- Seeks to boost tie-ups between Singapore and Finland through strategic partnerships, technology co-operation and piloting opportunities in 2021
- COVID 19 pandemic has opened up new demand for IAQ solutions and decontamination tools to protect public health in living and working spaces
Singapore, October 19, 2020 – Helsinki Business Hub (HBH), the international trade and investment promotion agency for the Finnish capital region, is taking steps to spark new business opportunities and boost bilateral cooperation between Finland and Singapore focusing especially in indoor air quality solutions and services.
HBH’s partner, IPI Singapore, is a subsidiary of Enterprise Singapore that catalyses and enables enterprises to grow their business through innovation.
The cooperation between HBH and IPI dates back to 2017 covering a wide array of topics in the smart city sector. Actions are now taken to focus specifically on indoor air quality. As the COVID-19 pandemic has created the need to improve air quality in our living and working spaces, the indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions market has grown steadily with opportunities for all players along the value chain.
To kick off the IAQ, HBH and IPI had launched a series of virtual events in September and October to provide a platform for relationship building, knowledge sharing, showcasing Finland and Singapore’s expertise and providing business opportunities in the built environment sector including IAQ and sustainable urban solutions.
Said HBH’s CEO Ms. Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, “Finland offers a wealth of opportunities to global businesses – both SMEs and MNCs. This is especially significant in the digital space. Smart city opportunities have flourished in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as governments and communities are looking for ways to achieve sustainable urban development while improving public health and safety.
“Finland’s early adoption of digital developments, commitment and cooperation between citizens and companies as well as government initiatives offers the perfect setting for developing and piloting scalable solutions for smart cities. HBH is focused on helping foreign companies find possibilities within the smart city sphere in Helsinki. Singapore companies can likewise benefit from top R&D possibilities, product development opportunities, unique piloting platforms, global expansion, university & research collaboration, funding, talent and partners,” Ms Niinikoski noted.
“IPI’s industry partners have expressed keen interest in the technologies pitched by the Finnish companies under HBH over the years. This year we have taken our collaboration up a notch and brought together leading experts from Singapore and Finland to share about innovative IAQ solutions as well as insights from IPI’s white paper on the emerging technology trends and opportunities for impactful innovation along the IAQ value chain.
“We have seen great synergy in our collaboration with HBH and look forward to generating opportunities between Singapore and Finnish enterprises to co-innovate and tackle the complex challenges in the IAQ space,” said IPI CEO Mr Wong Lup Wai.
Ms Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, CEO of HBH will also be speaking as a panellist at an upcoming webinar on “Development of Smart Cities – Perspectives from the Nordics and Southeast Asia” – which is organised by the Nordic Innovation House in Singapore. To be held on Oct 23, the webinar will also feature opening remarks by Mr. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Finland.
Finland has a long history of close co-operation with Singapore – working with multiple leading organisations in addition to IPI such as Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and Housing & Development Board (HDB).
Good indoor air quality increases health and wellbeing
According to the Sustainable Building Market Study 2019 by Ramboll, the top 5 trends in the construction industry are life cycle management and thinking, health and wellbeing, carbon neutrality, resilience and digitalization. Indoor air quality was considered to be the most important factor contributing to wellbeing and health. Research in indoor air quality show that good IAQ also increases productivity and performance in the workplace.
The COVID 19 pandemic has also driven home the need and importance of maintaining good quality and clean air. Finland is one of the leading countries in both the study and prevention of indoor air quality problems. Active work to reduce exposure to indoor air impurities have been done for the past 25 years in the country which has produced some of the forerunner solutions and companies in IAQ technology. Companies developing clean air technologies have now a unique opportunity to better market their products suited for COVID 19 protection.
In 2019, the market size of the built environment sector in Singapore was valued at S$28 billion, while Finland’s was valued at S$25 billion with strong growth potential expected in both countries. The successful collaboration between Singapore and Finland will bring about skills and know-how exchange, enhanced capabilities, new business opportunities and job creation for both nations.