29 July 2022
Continental launches co-pace to boost Singapore’s start-up ecosystem

Local and regional start-ups are set to get a boost from co-pace, which opens up access to the resources of Continental and its connections with car manufacturers

Start-ups from Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region can look forward to more help from Continental as well as Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG). The collaboration resulted in the launch of co-pace, a start-up organization of Continental which opened its Singapore office on 19 July 2022. 

The local office is the sixth co-pace office to open since the company’s launch in 2017. To date, its other locations are in China, Germany, Israel, Mexico and the USA.

Most may know of Continental as a tyre maker but that is actually just a part of a much larger conglomerate. Arguably, the German industrial giant is an even bigger player in the field of automotive tech. There is a good chance that the car you drive has some parts or components made or developed by Continental Automotive; infotainment systems, sensors, or even the lithium-ion batteries in some EVs can be found in almost every car made in the last 20 years. 

Being in the automotive technology space, co-pace naturally seeks to work together with start-ups in areas such as automated driving, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), data stack, intelligent rubber, industry 4.0, and sustainability. 

co-pace on Podcars

However, when speaking exclusively to AutoApp in our podcast, Jürgen Bilo, Managing Director of co-pace GmbH explained that his company will also support relevant start-ups that may not be directly related to the automotive sector as well. “Yes, especially when they are of strategic relevance. When you’re thinking about expanding your portfolio, you think about solutions that contributions that can be a first and/or last-mile delivery.” Robotics is one such example that Mr Bilo brings up. “We are invested in Volocopter which also plays a role here in Singapore”. 

Continental will be the first automotive MNC to partner with EnterpriseSG to set up a dedicated start-up organization in Singapore, co-pace, working to push innovation in the mobility sector in the APAC region. As the government agency championing enterprise development, EnterpriseSG will support the matching of suitable start-ups in Singapore to explore innovation collaborations with Continental under co-pace.

Addressing the invited guests at the launch co-pace, Lo Kien Foh, President and CEO of Continental Automotive Singapore said that collaborating has been in his company’s DNA from Day One. “At Continental, we are firm believers in the power of collaboration. Through our partnerships with others, including start-ups, we aim to take our products and services to the next level, and innovate to offer new ones to customers,” said Mr Lo. ”The launch of co-pace adds to Continental’s impressive Research and Development (R&D) capabilities in Singapore, complementing other initiatives like the S$50 million Continental-NTU Corporate Lab.”

co-pace collaborates with EnterpriseSG

“This partnership between EnterpriseSG and Continental will support more local start-ups to test new technologies in the mobility innovation space and through Continental’s strong support, to bring their solutions to the global market,” said Jeffrey Siow, EnterpriseSG’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer.

co-pace wasted no time in supporting local start-ups. At the official launch, the outfit signed no less than five Memoranda of Understanding, witnessed by Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Low Yen Ling.

Speaking at the event, Ms Low urged more industry players to harness Singapore’s “start-up ecosystem” to capture more opportunities. To this end, initiatives such as co-pace would catalyse open innovation in Singapore’s automotive and mobility sectors. 

With organizations like co-pace, it seems that there has never been a better time for entrepreneurs to innovate in Singapore.

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