Reverse Pitch: Circular Economy | SGInnovate
April 26 2022


Online Event

Event Recording

Reverse Pitch: Circular Economy

Presented by SGInnovate, EDB and WEF Scale360°

Presented by SGInnovate, EDB and in partnership with WEF Scale360°, the Reverse Pitch event series aims to spotlight market demands for frontier technologies to better inform the startup community to support their go-to-market efforts. At these Reverse Pitch events, corporate leaders will present their problem statements and innovation needs that they are open to working with startups. This session will feature Circular Economy focused problem statements from global corporations such as The Ascott Limited, Buhler Group, CP Foods Thailand, Indorama Ventures and TES.

The Reverse Pitch series is part of SGInnovate and EDB’s Open Innovation partnership, with the aims to connect open innovation leaders in Singapore and the region, promote corporate innovation projects and adoption, and catalyse corporate-startup collaborations.

Date: 26 April 2022, Tuesday
Time: 4:00pm - 5:15pm (Singapore Time / UTC +8)

4:00pm - 4:05pm: 
Opening Remarks from SGInnovate
4:05pm - 4:10pm: Introduction and Opening Remarks from WEF Scale360

  • Helen Burdett, Head - Circular Economy, WEF 

4:10pm - 5:15pm: Presentations and Q&A with

  • The Ascott Limited
  • Bühler Group 
  • CPF Thailand
  • Indorama Ventures
  • TES

About the Corporates:
The Ascott Limited

The Ascott Limited (Ascott) is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott's portfolio spans more than 200 cities across over 30 countries in the Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA. Ascott has more than 76,000 operating units and over 57,000 units under development, making a total of more than 133,000 units in over 800 properties. The company’s serviced apartment, coliving and hotel brands include Ascott The Residence, The Crest Collection, Somerset, Quest, Citadines, lyf, Préférence, Vertu, Harris, Citadines Connect, Fox, Yello, Fox Lite and POP!. Ascott’s loyalty programme, Ascott Star Rewards, offers exclusive benefits to its members when they book directly with Ascott for their stays at its participating properties. Ascott, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Investment, pioneered Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced apartment with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

Bühler Group
Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies to cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. For this, we develop the best process solutions along complete value chains. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment, and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured with parts produced with our machinery. Having this global relevance, we are in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable and good business. Bühler has three business pillars: Grains & Food solutions ensure safe and healthy food and feed. Consumer Foods solutions create culinary delights. Advanced Materials contributes to the production of energy-efficient vehicles and buildings.

The challenges we face today on the global market and in the environment are too vast to solve alone. The solutions we need demand collaborative ecosystems where groups from science to industry to startups work together. Bühler has followed a collaborative innovation approach for a decade and partnerships will help us reach new levels.

CPF (Thailand)
Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited or "CPF" is a leading Thai Multi-National Company in agro-industrial business with fully integrated operations throughout the supply chain from feed business as well as the farm business to food business in both livestock and aquaculture. With over 40 years of excellence, coupled with a strong global network spanning 17 countries and exports to over 40 countries, we have catered to more than 4 billion people across 5 continents. Our main vision is to be the "Kitchen of the World". We put our heart into food and everything we do in order to deliver top quality products and services while firmly supporting 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) through the Sustainability Strategy “Sustainability in Action” comprising three pillars: food security, self-sufficient society and balance of nature.

Indorama Ventures
Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB), is one of the world’s leading producers of fully recyclable PET, with a global manufacturing footprint across Europe, Africa, Americas, and the Asia Pacific. IVL is firmly committed to developing technologies and processes that use post-consumer PET and polyester waste materials as feedstock for the future.  The company’s portfolio comprises Combined PET, Integrated Oxides and Derivatives, and Fibers. Indorama Ventures products serve major FMCG and automotive sectors, i.e. beverages, hygiene, personal care, tire and safety segments. Indorama Ventures has approx. 24,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of US$10.6 billion in 2020. The Company is listed in the Dow Jones Emerging Markets and World Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

Indorama Ventures is headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand with global operating sites in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific.

Since its formation in 2005, TES has grown to become a global leader in sustainable technology services and bespoke solutions that help clients manage the commissioning, deployment, and retirement of technology devices and components.  

TES is sustaining tomorrow by providing comprehensive services for technology devices throughout their lifecycle — from deployment to decommissioning to disposition — all the way through to recycling and end-of-life repurposing. This includes innovating new processes to leverage the value locked in assets if they are to be recycled, such as our proprietary lithium battery recycling process, which extracts scarce materials from used batteries at purity rates high enough that they can be reused in the manufacturing supply chain. 

TES is on a mission to make a decade of difference by securely, safely, and sustainably transforming and repurposing one billion kgs of assets by 2030. Our 43 owned facilities across 21 countries offer unmatched service-level consistency, consistent commercials, lower logistics costs, local compliance experts in-region, support in local time zones and languages, and a deep understanding of transboundary material movement globally.  For more information, visit

Speakers' Profiles:
Johnny Gao, Manager - Operational Excellence & Digitalisation, The Ascott Limited

Johnny represents Ascott to share the problem statements in this sustainability challenge exercise. He is part of a team that actively engages stakeholders within the global startup ecosystem. The team explores collaboration opportunities with potential partners, sharing industry-specific challenges and pain points; also offering real-life testbeds to validate solutions through co-innovation pilots. The more promising partners go on to sign global agreements with the team, leading to group-wide rollouts.

Noëmi Kaufmann, Project Manager Circular Economy at Bühler Group
Noëmi is a passionate materials scientist. She has worked in both startup and corporate environments, driving projects related to sustainable materials innovation. Currently, she is the Project Manager of Circular Economy at Bühler Group. She works in the CTO office and is responsible for valorizing customer side streams as carbon neutral resources for food, packaging, textile, fertilizer or energy applications. She is a team leader in Generation B, a corporate bottom-up change-maker movement advocating for more social and environmental sustainability as well as more employee ownership of global challenges.

She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in materials science from ETH Zürich with a focus on sustainable materials and innovation management and studied at Imperial College London, Politecnico di Milano, and EPF Lausanne. She has been active in several associations for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dr Aparna Venkatesh, Collaborative Innovation Lead for Bühler Group
Aparna is the Collaborative Innovation Lead at Bühler for the region of Southeast Asia & Oceania. In this role, she leads innovation strategy in emerging opportunities for sustainable foods and scouts for novel agri-food technology applications with external partners in the ecosystem to develop purposeful and high-impact transformations for the future of food.

Her career spanned a decade in the public sector with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). As head of A*STAR Enterprise’s Agri-Food and Nutrition division, Aparna played a key role in supporting the scientific, business, regulatory and strategy aspects of building up Singapore’s alternative protein capabilities, enabling local food production as part of the nation's food resilience agenda. Her previous scientific background in tissue engineering and stem cell biology fuelled her passion to discover novel solutions. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and a PhD in immunology from the Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Italy.

Aparna is perpetually passionate about solving challenges in food sustainability and its impact on the circular economy.

Peerapong Krinchai, Executive Vice President (Central Engineering), CPF (Thailand) 
Peerapong has a background in engineering, operations and supply chain in several MNC. Before joining CPF, he was the Operations Director for Thai Drink. He is currently responsible for CPF Central Engineering.

Colm Jordan, Global Head of Sustainability Communications and Advocacy, Indorama Ventures 
A passionate advocate for evidence-based decision making to create a sustainable world, Colm is an experienced public affairs and communications professional. Formerly a Director of the Irish Beverage Council, representing the non-alcoholic drinks category, Colm holds a first-class Masters in Political Communications from Europe’s leading Communications School, Dublin City University. Before moving to industry he worked in the European Parliament, government departments, politics, and the trade union movement.

His career includes being a key team member in successful general and European election campaigns and appointments by Cabinet to Ireland’s Higher Educational Authority and National Qualifications Authority of Ireland. Awarded a place by the US Government on their International Visitors Program (a Fulbright-Hayes initiative), Colm was also a category winner at the 19th World University Debating Championships in the Philippines.

Ross West, Group Chief Operating Officer, TES
Ross has a reputation for providing strategic and innovative thinking, decisive leadership and developing high performing teams, with a proven ability to deliver increased business value in a sustainable manner.

Ross West is responsible for corporate sustainability; quality, environment, health and safety; production; and service delivery.  He has enjoyed a long, successful, and diverse career in senior executive positions within multinational companies, including as the head of portfolio and asset management in the Asia Pacific and Japan region for Hewlett Packard Financial Services.  He also has experience in developing and operating his own business which he sold prior to joining TES.

Ross received a Bachelor of Business (Information Management) and Master of Business Administration from the Queensland University of Technology.  He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, Certificates in Strategy and Organisation, and Positive Psychology.

Topics: Deep Tech for Good, Startup and Corporate Open Innovation

Industry: Others