Changi Business Park: A Confluence of Innovation, Collaboration and Strategic Positioning
Changi Business Park: A Confluence of Innovation, Collaboration and Strategic Positioning at the ‘CBD of the East’
Global and local businesses spanning a multitude of sectors are flourishing at this integrated hub with its well-developed infrastructure. Here’s why.
As part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) master plan for Singapore, the eastern region has been designated as one of four economic gateways that will catalyse the nation’s transition into the future economy.
Specifically, the Changi region is projected to see rapid growth within the next decade, led by URA’s vision to position it as "the business gateway to the world". At the heart of Changi’s world-class amenities is the 71-hectare Changi Business Park (CBP). The hub is well-served by its proximity to the airport, a robust framework of facilities and amenities, and comprehensive transport links. Today, CBP is home to leading technology corporations; semi-conductor, fast-moving consumer goods and logistics enterprises; as well as financial technology providers.
Led by CapitaLand, the launch of the Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab @ East Coast (SMARTLab) in October 2021 has further boosted CBP’s standing as an innovation hotbed for businesses. Designed to foster the co-innovation of future-first initiatives, its programmes and activities provide companies and residents the opportunity to collaborate and create solutions on both enterprise and grassroots levels. It is also contributing to the creation of jobs and the development of new growth industries in the east.
THE CHOICE OF A MULTINATIONAL TECH GIANT
Tech giant Huawei is one such organisation harnessing CBP’s infrastructure and its proximity to SMARTLab @ East Coast to pave the way for information and communication technology (ICT) breakthroughs.
More than half of Huawei’s 800-strong workforce in Singapore are based at CBP, with the location earmarked as the Asia Pacific regional headquarters for its enterprise and cloud business. Key business arms operating out of CBP include its carrier and network, enterprise, cloud, digital power and consumer units.
According to Mr Foo Fang Yong, CEO of Huawei International, Huawei has invested heavily in Singapore to establish innovation labs such as OpenLab at CBP. OpenLab is an open, end-to-end, one-stop ICT infrastructure platform that allows industry partners to explore solutions in a network environment setting.
“Huawei Singapore’s success is very much tied to Singapore’s relentless pursuit of world-class excellence. We have always believed that working with the industry and the local ecosystem is the best way to achieve our shared objectives,” said Mr Foo.
Excellent connectivity, facilities and support services as well as competitive costs are further contributing factors to Huawei’s decision to set up shop at CBP.
Mr Foo added that Huawei is better able to engage local stakeholders, collaborate with nearby companies, as well as catalyse projects and enterprise development thanks to its current locale.
“We are happy to be part of the CBP ecosystem and an industry partner at SMARTLab @ East Coast, doing our part to help local communities go digital with our tech capabilities,” he shared.
A LONG-STANDING STALWART
CBP is also home to technology company Honeywell, which operates its first Industrial Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CoE) in Asia at 17 Changi Business Park Central 1.
CBP’s infrastructure has enabled Honeywell to establish a CoE with state-of-the-art capabilities, supporting its mission to improve cybersecurity protection, detection, management and response for customers.
According to Mr Anton Susanto, corporate communications director at Honeywell ASEAN, its CBP facility helps to consolidate business functions in Singapore, and acts as a base to serve Southeast Asia as part of its global operations.
The Fortune 100 titan has been a tenant with CapitaLand for close to 21 years – it occupies a built-to-suit six-storey building that has been customised to meet unique business needs.
Geared towards larger organisations, the built-to-suit space solution offers tenants a range of flexible lease options and access to a variety of future-proof and sustainability features to facilitate shifting modes of work.
Even as technology firms in the e-commerce, fintech and gaming spaces look to CBP as an operations bastion, the business park is also conducive for chemical companies with a research and innovation focus.
For instance, global speciality chemicals leader Nouryon chose to seamlessly integrate its Innovation Center next to its office at CBP in 2018.
“Our Singapore office team in CBP functions as a regional hub that provides solutions to our customers for the end-markets in areas such as paints and coatings, food and agriculture, as well as home and personal care,” said Mr Sobers Sethi, senior vice president of emerging markets and China at Nouryon.
Mr Sethi added that the Innovation Center allows the organisation to conduct research to better meet the needs of local and regional customers. The facility also serves as a training ground for its customers.
“Excellent support from the CapitaLand team coupled with the ability to smoothly run the commercial office and technical lab in tandem contribute to the location’s attractiveness,” Mr Sethi elaborated.
CBP – SUPPORTING BUSINESSES, BIG AND SMALL
COVID-19 has precipitated significant changes in the global business landscape, including the way companies operate and the way they shape organisational culture. To meet evolving needs, CapitaLand has set up varied space solutions across its properties, including CBP, that range from convert-to-suit units to move-in ready units for organisations of any scale.
One@Changi City, for instance, is tailor-cut for multi-national enterprises that value a prestigious corporate image. The recently rejuvenated Hansapoint provides a conducive work environment with inviting communal spaces, a spruced up lobby area, a new gym and end-of-trip facilities. The building also features tech-enabled features such as visitor registration via QR code.
Over the years, CBP has found a firm footing as a thriving business cluster comprising interconnected organisations in similar or adjacent industries. Industrial design companies could benefit from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) being in close proximity, which facilitates the forging of partnerships in engineering design. SUTD is set to unveil a 150,000 sq m campus that will serve as a testbed for sustainable and smart living ideas. This could spur the cross pollination of ideas between academia and businesses with a sustainable focus at CBP.
With Changi Airport, Changi Aviation Park and the logistics cluster nearby, CBP could also be an ideal base for urban logistics companies. CapitaLand offers logistics warehouses in the area with efficient specifications and convert-to-suit capabilities to support these businesses.
On the lifestyle front, a comprehensive raft of amenities including serviced suites, hotels, food and beverage outlets, retail options as well as medical and childcare facilities ensures that everyday conveniences and services are within a stone’s throw.
With strong offerings that take care of both business needs and employee welfare, compounded by a strong business ecosystem comprising industry heavyweights, CBP is well poised to live up to its moniker as the ‘CBD of the east’.
This story was done in collaboration with Mediacorp Brand Studio and was first published on CNA.ASIA