Industry leaders, global stakeholders and participants gathered at the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS) 2018 to identify, develop and share practical, replicable and scalable solutions that address environmental challenges in the context of the waste-water-energy nexus in cities of tomorrow. The summit on the 12th of July with over S$5.5 billion worth of projects and business deals announced. These new announcements highlight the global opportunities for novel innovations in the environmental services industry to address the urgent challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability.
Organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore, the fourth biennial CESS was held from 8 to 12 July 2018 in conjunction with the World Cities Summit (WCS) and Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), and attracted more than 24,000 participants from more than 110 countries/economies/regions.
Returning for a second year, the integrated expo and marketplace, City Solutions Singapore, which serves to drive the growing demand for integrated sustainable urban solutions, saw more than 1,100 exhibiting companies from 28 group and country pavilions participating.
For CESS exhibitors, their numbers grew by 46 per cent from the last edition. In terms of floor space, this year’s environment exhibition saw a 25 per cent growth from 2016.
In both the conference and exhibition, the theme of Transforming Tomorrow’s Cities with Clean Environment Solutions was embraced. In addition to the Waste Management and Cleaning industry streams, which were the focus in previous editions of CESS, three more streams – Pest Management, Sustainable Energy and Pollution Control – were highlighted through a mix of commercialised solutions by businesses in Asia, Europe, the United States (U.S.) and beyond. Up-and-coming innovation projects by start-ups and research teams were also showcased throughout. The summit also witnessed thought-leadership discussions, insights-driven conversations and knowledge exchanges facilitated through various forums and high-level plenaries.
“It is the bringing together of the brightest minds and varying perspectives across the ecosystem to leverage the latest trends and derive solutions that tackle complex challenges, that truly enables the co-creation of noteworthy solutions,” said Mr Dalson Chung, Managing Director, CESS 2018. “Singapore plays a critical role as a hub for advanced technologies, thought leadership and collaboration. These high-level plenaries and forums at CESS 2018 help to further advance cleaner and more sustainable solutions fuelled by climate change, depletion of natural resources and rapid urbanisation.”
Sharing knowledge, insights and best practices to address environmental challenges
Government and academic leaders participated in high-level discussions on developing a skilled industry, optimising upcoming technologies and implementing best practices among civil and business organisations.
At the Environment and Water Leaders Forum (EWLF), Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore, opened with cross-disciplinary environmental and water policies and governance issues alongside other world leaders. Given the increasingly close relationship between environment and water, the discussion of innovative solutions via cross-disciplinary collaboration reiterated how leaders across both segments must mirror that real-world link with their collaborative relationships across these disciplines.
The Clean Environment Leaders Summit (CELS) allowed delegates to connect and exchange ideas surrounding policy and regulation, business innovations and green growth models, and global trends in environmental technologies to look at best practices and possible ways to drive new innovation more systemically across the total ecosystem – both locally and globally.
The Leaders-Experts Forum (LEF) served as a plenary session that kicked off the Clean Environment Convention (CEC) – which took a deep dive into environmental technologies, focusing on automation, optimisation, behavioural sciences and smart grids and sensors amidst the backdrop of increasing smart solutions in the industry.
Senior environmental policy makers were also given opportunities to discuss unique case studies at the Clean Environment Regulators Roundtable (CERR). Participants discussed potential solutions to key emerging challenges that they face in their home countries, such as pollution arising from local and transboundary sources, and breakthrough technologies for the monitoring, control and enforcement of environmental pollution. Among the discussion highlights were Iskandar Malaysia’s Green-focused Agenda and the Public Waste Agency of Flanders’ soil remediation efforts.
Paving the way forward with novel innovations and cross-border collaborations
In the spirit of accelerating innovation in the industry, the returning Innovation Pitch held at the NEA Innovation Pavilion provided opportunities for promising start-ups and research teams to network with and pitch the latest environmental Research & Development (R&D) and innovations to a community that includes venture capitalists, businesses, experts in the field and regulators – to see how ideas can be further conceptualised and brought to life more quickly.
At the same time, delegates were able to discover new ideas and concepts and explore various prototypes and products that have yet to be commercialised, while connecting with researchers who shared perspectives to key environmental challenges. Noteworthy projects featured at the NEA Innovation Pavilion included NEA’s Smart Gravitrap, a series of shape-shifting cleaning robots developed by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and a PV module recycling project by Singapore Polytechnic (SP).
“Innovation Pitch exemplifies how Singapore is a talent hub for CleanTech test beds and solutions because of its significant investments in research and development, strong engineering and project development capabilities, as well as good market connectivity,” Mr Chung shared on accelerating such innovations to solve unique challenges and ensure a clean and liveable environment for tomorrow’s cities. “The technologies showcased at CESS 2018 provide just a glimpse of the plethora of breakthrough innovations that will soon transform the future of the environmental services industry.”
Interesting collaborations also took place with newly-forged partnerships, such as a two-year Memorandum of Understanding signed between Pestech, a pest control company, and an SMU research laboratory – LiveLabs. Pestech will then be able to tap on LiveLabs’ Urban Lifestyle Innovation Platform.
The next CleanEnviro Summit Singapore will be held from the 5th to the 9th of July 2020 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.