Six months into 2020, there has been a rapid shift to reevaluating and rethinking our built environment as disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic have affected our way of living. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philippines held its annual conference which centered on sustainability and resilience in the real estate industry. Local and international industry leaders led the dialogue on how to take smarter approaches to our assets, technology, infrastructure, and cities.
Held online via live webcast, the 2020 ULI-Philippines Conference entitled The FutuRE Summit highlighted sustainability and resilience in the industry and addressed issues in climate change, urban challenges, current and future crises, and socio-economic inclusivity. The panel discussions were moderated by Issa Litton.
In the second session of the event which focused on innovation, Shelli Trung, partner and managing director at REACH Australia, presented an overview of the Asia Pacific Region’s global venture capital deal value in 2018 and share in global prop-tech investments in 2017. She also reported a Philippine case study, noting: “The Philippines actually offers a really interesting opportunity when it comes to venture capital,” although it is still behind its neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
VP for business development at Igloohome Best Jittida Haputpong, founder and CEO of UbiPark Mosstyn Howell, and VP for sales and marketing at PAM Jason Hutty shared their respective business products and services that leverage real estate through innovation and technology. Igloohome provides a secure access management platform for smart homes and cities. UbiPark digitizes the parking transaction from start to finish, allowing people to search, navigate, access, and pay for parking directly from their smartphone or in-car display. UbiPark has actively been communicating a cashless and agile parking solution, prior to COVID-19. Lastly, PAM provides intelligent navigation solutions and events communications.
Founder and CEO of Inteluck Kevin Zhang introduced its data-driven logistics platform services across South East Asia. When asked about scaling up business products or services in an industry and region, Zhang answered, “When you look at all the different industries, the business model is always the same, how they make money is always the same. But the core difference between a great company or a normal company or the company that can grow in the long-term is how they utilize market data and knowledge to improve efficiently and save costs.”
Meanwhile, co-founder and CEO of uHoo Dustin Onghanseng described how uHoo measures air quality to enhance health, safety, and comfort. Its user-friendly application that can be integrated with other gadgets available at home to automate healthy air and it can also be integrated directly to building systems. Elaborating on the product, he added, “Most recently, we’ve launched the uHoo Virus Index, this is a world’s first, it is patent pending. What it can do is it can tell you how to deactivate COVID-19, because COVID-19 survives in specific environments and all you have to do is create an environment that is detrimental to the virus to deactivate it.”
Addressing how to further nurture the innovation ecosystem of other countries, Trung concluded: “Every single sector needs to play their role and know what their role is. We want engagement, having these panels are important but being customers, providing the checks, matching our checks, getting a tax incentive out there, making sure we all do our part and together we can build that ecosystem.”