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Making a social impact through innovation

Two winners in the Patents for Good category reveal how intellectual property is helping them do good for society.

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"We value IP as an asset to the company. Through time, IP will accumulate greater value and it is also a system that allows us to engage our co-workers to think about the intricate balance between good business and social good. We see it as a currency to trade for social impact. The more we create, the more we influence change in doing good. It is also a way to raise awareness in the community on certain social issues and how we can tackle them through positive thinking. At the end of the day, IP has its own intrinsic value. To us, social good is simply priceless." - Bibi Ho, chief air maker, Airmotion Laboratories.

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"By being focused on being sustainable and doing good, SMEs create the foundation of a trusted brand. It sets the culture within the company that is hinged on the importance of making ethical decisions. As such, unethical behaviour to win business is not allowed because the company is here for the long term. It presents in the mind of the customers a brand that they can be confident of doing business with." - Dr Lim Jing, chief technology officer, Osteopore International.

AWARD CATEGORY
PATENTS FOR GOOD

AIRMOTION LABORATORIES
Bibi Ho, Chief Air Maker

AIRMOTION Laboratories is a social innovation company that creates respiratory products and services with the least impact to the environment so that more people can live and breathe better.

The company has developed a children's air pollution mask called Woobi Play, which is designed to help parents educate their children about air pollution and allow kids to participate in the assembling of the mask. This, in turn, empowers children to take responsibility for protecting themselves from pollution.

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To date, the company has sold more than 100,000 masks in China in the last two years, and registered revenue of over S$2 million. Airmotion has also won numerous international awards for creating social impact related to addressing air pollution.

More recently, it has received enquiries from markets such as Korea, Japan, Britain and the US. Airmotion is currently working with various partners and suppliers to create an open-sourced information sharing platform to allow key stakeholders and interested parties to have greater access to materials know-how, product testing and sustainable manufacturing.

Why did you decide to join the Brands for Good awards and how do you think being a winner will benefit you?

BH: As a social innovation company, we are continuously doing good and we felt compelled to be part of a community that recognises the efforts that brands are making for social good.

As a winner, we hope to influence more brands as well as people to find ways to do meaningful business and better the lives of those who are in need.

Why do you think it is important for SMEs to focus on doing good?

BH: Our climate is suffering from economic advancement.

We should enforce best practices as well as good stewardship in creating a culture from within the company and amplifying the effect through our actions.

By being sustainable and doing good, it's our way of giving back to society and fostering closer relations with the community.

How have you used intellectual property (IP) to help grow your business?

BH: We believe that good IP strategy and management can help businesses grow. We are constantly in talks with organisations to derive more value from our IP through collaborations and partnerships. As a Singapore brand, we also believe in strength in unity, as we are able to take our business beyond the shores of our country.

How has IP helped your company to achieve social good?

BH: Indeed, we value IP as an asset to the company. Through time, IP will accumulate greater value and it is also a system that allows us to engage our co-workers to think about the intricate balance between good business and social good.

We see it as a currency to trade for social impact. The more we create, the more we influence change in doing good. It is also a way to raise awareness in the community on certain social issues and how we can tackle them through positive thinking. At the end of the day, IP has its own intrinsic value. To us, social good is simply priceless.

OSTEOPORE INTERNATIONAL
Dr Lim Jing, chief technology officer

OSTEOPORE International is a Singapore-based medical device manufacturer of implants that are uniquely designed to empower natural tissue regeneration. The company harnesses intellectual property that was developed in Singapore to positively impact their patients' lives. Osteopore's technology and solutions have obtained regulatory approvals in the United States and Europe.

Why did you decide to join the Brands for Good awards and how do you think being a winner will benefit you?

LJ: Brands for Good honours enterprises that do societal good while being sustainable, and we wanted to be part of the awards - to showcase how our company has been able to positively impact patient quality-of-Life, while being sustainable. To be given the honour of being the winner is testament to our team's efforts. This award serves as an encouragement to our team, to continue to develop high-tech products that benefit patients. Through this award, we continue to strengthen our brand and reputation as global leaders in regenerative medical device technology, operating from Singapore.

Why do you think it is important for SMEs to focus on doing good?

LJ: By being focused on being sustainable and doing good, SMEs create the foundation of a trusted brand. It sets the culture within the company that is hinged on the importance of making ethical decisions. As such, unethical behaviour to win business is not allowed because the company is here for the long term. It presents in the mind of the customers a brand that they can be confident of doing business with.

How have you used IP to help grow your business?

LJ: Through our core IP, we are able to position our products competitively, which then allows us to establish a good pricing strategy. The IP protection allows us to engage our customers to create products for different surgical applications and develop corresponding surgical techniques to ensure a consistent clinical outcome. We are thus able to grow our business through such a continuous and dynamic engagement process.

How has IP helped your company to achieve social good?

LJ: Osteopore's technology is meant to allow us to heal with our own natural tissue, leaving no foreign material permanently implanted in us. As such, we view ourselves as doing good from three perspectives.

Firstly, it allows us to provide our patients with a sustainable solution, and eliminates the possibility of any late morbidities, such as late infections. In this way, the associated long-term medical costs are avoided.

Secondly, it allows hospitals to optimise resource utilisation for newly admitted patients who require urgent medical attention.

Last but not least, doctors and surgeons benefit from this by providing patients with a sustainable solution to their needs.