“Innovating Together for the Future”
Mr Lo Kien Foh, CEO and President of Continental Automotive Singapore,
Mr Jürgen Bilo, Managing Director of co-pace,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good morning. I am pleased to join you at Continental Automotive Singapore today, to witness the launch of co-pace. This new organisation to accelerate startups will boost our local startup ecosystem and drive innovation in the automotive and mobility sectors.
2. Startups play a crucial role in our economy as they have the potential to break new ground, disrupt existing practices and unlock new growth opportunities.
a. In 2021, Singapore-based startups raised a total of $14.7 billion, which was almost triple the amount raised in 2020.
b. The Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022 placed Singapore 7th globally, behind global innovation hubs such as the United States, Britain, and Israel, and top in the Asia Pacific.
3. While we appreciate the progress made to establish a vibrant startup ecosystem in Singapore, we know that more needs to be done in today’s fast-changing, rapidly disruptive post-COVID-19 environment. The Government is committed to working with our partners to grow the innovation and startup ecosystem locally and globally.
4. Open innovation and a fertile atmosphere of collaboration are vital for the continued health of our startup ecosystem. We need a vibrant diversity of investors and business partners providing startups with access to funding, important networks and expertise that can help turn ideas into scalable and successful commercially viable products.
5. The Government has always been a strong supporter of open innovation. We invest in initiatives and platforms that bring corporates, startups and other ecosystem enablers together to co-create innovative solutions that address business or industry needs.
6. Examples like the Open Innovation Network (OIN), National Innovation Challenges, IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform and Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG)’s Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge - all aim to catalyse collaborations and develop solutions for a better world that benefit businesses and individuals.
Open innovation benefits corporates and startups
7. When there is open innovation between companies of different sizes and strengths, there is a vibrant flow and exchange of ideas and solutions between established players and emerging ones which can lead to breakthroughs and business opportunities.
8. Larger or established corporates benefit from partnering with young and agile startups that often provide early insights into experimental technologies and new business models. Besides access to new sources of funding and resources, startups stand to gain from the experience and reputation of working with the bigger and more established companies.
9. When we bring different companies together to collaborate on common ground and goals, their innovative potential is tremendous as they pitch their complementary strengths together to scale new heights.
Launch of Co-pace in Singapore
10. Today’s launch of co-pace, which is a partnership between Continental and EnterpriseSG will catalyse open innovation in our automotive and mobility sectors.
11. Through co-pace, startups and SMEs will be supported during their Proof of Concept (POC) stage. In addition, they will be able to gain market insights and access to Continental’s resources and channels to strengthen their capabilities and refine their business models to succeed. After the POC phase, successful startups can become suppliers in Continental’s business or partner with Continental to co-research, co-develop and co-commercialise their products to penetrate the global mobility supply chain.
12. Co-pace has since completed a year-long pilot trial in Singapore, during which it has engaged more than 100 startups in the region and completed six POCs with Singapore startups. Today, Continental will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with three Singapore startups and also establish two new partnerships to accelerate the growth and success of startups.
13. I am confident that the three exciting Singapore start-ups partnering with Continental will have a good chance of bringing their technologies to a bigger stage.
a. One of them is Curium, a developer of automated calibration technologies. Their ability to make sensors more reliable in any situation and environment will be validated for use in autonomous mobility and automated driving.
14. We also hope that Cosmiqo’s optimisation engines and data analytics will help to increase productivity in warehouse management. Enhancing supply chain operations has become increasingly important since the COVID-19 pandemic.
a. In future, there could be safer vehicles on the road. Meridian Innovation has developed high-performance Thermal Imaging Sensor-based solutions which can be used by driver and passenger in-cabin monitoring systems to improve vehicle safety.
Accelerating Innovative Startups
15. We are looking forward to the exciting possibilities behind Continental’s two new partnerships.
a. The MOU between Continental, Origgin and MoveSG will enable Continental to identify and turn potential deep-tech projects from research labs, into commercially viable solutions. In this partnership, Origgin is the deep tech venture creator, while the EnterpriseSG-supported MoveSG will play the role of a global accelerator for promising startups.
b. The second MOU will see Continental partner with German Entrepreneurship Asia, an innovation service provider, to help Singapore startups work with Continental HQ in Germany. They will have the chance to venture into the German market and grow their technology globally.
16. We will continue to see opportunities for innovation and collaboration among startups and enterprises as the world navigates a post-Covid new normal that demands a high degree of adaptability to fast-paced changes. We hope that more industry players like Continental will join us in energising and harnessing our startup ecosystem to capture exciting and emerging possibilities on the horizon.
17. I trust that co-pace and our promising startups are off to a good start as they innovate and set new benchmarks that can improve our world.
18. Thank you.
 Published by StartupBlink