Three Singapore winners at Smart Cities Innovation Awards

A company that aims to help commercial buildings save up to 40 per cent on their power bills is among three Singapore entities to win awards in an international competition for ideas that use technology to improve urban living.

BeeBryte, a tech company started in late 2015, does so by using data and software to decrease or increase a building's energy consumption, depending on whether electricity prices are high or low. It won the second prize for the category of energy at the Smart Cities Innovation Awards organised by the French newspaper Le Monde.

More than 200 entries were evaluated by an international jury comprising 17 city planners, sociologists and journalists, including The Straits Times' associate opinion editor Lydia Lim.

BeeBryte's sales engineer Elodie Hecq said large consumers of electricity like factories are plugged into power sources where prices can fluctuate every half hour, unlike for residential buildings.

Such consumers can use more energy to charge large batteries when prices are low, and use the batteries for power when prices rise.

An office building can also turn up the air-conditioning to cool its interior more when prices are low, so that it can ease off the air-conditioning when prices are high.

"Singapore is an attractive market for us as it uses a lot of air-conditioning," Ms Hecq said.

BeeBryte has already signed a contract with the city of Paris to manage the power usage of its public buildings. French frozen food company Picard has also started testing out BeeBryte's cost-saving technology.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force's myResponder app, which alerts volunteers to cardiac arrests happening near them, came in second in the category for citizen participation.

The third Singapore winner is Tumcreate, a research platform that aims to improve Singapore's public transportation, including via the deployment of electric and driverless vehicles. It received the second prize in the category of mobility.

The awards will be presented today at a one-day conference on smart cities and innovation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan - who is also the Minister- in-charge of Singapore's Smart Nation initiative - will attend the conference, which Le Monde is organising in partnership with The Straits Times and Business France.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Three Singapore winners at Smart Cities Innovation Awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe