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Kajima Launches its First Innovation Day

The Japanese construction and real estate firm today launched its first Future City Festival in Singapore, taking their innovation initiatives a step forward.


On September 13, 2023, Kajima Development Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kajima Corporation, inaugurated The GEAR Future City Festival with the Singapore Management University (SMU) as part of the biennial Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition (LKYGBPC). Organised by the SMU’s Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Kajima is a platinum partner of the LKYGBPC.

“Kajima as a company has always thrived on pushing boundaries and embracing change. The inauguration of The GEAR’s Future City Festival embodies this spirit; it is a platform to celebrate and showcase the emerging innovative ideas that will make an impact to the world. I’m truly excited for what’s to come and how that will shape the future of our organisation,” said Shuichi Oishi, Chief Executive Officer of Kajima Development.


The event was inaugurated by Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board, with her keynote speech on Unlocking Value from Corporate Ventures through Collaborative Partnerships with Institute of Higher Learning and Startups.

As part of Kajima’s commitment to empower the next generation of innovators, the event also saw the launch of The GEAR Residency Programme, their first corporate accelerator programme aimed at nurturing startups and entrepreneurs dedicated to developing innovative solutions in the built environment. Powered by Rainmaking, the eight selected companies will be provided with access to experiment with building facilities, mentorship, and a global network. Through the Startup Residency Programme, Kajima seeks to stay ahead of the curve in today’s rapidly changing business landscape and instill a culture of agility and creative thinking within the corporation.

The GEAR’s Future City Festival also played host to the Changemaker Conversations as part of BLAZE – a week-long event bringing inter-generational networking, panel discussions, site visits, and mentorship sessions that form an environment which fosters learning, collaboration, and growth at the SMU from September 11-15, 2023.


In the panel discussion “Constructing Climate-Resilient Cities of Tomorrow”, panel speakers Keisuke Koshijima, Executive Vice President of Kajima Corporation, Paul Santos, Managing Partner of Wavemaker Partners, Kyle Tan, Founder of Airsquire, and Winston Chow, Associate Professor of Urban Climate of Singapore Management University, discussed how technology, finance and sustainability converge to build the climate-resilient cities of tomorrow. The panelists seeked to outline a roadmap that architects the blueprint for climate-resilient cities and empowers leaders of tomorrow to engage actively in sustainable innovation.

The event closed with a pitch segment for the selected finalists of the LKYGBPC. Four RVLT50 (Revolutionary 50) startups vied for the LKYGBPC Kajima Innovation Award, a total cash prize of $100,000 that is up for grabs to fuel the winning startups' journey towards creating a meaningful societal impact. The unveiling of the ultimate winner of the prize will be announced during the competition’s Closing Mixer event on September 14, 2023 at CHIJMES.

“The launch of The GEAR’s first Future City Festival with the Singapore Management University underscores our belief that innovation is not a solitary pursuit but a collective endeavor. We are igniting the spark to celebrate our past successes to chart a brighter tomorrow within the built environment space. Innovation is not just a buzzword; it’s our compass for the future,” said Luke Wu, Head of Innovation, Kajima Development. Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board, who inaugurated the Festival, said, “With our commitment to innovation-driven growth, Singapore aims to be a living lab and testbed for new products and solutions for the world. The latest partnership between Kajima and Singapore Management University exemplifies how strong collaborations between industry players, startups, and academia can drive value creation for sustainable materials, the green economy and climate tech. I look forward to more of such collaborations within our local ecosystem to advance our innovation journey.” About Kajima Development Pte Ltd Kajima Development Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based real estate developer with business interest across the Southeast Asia region. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kajima Corporation (鹿島建設株式会社, Kajima Kensetsu Kabushiki-gaisha) – one of the oldest and largest construction companies in Japan. Founded in 1840, the company has its headquarters in Motoaksaka, Minato, Tokyo. In the region, Kajima is also represented by Kajima Overseas Asia, which represents its construction business. Kajima's services include design, engineering, construction, and real estate development. Select construction projects include Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Financial Centre. Select development projects include Woodleigh Residences and Bishopsgate Residences. www.kajima.com.sg

About The GEAR: Kajima Lab for Global Engineering, Architecture, & Real Estate

Kajima’s brand-new regional headquarters, The GEAR, sits on a 5,232sqm plot at Changi Business Park. Kajima has invested S$100 million to develop the 6-storey building spanning 13,061.17sqm of GFA, to house approximately 250 of its local staff and will welcome the wider community of built environment innovators and disrupters to co-locate at its open innovation hub on level 3. The GEAR is equipped with 5 laboratories (namely, the Human Centric Design Lab, Construction Robotics Lab, Digital Tech Lab, Environmental Engineering Lab, and Underground Space Creation Lab) and is a living lab for experimentation, exploration, and co-creation. At The GEAR, Kajima will adopt open innovation, conduct R&D on advanced built environment technologies, and testbed solutions for productivity improvement, sustainability, and occupant wellness. www.thegear.sg

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