Tackling Innovation with External Technical Experts


Many enterprises today understand that innovation is critical to business success. While larger organisations may have the research and development resources to support their product development needs, smaller enterprises often find it a struggle to manage innovation challenges that require in-depth technical knowledge.

Home-grown automotive grooming and detailing service provider Artdeshine faced a similar predicament a year ago. Its founder Alfred Yow was looking for a technical expert with the necessary technical expertise and facilities to optimise the company's formulation of its car care products and testing process. Artdeshine created its in-house range of car care products in 2003 to complement the automotive detailing service it offers.

Artdeshine posted their concerns on IPI's TechExpert portal. Recognising that the New Materials Technology Centre (NMTC), established in Republic Polytechnic's (RP) School of Applied Science, had extensive research in materials innovation such as coating formulation, IPI introduced RP to them.

An agreement in the form of a consultancy project was signed between RP and Artdeshine in June 2019 to study and to enhance their in-house formulation of its car products and testing process.

The collaboration involved Artdeshine working closely with RP lecturers, Dr Gabriel Lee and Foo Kay Yang, to tap on their capabilities in advanced materials development.

"Through the TechExpert matching project facilitated by IPI, Artdeshine has gained new technical knowledge from the RP experts to enhance our in-house processes," said Yow.

He shared, "We need to innovate and explore new ways to improve our existing products and processes and also create new ones that serve our market segment. In the long run, this serves to differentiate ourselves from our competitors."

The successful outcome from the first project has also led to another collaboration between Artdeshine and RP. "We are exploring new opportunities to optimise our coating formulation for increased performance," added Yow.