The Flying Saucer At Sunset

Lenticular clouds (Altocumulus lenticularis) are stationary lens-shaped clouds with a smooth layered appearance that form in the troposphere, usually above mountain ranges. One was spotted in Singapore recently...

Eyes Of 30,000 Honeycombs

With 30,000 individual facets, dragonflies have the most number of facets among insects. Each facet, or ommatidia, creates its own image, and the dragonfly brain has eight pairs of descending visual neurons to compile those thousands of images into one picture...

A Kaleidoscope Of Colours, Shapes And Patterns

Spectacular and innovative in design, the Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. Home to a collection of plants from deserts all over the world, it showcases the adaptations of plants to arid environments...

Lightning Strikes, Not Once, But Many Times

Unlike light, lightning does not travel in a straight line. Instead, it has many branches. These other branches flashed at the same time as the main strike. The branches are actually the step leaders that were connected to the leader that made it to its target...

Are You My Dinner Tonight?

A T-Rex has 24-26 teeth on its upper jaw and 24 more on its lower jaw. Juveniles have small, sharp blade-shaped teeth to cut flesh, whereas adults have huge, blunt, rounded teeth for crushing bones. Is the T-Rex a bone-crushing scavenger?

The Liveability Challenge 2020 - The Need For Innovation

A new, global call for game-changing solutions to grow food, package products, and reduce carbon emissions in cities located in the world’s tropical belt was launched in Singapore today. The best proposals stand a chance of securing the grand prize of up to S$1 million in funding, as well as other resources and opportunities to further develop their solutions.



The launch marks the start of The Liveability Challenge, presented by Temasek Foundation, organised by Eco-Business, and convened by Closed Loop Partners, in partnership with Ecosperity Week 2020.



The third edition of the Challenge is inviting project proposals in the areas of Urban Food Production,
Circular Packaging and Decarbonisation, where the critical need for innovation reflects the size of the
business opportunity available. Proposals are welcome from 14 January to 17 April 2020 and can be submitted via the official website of The Liveability Challenge (www.theliveabilitychallenge.org).


The chosen themes support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), 9
(Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and 13 (Climate Action).



"Global hunger is on the rise; and the past four years have been the hottest on record, with carbon dioxide concentration levels continuing to rise. We hope The Liveability Challenge 2020 will highlight the valuable opportunities present in these areas of need and catalyse impactful solutions that can accelerate the transition to a more food secure, resource-efficient and decarbonised future."
--- Lim Hock Chuan, Chief Executive, Temasek Foundation Ecosperity ---


Selected finalists will get a chance to pitch their projects to a panel of Asia’s most sought-after venture capitalists and investors during Ecosperity Week on 08 July 2020 at The Liveability Challenge Grand Finale. Winners of the Challenge could secure over S$1 million in opportunities such as funding, exclusive spots in incubator programmes, and mentorship opportunities. The grand prize winner could secure up to S$1 million in grant funding from Temasek Foundation to further development and launch a pilot project in Singapore. 


Selections from past year winners and their products...

"The Liveability Challenge has grown to become a highlight for Asia’s sustainability community, and is now fast expanding to folks in the science and technology space. As businesses and governments continue to work on societal solutions around climate change, we welcome participation from potential partners, especially from the food, packaging and energy sectors to join us in supporting this year’s challenge."
--- Junice Yeo, Deputy Managing Director of Eco-Business ---


"There is growing momentum to adopt sustainable practices and innovations to build a more liveable environment. With the support of our partners, The Liveability Challenge has attracted many applicants with high-quality proposals leveraging science to exploit potential business opportunities. As a champion of sustainability and liveability, Temasek Foundation has provided support to the winner of last year’s Challenge, Sophie’s Kitchen, to develop its plant-based protein that can be produced in a more economically viable, urban setting."
--- Lim Hock Chuan, Chief Executive, Temasek Foundation Ecosperity ---

Through The Liveability Challenge and other channels, Temasek Foundation seeks to bring together an ecosystem of innovators, funders, investors, platform providers and professionals, and excite them to source, catalyse and advance impactful solutions towards eventual successful commercialisation, as a first step to making a positive difference to the everyday lives of city dwellers in Singapore and beyond.

For more information, visit The Liveability Challenge website at www.theliveabilitychallenge.org




Singapore-Based Fund Launched To Protect Asia’s Oceans From Plastic

With 60% of ocean plastic originating from the region, Asia is the biggest source of plastic leakage into global oceans. A recent Ocean Conservancy Report identified a net financing gap between USD$28 and USD$40 per ton for plastic waste collection in the five top ocean polluting countries in the world – China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

A US$106 million (SGD$144 million) fund dedicated to preventing plastic from entering the Asian oceans was launched on 04 December 2019 -  The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF) is the world’s first investment fund dedicated to address Asia’s plastic crisis. The Singapore-based fund is also one of the ten largest ASEAN-based Venture Capital Funds in the market.

(Photo Source : CCOF)

"The good news is that we are able to reduce nearly 50% of the world’s plastic leakage by investing in the waste and recycling sector in Asia, and even more if we invest in innovative materials and technologies. This is why we are here in Singapore – a strategic hub of Southeast Asia - to prove that investing in this sector is scalable for the region and can generate competitive returns, while moving closer to solving the ocean plastic crisis."
--- Rob Kaplan, CEO Circulate Capital ---

CCOF is launched by Circulate Capital, a Singapore-based and MAS licensed venture capital fund management company with founding investors and partners among the world’s leading companies; PepsiCo (the first investor), Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC. To address the financing gap between available private capital and resources needed by Asia’s waste sector, CCOF will provide both debt and equity financing to waste management, recycling, and circular economy start-ups and SMEs in South and Southeast Asia focused on preventing plastic pollution. Circulate Capital has identified more than 200 investment potential opportunities across a range of industries in the region, with their first investments targeted in the coming weeks.

"Circulate Capital plays a critical role in solving the issue of plastic waste in our environment. Supporting companies and infrastructure that are addressing plastic waste will catalyze the development of systems designed to advance a circular economy for plastics."
--- Bambang Candra, APAC Vice President Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics ---

The fund's launch comes at a time where the Singapore government has initiated recent green investment programs. These include the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) recent commitment to US$2 billion of green investments directed at sustainable projects and initiatives such as the Zero Waste Masterplan and a Resource Sustainability Bill as Singapore aims to establish itself as the regional Circular Economy Centre of Excellence, driving green investment efforts around the region and the world.

(Photo Source : CCOF)

Circulate Capital’s investment model seeks to mobilize institutional investors by blending concessionary funds with investment capital. Its objective is to mitigate risk and demonstrate that investments in turning waste into value can ultimately provide attractive financial returns.  

"For the beverage sector, the more recycled content used in any type of packaging such as 100% recyclable plastics, the lower the carbon footprint. That’s why at Coca-Cola we have invested in Circulate Capital and have committed to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can we produce by 2030. Beverage packaging does not need to become waste. By investing in the waste collection and recycling sector in this critical region, it can become a valuable material used again and again - a step closer towards a circular economy."
--- Matt Echols, Vice President, Communications,
Public Affairs and Sustainability Coca-Cola Asia Pacific ---

To address a full suite of solutions from policy and corporate commitments to financial incentives and changes in consumer behaviour, Circulate Capital has also partnered with a number of nonprofit organizations, including Ocean Conservancy, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), and The Circulate Initiative (TCI), a nonprofit organization launched in October 2019 dedicated to ending ocean plastic pollution and building thriving, inclusive economies. By combining the efforts of the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund, The Circulate Initiative and other partners, the quality and quantity of investable opportunities will increase and foster conditions which entrepreneurs in the waste ecosystem need to succeed.

(Photo Source : CCOF)

About Circulate Capital

Circulate Capital is an investment management firm dedicated to incubating and financing companies and infrastructure that prevent ocean plastic. We focus on the prevention of mismanaged plastic waste in countries located in South Asia and Southeast Asia, regions that contribute disproportionately to ocean plastic pollution primarily because they often lack investment in critical waste and recycling infrastructure to manage the problem. We were created in collaboration with Closed Loop Partners and Ocean Conservancy, and our founding investors include PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC.

Spoonful Meals Launches In Singapore

Spoonful Meals, now the largest cloud kitchen operator and delivery-only brand creator in Hong Kong, has launched in Singapore. With over 1,000,000 meals delivered to-date, Spoonful meals aims to provide consumers in Singapore with more choice, more convenience and more delicious food in the thriving delivery market.


"The success of the delivery model in Singapore suggests that the market is ready to withstand delivery-only brands. The whole food and dining culture is changing rapidly as consumers tastes get more sophisticated, yet they prioritise convenience. We are here to fulfil those needs by providing a large variety of delivery-only food brands which give top quality, genuinely tasty food delivered within 20 minutes, using our delivery partner Foodpanda's extensive network."
--- Rishi Arora, General Manager, Spoonful Meals Singapore ---

"We could not be more excited to launch in Singapore and bring our concepts to consumers across a variety of markets. We’ll be launching our corporate app by November and will continue to partner with Foodpanda locally for our direct to consumer business."
--- Max von Poelnitz, Founder of NOSH and Spoonful ---

Healthy sides available include NOSH's Toasted Pita with Baba Ghanoush Dip ($4.90), NOSH's Beetroot Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese, and GA's Woodear Mushroom with Black Vinegar ($3.90)...
  • Even with after the waiting time for a food delivery, the Toasted Pita was fragrant with a mild garlic fragrance. Perfect with the rich Baba Ganoush eggplant dip.
  • The salad is a good mix of flavours with the tanginess of the beetroot was mellowed by the aroma of the walnuts and the savoury cheese cubes.
  • Although the initial taste was akin to a confinement dish, the crunchiness of the woodears made for an appetizing snack before the mains.
Spoonful Meals currently features two brands NOSH and GA, with 2 more brands, Sesami and JOMO, launching in November. Sesami will serve Japanese bento boxes while JOMO has a vegan fast food (think burgers and fries!) concept. With each brand offering a different type of cuisine, consumers are treated to a variety of food options to satisfy their immediate cravings. All meals are prepared and cooked in a cloud kitchen centralised to the delivery area, ensuring that food delivered is always fresh and timely.

GA's Chicken Leg (side) is of such a substantial size that it would be easily mistaken as a main...

NOSH

NOSH offers healthy California cuisine with its selection of burrito bowls, salads, crudites and vegetarian options. Some of the items on the menu include Grass-Fed Beef Burrito Bowl with Guacamole, Brown Rice and Coriander ($12.90), Miso Salmon Grain Bowl and Sugar Snap ($14.90) and Vegetarian Baba Ghannouj Quinoa Salad ($12.90). Each of these meals boasts a low calorie count of between 400-600 per serving and have been carefully curated with a high-protein with low-fat content; ideal for weight watchers and the health-conscious.

Grass Fed Beef Burrito Bowl with Guacamole, Brown Rice, and Cabbage ($12.90): Although the brown rice was a tad dry, it was balanced by the tenderness of the beef and the guacamole. A wholesome choice at only 650 calories...


Overall, the California Series Miso Salmon Grain Bowl & Sugar Snap ($14.90) was more balanced with stir-fried peas and the medium-well doneness of the salmon fillet. The bright pink of the lotus root adds a spark of colour to the finish of the dish...

GA

The Cantonese brand, GA (家常), roughly translated to 'home-cooked', was designed by a team of Hong Kong based chefs with a focus on comfort food and affordability. It offers a selection of heart-warming Chinese favourites, mostly from about $8.00 per meal, reminiscent of Cantonese style comfort food like Sichuan Minced Beef with Sautéed Eggplant & Rice ($11.90), Slow-Cooked Chu Chow Beef Udon ($12.90) and Mongolian Cumin Pan-Fried Lamb with Baked Cauliflower and Rice ($8.90).

Steamed White Fish with Ginger Soy Sauce & Rice ($8.90): Served with jasmine white rice and cabbage, the steamed sole fillet was masked with the healthy taste of ginger and sesame oil...


Slow Chiu-Chow Beef Udon Stir-Fry Vegetables ($12.90):
An interesting fusion dish pairing a Chiu-Chow style braised beef with Japanese udon, and tossed with a tasty onion and shitake mushroom mix...


Spoonful meals currently retail via the Foodpanda delivery platform. Corporate orders can be made via the Spoonful app, which will be officially launched in November.



About NOSH & Spoonful

NOSH launched as a healthy western virtual restaurant in Hong Kong. Without a physical restaurant space, its approach to cooking and one-of-a-kind operation model enables its delivery and retail partners to meet the demands of its customers’ fast-paced and health-conscious lifestyle, without compromising on food quality and taste.

Spoonful is a group purchasing app that allows tenants in the same building or professionals in the same office to order from a curated daily menu. All meals arrive warm and savings are passed on to the employee by offering wholesale prices on all the food.

To deliver on its "Eat Smarter" motto, all Spoonful brand partners are produced in a cloud kitchen and delivered directly to the consumer through Foodpanda or the Spoonful delivery team.

For more information, go to:
NOSH: www.Nosh.sg | Instagram: @noshmeals
GA: www.thisisga.com | Instagram: @thisisga


Gardens By The Bay - Rhododendron Radiance

For the first time in Singapore, experience the lush blooms of more than 80 varieties of rhododendrons, which have been brought in for the inaugural Rhododendron Radiance floral display.


Rhododendrons are flowering bushes well-loved by gardeners around the world for their showy flowers that bloom in clusters from red and pink, to yellow and white. Some of the varieties of rhododendrons to look out for include: Rhododendron "Meadow Lemon", whose red-hued buds eventually become pale yellow flowers....



Rhododendron "Mount Loma Prieta" has pink flowers with apricot-yellow centres...

Rhododendron "Sierra Sunset" has bold blooms that combine orange, yellow and cream tones...

The smallest Rhododendron species - Rhododendron lapponicum and Rhododendron drumonium, range between 10-100 cm, while the tallest is reported to be over 30 metres in height! Rhodeodendrum arboretum, also known as Tree Rhododendron, discovered on Mt Japfu in India, holds the Guinness World Record for being the tallest Rhododendron at 32.91 metres at the point of its discovery, and it's still growing!


The floral display also features more than 10 varieties of azaleas, a close cousin of the rhododendron. These rhododendrons and azaleas were brought in from New Zealand. Due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand’s four seasons run counter to countries in the Northern Hemisphere, such as those in Europe and East Asia, as well as North America. Spring in New Zealand begins in September, which is when the rhododendrons in the country’s renowned parks and gardens bloom.



Azaleas usually have hairy leaves that are smaller and thinner, while Rhododendrons bloom in larger clusters...


See Gardens by the Bay’s bear mascots enjoying outdoor activities amidst the masses of brightly-coloured flowers with the eight bears trying their paws at camping, fishing, zip-lining and even hot air ballooning - activities reminiscent of the outdoor life in the national parks of New Zealand.

Flowering blooms alongside adorable bear mascots...


Bear mascots indulging in adventures reminiscent of the outdoor activities in national parks in New Zealand...


Rhododendron Radiance will run from today until 28 October 2019. For more details, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/rhododendron.


Winners In Sustainable Development At The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Singapore 2019



The 9th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) gala dinner and awards presentation ceremony was held last weekend at the St. Regis Singapore.


"We are privileged to bring together the country’s finest developers for our most successful edition yet of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore). These established and boutique developers inspire confidence with their commitment to innovation, green building standards, and heritage development."
--- Hari V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer, PropertyGuru Group ---



A total of 46 awards were presented, with UOL Group emerging as the biggest winner of the evening, sweeping up 12 trophies, including the coveted Best Developer award, Best Condo Development (Singapore), and the special awards for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), Sustainable Development, and Design and Construction.



The prestigious award programme expanded this year to include four new categories – Best Heritage Development (1953 by Oxley Holdings Ltd), Best Mega-Scale Condo Development (Parc Clematis by Sing-Haiyi Gold Pte Ltd), Best Strata Housing Development (Watercove by Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited), and Best Co-Working Space Design – to reflect growing trends in the Singapore real estate sector, as well as to recognise more quality projects in niche segments. The National Gallery was given the Special Recognition for Public Facility.



"Our goal remains the same: to help property seekers in Singapore discover the best projects for them though the injection of transparency and trust in our vision for building a Property Trust Platform, that includes our coveted awards programme, which remains the gold standard in Asian real estate."
--- Hari V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer, PropertyGuru Group ---



As a global leader and innovation hub for smart and sustainable building solutions in Asia, Singapore’s top developers contended for the Special Recognition in Sustainable Development award, which was eventually presented to three winners: Frasers Property Singapore, QingJian Realty (South Pacific) Group Pte. Ltd., and UOL Group Limited. Their respective projects demonstrated the smart use of design to reduce energy consumption, using green materials, while maintaining cost-effectiveness.



All the winners in Singapore will compete at the region-wide PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final to be held this November in Bangkok, for a chance to be crowned the "Best in Asia".



For more on the Asia Property Awards, visit www.asiapropertyawards.com.