G8 Subsea, KoolLogix and Nanosun have emerged as the top winners of this year's Emerging Enterprise Awards for showing significant and sustainable growth despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nanosun is a material science company for water treatment, battery separator, and healthcare applications.
At a ceremony held at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel on Tuesday (Dec 7), each received prizes worth about S$370,000, including consultancy services, business debit card credits, and a S$250,000 interest-free term loan from OCBC.
The annual Emerging Enterprise Awards, held since 2008, is jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC to celebrate and recognise emerging SMEs with business innovation, resilience and excellence.
Over 300 applications were received this year across various industries including infotech, biotech, robotics, sustainable energy, food & beverage and urban farming. Of these, 15 were shortlisted as finalists.
In a speech at the event, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling said that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many industries to recalibrate and review strategies. "Singapore's growth is boosted by local enterprises pioneering and capturing opportunities in emerging areas of new potential," she said.
She pointed out 3 "R"s that will help enterprises transform, thrive, and survive in the new normal - redefine processes through the adoption of technology; reimagine solutions to serve customers better; and reinvent the way forward to capture new markets, not just in Singapore but in the region and beyond as well.
She added that the government is "sparing no effort" to support emerging enterprises.
To that end, one of the ways the government is helping is by simplifying business processes and supporting innovation, she noted.
Nanosun and cultivated meat company Shiok Meats took home the Best Innovation Award, an accolade presented to firms that seek creative solutions to persistent problems, innovate to carve out new markets for themselves, or embrace technology to transform their businesses.
All winners will also receive a grant from Enterprise Singapore in capability development to support up to 70 per cent of eligible costs of their new developmental projects.
This year's awards were organised in partnership with Google Cloud and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star),.
All winners will receive up to S$1 million in vouchers by A*Star, and a 1-year one-to-one mentorship programme from Google's senior management together with credits and coaching sessions from Google Cloud.
In his remarks, BT Editor Wong Wei Kong noted that a second year of the global pandemic had not stopped the emergence of promising, innovative enterprises.
"We hope the winners of this year's Emerging Enterprise Awards will inspire other companies to transform and innovate, to stretch their imagination and push the boundaries," he said.
OCBC's head of emerging business and commercial banking cash, global commercial banking Christie Chu, said that many SMEs are well positioned to scale their businesses and seize regional growth opportunities in the post-pandemic global economy, "having strengthened their business models and built new capabilities to weather the pandemic."
"Sustainability is also increasingly emerging as a key area of opportunity for SMEs to differentiate their products and service proposition and broaden their customer reach. The winners of this year's Emerging Enterprise Awards clearly demonstrated these strengths, and we are confident they will thrive and navigate the future successfully," she added.
The awards are supported by RSM, Mastercard, Enterprise Singapore, A*Star, ACORN, Google Cloud, Rajah & Tann Legal Basix, Wavemaker and Singtel.
Words of Awardees:
It is a true honour for Nanosun to be among the 15 finalists for OCBC Emerging Enterprise Award 2021. It is even a greater moment to be not just one but two award winners for the final 7 awards - Best Innovation Award and Emerging Enterprise Award.
Guest of Honour, Ms Low Yen Ling - Minister of State for Trade and Industry said, "Nanosun redefines the process through innovation in engineering applications.”. This is indeed a very generous recognition for what Nanosun has been perusing and achieved - Printing the Path to Success, result from the hard work of the entire team Nanosun over the past 3000 over days. However this is not the summit but rather the beginning of even greater challenge and mission for us to conquer.
Manufacturing is the pillar for every economy, and advanced manufacturing is the path to new industrial revolution. Nanosun, a Singapore based NTU spin-off enterprise could play a positive role in supporting the industry, the people and the economy through advanced manufacturing and its endless applications ranging from water treatment, energy harvesting, bio pharma and etc.
Let the new journey begin.