New Ventures Makes New Investments in Technology

Our new ventures department focuses on technology and innovation. It aims to add strategic value to the Company’s operations in two distinct ways – by accelerating technology trials and adoption at Swire Properties; and through actively engaging with and investing in technology companies. The new ventures department works closely with global venture capital firms, technology companies, accelerators, incubators, and other organisations to achieve these goals.

In 2020, the department established a US$50 million corporate venture capital fund to invest in relevant and innovative technology companies. The fund’s first investment was made in June 2020 with US$3 million invested in a global property technology accelerator and venture capital fund. These investments will not only produce financial returns but will also connect the Company with best-in-class technology companies and industry partners across the world.

Creating a Cultural Shift with the Innovation Accelerator

The Innovation Accelerator is a new initiative designed to foster a culture of innovation at Swire Properties. The programme has identified 150 Change Agents to help drive change across the Company, and will provide them with training to empower them, platforms to motivate them, and opportunities to collaborate with them. These Change Agents will then become leaders who influence their colleagues in their respective departments, helping to create a Company-wide cultural shift towards innovation.

After identifying the 150 Change Agents earlier in 2020, we launched several training workshops for them beginning in Q4 2020, including a design thinking workshop and a workshop focused on artificial intelligence (“AI”), big data and machine learning, which looked at how to develop AI strategies and eventually create an AI roadmap for the Company.

In 2021, we plan to have these Change Agents complete more training activities and begin working to promote a collaborative culture of innovation within Swire Properties.

The Innovation Accelerator is a new initiative designed to foster a culture of innovation at Swire Properties. The programme has identified 150 Change Agents to help drive change across the Company, and will provide them with training to empower them, platforms to motivate them, and opportunities to collaborate with them. These Change Agents will then become leaders who influence their colleagues in their respective departments, helping to create a Company-wide cultural shift towards innovation.

After identifying the 150 Change Agents earlier in 2020, we launched several training workshops for them beginning in Q4 2020, including a design thinking workshop and a workshop focused on artificial intelligence (“AI”), big data and machine learning, which looked at how to develop AI strategies and eventually create an AI roadmap for the Company.

In 2021, we plan to have these Change Agents complete more training activities and begin working to promote a collaborative culture of innovation within Swire Properties.

Awarding Great Ideas Through ideas@work

ideas@work is an annual programme that promotes and stimulates innovation within the Company. Employees are invited to share their ideas on how to improve operations and productivity, and are rewarded by seeing their ideas come to life.

In 2020, ideas@work received nearly 1,000 entries – the highest since 2014 and more than double the number of ideas received in 2019. Of these, 439 were approved for implementation across our business units.

The theme of this year’s ideas@work was “Smarter Process, Better Experience” – aiming to collect ideas that create better value for the Company, place a greater emphasis on efficiency enhancement, and improve the customer experience.

This year’s winners were:

  • Top prize: “AI Forecasting by Machine Learning” – a proposal to build an artificial intelligence prediction model which uses machine learning to produce budgets in a more systematic and scientific manner, hoping to increase accuracy and thereby better support management’s strategic decision making;
  • First runner-up: “Digital Interactive Development Model” – using digital solutions to create a concept gallery and virtual show flats using virtual reality technology to provide a more engaging customer journey; and
  • Second runner-up: “Tenant Fit-Out Submission Portal” – jointly supported by three retail portfolios in Hong Kong, the project aims to streamline the current tenant fit-out process and provide instant updates and feedback to tenants.

The winners of the two ideas@work Special Mention Awards focused on the shift towards omnichannel retail, with malls having become places for social interaction, rather than solely making transactions. Both of the winning ideas proposed alternative rental models, one being charging rent based on footfall, a new outcome-based metric to capture additional revenue; and the other being providing a reduction in rent in exchange for a percentage of online sales within a specific region.

ideas@work is an annual programme that promotes and stimulates innovation within the Company. Employees are invited to share their ideas on how to improve operations and productivity, and are rewarded by seeing their ideas come to life.

In 2020, ideas@work received nearly 1,000 entries – the highest since 2014 and more than double the number of ideas received in 2019. Of these, 439 were approved for implementation across our business units.

The theme of this year’s ideas@work was “Smarter Process, Better Experience” – aiming to collect ideas that create better value for the Company, place a greater emphasis on efficiency enhancement, and improve the customer experience.

This year’s winners were:

  • Top prize: “AI Forecasting by Machine Learning” – a proposal to build an artificial intelligence prediction model which uses machine learning to produce budgets in a more systematic and scientific manner, hoping to increase accuracy and thereby better support management’s strategic decision making;
  • First runner-up: “Digital Interactive Development Model” – using digital solutions to create a concept gallery and virtual show flats using virtual reality technology to provide a more engaging customer journey; and
  • Second runner-up: “Tenant Fit-Out Submission Portal” – jointly supported by three retail portfolios in Hong Kong, the project aims to streamline the current tenant fit-out process and provide instant updates and feedback to tenants.

The winners of the two ideas@work Special Mention Awards focused on the shift towards omnichannel retail, with malls having become places for social interaction, rather than solely making transactions. Both of the winning ideas proposed alternative rental models, one being charging rent based on footfall, a new outcome-based metric to capture additional revenue; and the other being providing a reduction in rent in exchange for a percentage of online sales within a specific region.

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Communication and Engagement

This year, our communication and engagement efforts were focused on virtual meetings and online communication platforms.

Tenants

We work closely with our commercial tenants to help them integrate sustainability practices into their operations.

Green Financing

We are committed to integrating sustainability considerations into our financing mechanisms.

Communication and Engagement

This year, our communication and engagement efforts were focused on virtual meetings and online communication platforms.

Tenants

We work closely with our commercial tenants to help them integrate sustainability practices into their operations.

Green Financing

We are committed to integrating sustainability considerations into our financing mechanisms.