ADB-DutchCham announces Winners Winsemius Awards 2019 at annual Gala

ADB-DutchCham announces Winners Winsemius Awards 2019 at annual Gala

SINGAPORE, 31 MAY 2019—ADB-DutchCham is proud to announce the winners of the Winsemius Awards 2019, unveiled on Thursday, May 30th 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia hotel in Singapore over a festive and well-attended gala evening.

Organised to celebrate the strong business ties between Singapore and the Netherlands and to recognise innovative and impactful achievements, the 2019 Edition of the ADB-DutchCham Winsemius Awards Gala Dinner brought together 280 distinguished guests from the Singaporean and Dutch business communities.

Guests of Honour were Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Her Excellency Mrs Margriet Vonno, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei, and Mr Hans de Boer, President of the Dutch business and employers’ organisation VNO-NCW.

The Netherlands is Singapore’s key trade and investment partner, being its third-largest EU goods trading and services partner, and its largest EU investor.

In his speech, Minister Chan noted that “(both countries) are small and open economies that embrace free trade, as well as meritocracies with open and egalitarian societies”. Mr Ad Ketelaars, president of ADB-DutchCham, further elaborated that “The Netherlands and Singapore are similar in their drive to innovate. By organising this evening and by awarding companies that make change happen, we contribute to the Dutch-Singaporean collaboration—to learn from each other and to jointly innovate for a more sustainable future.”

The awards are named after Dr. Albert Winsemius, a Dutch economist and longtime economic advisor to Singapore’s first generation leaders, including Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Goh Keng Swee and Mr Hon Sui Sen. As the architects of Singapore’s economic policies in the early days, Albert Winsemius and the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew developed close relations over the years. Their friendship symbolised the very close ties between Singapore and The Netherlands.


Red-Orange Inspiration: OLAM INTERNATIONAL

Olam International, a leading food and agri-business supplying food, ingredients, feed and fibre to over 22,000 customers worldwide, collaborated with ING to complete Asia’s first sustainability-linked club loan deal in March 2018.

Jury Comments: “This partnership stands out for being the region’s first sustainability-linked loan, setting an example for the finance industry to follow and demonstrates leadership on how to embed sustainability into corporate strategy.”

Services & Hospitality : ADOBE

Adobe, a multinational computer software company, worked together with Rabobank Singapore to implement Adobe Sign to help digitise the bank’s document workflow processes. Adobe Sign, part of Adobe Document Cloud, enables organisations to create a paperless work environment which improves operational efficiency and positively impacts the environment.

Jury Comments: “We are currently in an era where developments in digital innovation, automation and artificial intelligence are transforming the world at an unprecedented pace. We want to celebrate here a great example on how digital technology can optimise workflow processes while saving resources such as paper, energy, storage and transport. As digital innovation continues to evolve, it will free the labour force from routine duties and provide them the time and space to explore new innovations.”

Maritime, Water & Offshore : PWNT

PWNT, wholly owned by Dutch water utility PWN, is unique in its formation and mission to make the utility’s almost one hundred years of experience and innovations in water treatment available worldwide. Their extensive R&D; programmes have led to the development of efficient and sustainable solutions in water treatment that can be used for a wide variety of water sources.

Jury Comments: “We all know that water is the elixir of life. To be able to provide humanity with affordable, reliable water is the top priority for many governments and businesses around the world. Dutch water utility PWN has demonstrated leadership in developing new solutions and technologies that have users top of mind and that benefits humanity. Together with its Singapore company, PWN Technologies, they successfully developed and launched a number of disruptive technologies, with CeraMac® at the forefront.”

Manufacturing & Supply Chain: GOLDEN AGRI RESOURCES

Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) is one of the world’s largest palm oil plantation companies in the world. GAR is committed to responsible palm oil production, firmly believing economic growth, social progress and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand. Their European headquarters are based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Jury Comments: “Palm oil is ubiquitous in our daily living and provides jobs to millions of people in rapidly growing Southeast Asia. It is a commodity that is controversial given the EU ruling and concerns over sustainability and supply chain. GAR has demonstrated several ways in which it has addressed the sustainability of the palm oil industry and this award is to recognise their efforts. We hope they will continue to push for further progress and set best practices for the industry as a whole.”

Small Business Rising Star: ORCANATION

OrcaNation, founded in Singapore by a Dutch couple, has grown from a small scuba diving company to one of Asia’s most recognised and highly-trusted dive businesses. Besides providing expert dive services they collaborate with schools and corporate businesses to educate children and adults on the importance of caring for our planet, oceans and ourselves to help them make a positive contribution to our world.

Jury comments: N/A - elected through live voting by audience Award Gala Dinner.

Best Collaborative Team : RABOBANK

A financial service provider of Dutch origin, focused on international business and rural activities in general and the Food and Agri sector in particular. Through the 2018 inaugural Food Loss Challenge Asia, an open innovation Challenge for agritech startups in Asia, Rabobank puts its knowledge, networks and financing capabilities to use to encourage clients in adopting a more sustainable food production practice globally.

Jury Comments: N/A - chosen by popular vote on Social Media (58 per cent of votes)


The Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) brings together a deep understanding of water-related challenges and the most advanced technologies to solve the pressing water management issues of today. H2i’s strategic business partnership with Royal Haskoning DHV accelerates innovations to enhance urban flood resilience in Asia’s big cities, using big data analytics, machine learning and advanced computer modelling.

Jury comments: This union between a 135-year-old global Dutch consultancy firm and a 5-year-old Singapore-based information technology start-up caught the attention of the judges for their innovative collaboration. Climate change is shifting weather patterns resulting in heavy rainfall and increased risks of flooding. Cities all over the world are grappling with how to respond to this challenge, and the partnership between H2i and RHDHV has enabled new solutions in flood control and water management, using emerging technology such as in data science, AI, and machine learning. We recognise their collaboration under a Special Mention award as it truly promotes Singapore-Dutch innovation spirit and leadership in sustainability.”


With thanks to this year’s Jury members for their time and contribution:

  • Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Editor of Eco-Business, an award-winning journalist, TV presenter, director, producer, and a social entrepreneur;
  • Professor Dr. Vladan Babovic, Professor at Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at National University of Singapore, a leading researcher, educator and scientist entrepreneur;
  • Constant van Aerschot, Director Asia Pacific at World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a global CEO-led organisation of 200 forward thinking businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.

About ADB-DutchCham

ADB-DutchCham is the result of a merger between the Association of Dutch Business people (founded in 1990) which targeted individual professionals and the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (founded in 2008) which targeted companies. In 2018, ADB and DutchCham merged to strengthen the links between those interested in Dutch business, to facilitate business links between Dutch and Singaporean companies, and to represent Dutch businesses in Singapore.

ADB-DutchCham has a membership of 20 Orange members (mostly large multinationals), 100+ Corporate members and 350+ Individual members and is open to all professionals and companies with an interest in business from, in, or with the Netherlands. The focus of ADB-DutchCham is on areas of particular strength and collaboration between the Netherlands and Singapore, including innovation, sustainability and water management.


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