“To succeed it is imperative, whether you are an individual, a company or a nation, to collaborate, to learn from the best and to emulate them to become better,” said Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran at the second annual Winsemius Awards for Sustainability and Innovation.

Mr Iswaran spoke of the long relationship between the Netherlands and Singapore, and the many accomplishments and success stories the nations have shared. Especially, he emphasized, in the areas of innovation and sustainability.



Mayor of Eindhoven Rob van Gijzel extolled Singapore’s accomplishments in the area of smart nation: “Singapore may be the most liveable city in the world (…) You are a great example and we can learn a lot from you. And maybe, you can learn a little bit from us as well.” He talked of the need to include the people when striving for a smart city – to accomplish a “smart society”.


People, planet and profit, summarized President of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce Ynse de Boer. This triple bottom line is what sustainability is all about: to make sure people have a planet to live on and companies make profit to sustain our way of life. It is innovation that will get us there.


Sustainability, Innovation and Singapore and Dutch connections were the most important measures for the awards, and the award winners came through across industries and activities.


Unilever won the Food&Nutrition Award for its Food Solutions Group. “It’s a great boost for the team”, said Senior Vice President Food Solutions for Asia, Africa and the Middle East Conny Braams. “You should see the messages I’m getting on whatsapp.” Unilever’s Food Solutions aims to free chefs to do what they love. “In Singapore, we focus on nutrition and waste reduction”, said Ms Braams, “as here the out of home consumption is higher.”


The Water&Maritime Award went to AkzoNobel for its product Interline 9001, a chemical tank coating that revolutionizes the industry. “We feel privileged to have won this award”, said Mr Derrikq Goh, Segment Manager Coastal/Inlands and Navy. AkzoNobel was also one of last year’s winners for its sustainable Intersleek ship coating. This doesn’t mean the company will be complacent, in fact, it is already developing a next generation Interline product, based on the user feedback from Intersleek.


WeArePerspective were the winners of the High Tech Award. Managing Director Jan Timmer was visibly chuffed. “We are proud that we, as a small Dutch company, are working with Singaporean governmental agencies, such as the LTA.” WeArePerspective are a design company that take their design all the way from the drawing table into the factory for manufacturing. Mr Timmer credits his success to his international team, respresenting many Asian countries.


The Professional Services Award went to “I use your service all the time!”, said AkzoNobel’s Mr Derrikq Goh when he met his fellow Award winner. “It’s just so easy to use, and it has all the rankings, ratings and reasonable pricing.” Head of Human Resources APAC at Marnix Mali credited his colleague Nicole Verghese for the award, which was won for’s social outreach program. “She’s behind the engagement in the office. People can volunteer a day of work to a charity such as Singapore’s Nature Society.”


NXP won the Singaporean/Dutch Cooperation Award. Judge Ms Anne Ho, Divisional Director of IE Singapore, described the winner as a company that leverages Singaporean and Dutch strengths to look into the future, and to solve current problems. “It’s skill makes it stand out”, said Ms Ho. Executive Vice President of NXP Mr Hai Wang, who was happy and proud of the Award, had said earlier that day at the Winsemius seminar: “No single entity can bring about something as big and complex as a smart nation. The government, the universities and the companies must all be part of it.”


The Small Business Rising Star Award went to WEnergy, a company providing sustainable energy solutions to developing countries in South East Asia. CEO Atem Ramsundersingh was especially proud of the lighting solution provided for the cycling route around Bangkok Airport. “We won because our technology was cleanest – even though it wasn’t the cheapest.”


The final Award of the night, for Smart Nations, went to Philips for its innovative support of chronic patients with heart failure. Head of Philips’ Hospital to Home in Asia Pacific Fernando Erazo said it was great recognition for the team. “This is a care model that could be rolled out over the entire nation. Now we are treating hundreds of patients, but the model can support thousands. That’s a lot of human impact.”


The Winsemius Awards for Sustainability and Innovation were sponsored by Heerema Marine Contractors, Heineken, AkzoNobel and ING. Category sponsors were Brunel for the Water&Maritime Award, VDL for the High Tech Award, Unilever for the Singaporean/Dutch Cooperation Award, Randstad for the Small Business Rising Star Award and ABN Amro for the Smart Nations Award. Heineken and KLM sponsored in kind.


To view more pictures use this link.

NEO_9129NEO_9066NEO_9043NEO_9000NEO_9026NEO_8909 (1)NEO_8875 (1)NEO_8855

Winners and sponsors of the categories were:

Food & Nutrition:

  • Winner: Unilever

Water & Maritime:

  • Partner: Brunel
  • Winner: AkzoNobel

High Tech:

  • Partner: VDL
  • Winner: We Are Perspective

Professional Services:

  • Winner:

Singapore-Dutch Cooperation:

  • Partner: Unilever
  • Winner: NXP Semiconductors

Small Business Rising Star:

  • Partner: Randstad
  • Winner: WEnergy

Smart Nations:

  • Partner: ABN Amro
  • Winner: Philips


To view more pictures of the Gala use this link.