French energy giant Schneider Electric has signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) to create a venture building program that will build up to four new Singapore-based companies to address global climate change.
According to a statement, Schneider Electric will commit at least SGD 16 million (USD 11.8 million) over the next four years to incubate and develop up to four new companies that seek to address global climate change. They will deploy technologies such as Internet-of-Things (IoT), 5G, artificial intelligence, and robotics. These companies will produce innovative solutions such as energy-as-a-service, energy storage, electromobility, efficient heating, ventilation and cooling, and smart buildings. Energy-as-a-service is where an external service company guarantees a building’s future energy costs.
To ensure the companies born out of this program will have the ability to scale globally, Schneider Electric will provide them with market access and its deep understanding of the global supply chain.
The company had previously worked with EDB, under the EDB SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative to launch Energy Generation Program-X, which is a management trainee program for graduates of Nanyang Technological University, as well as the National University of Singapore.
Apart from these programs, Schneider Electric also has its own corporate venture arm. Launched in 2018, Schneider Electric Ventures is a USD 565 million global investment fund that invests in startups in areas such as energy management, industrial automation, and e-mobility. It is country-agnostic and stage-agnostic.
In Southeast Asia, corporate ventures are becoming more popular as these large companies are looking outside to gain a competitive advantage in the digital transformation of the global economy. Across the region, there are also others corporate venture capital funds (CVCs) such as Malaysian state company Petronas’ USD 350 million CVC fund as well as Indonesian state-owned bank Bank Rakyat Indonesia’s USD 250 million CVC fund.