGs.”
Alongside the Demo Day, the Impact Kommons team produced an Impact Report to highlight trends in sustainability and impact of corporate innovation by showcasing the collaborations that took place between the startups and New World Development’s business units and partners.
In the upcoming third cohort for Impact Kommons, they will be seeking out global startups focused on sustainability and social impact solutions, with ambitions to expand in Hong Kong and Mainland China for the opportunity to collaborate with New World Development business units and partners. These start-ups will greatly benefit from the support of the Impact Kommons team to drive their business integrations forward.
Impact Kommons is powered by Eureka Nova Lab, the open innovation arm of New World Development which has a mission of empowering tech startups to solve real business problems. Eureka Nova’s platform has a proven track record of bridging startup innovations with NWD’s business units and partners.
DBS Bank and Amazon Web Services are Impact Kommons’ Social Impact Partner and Cloud Solution Partner, respectively, as well as sponsors, working together with Impact Kommons to promote social innovation and sustainable development projects for the greater benefit of societal development.
For more information, please visit Impact Kommons’ official website: https://www.impactkommons.com.
About New World Development
Founded in 1970, New World Development Company Limited (“The Group”, Hong Kong stock code: 00017) was publicly listed in Hong Kong in 1972 and is a constituent stock of the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index. A premium brand infused with a unique personality best defined by The Artisanal Movement, New World Group’s core business areas include investment in property and property development, and investment in and/or operation of roads, commercial aircraft leasing, construction, insurance, hotels and other strategic businesses. Its Greater China operations, especially in the Greater Bay Area, had a total asset value of approximately HK$600.2 billion as of 30 June 2020. The Group’s two listed companies are NWS Holdings Limited (61%), and New World Department Store China Limited (75%). New World China Land Limited is wholly owned by the Group.