The Live Well Collaborative Singapore (LWC-S) was launched today at the Singapore Polytechnic to help businesses tap into the emerging baby boomer market in Asia, estimated to spend US$1.5 trillion per year by 2015.(i)
Brought to Singapore by the Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), the LWC-S is an independent innovation research center focused on revolutionizing product design and development for consumers aged 50 and above in Asia.
It is an extension of the Live Well Collaborative in Cincinnati (LWC-C), the breakthrough business-academia partnership model pioneered by P&G and the University of Cincinnati in the US, based on P&G's Connect+Develop open innovation model. The C+D model promotes the co-creation of products and services with the best innovators outside the organization.
Commenting on the potential of this market in Asia, Deb Henretta, Group President, P&G Asia, said, "I am personally delighted that we have been able to build on our existing Live Well Collaborative (LWC) with the University of Cincinnati in US and extend it to Asia by joining hands with Singapore Polytechnic.
"Traditionally, new products have been targeted at younger consumers, and companies that are first-to-market with novel products and solutions that delight the underserved baby boomer market in Asia will open new sources of business growth. Based on the success of the original LWC and our Connect+Develop model, we are confident that the LWC-S will enhance P&G's and other corporate partners' product design capabilities in Asia."
Currently, more than half the older population in the world lives in Asia (54 percent)(ii). In the next decade, the over-50 population will total almost 1 billion across the Asia Pacific(iii) and mature consumers are estimated to spend US$1.5 trillion per year by 2015(i).
The LWC-S, led by Singapore Polytechnic in close collaboration with the University of Cincinnati, will conduct early phase product research with a particular focus on design for member companies looking to target the over-50 consumer. It will follow the inter-disciplinary approach of the LWC-C and leverage Singapore Polytechnic's strengths in Design, Engineering, and other disciplines to re-think the design of products to meet the changing lifestyle and physical needs of the target group.
Tan Hang Cheong, Principal of Singapore Polytechnic, said that the LWC-S is a win-win partnership between academia and businesses. "Singapore Polytechnic's students and faculty would be enriched through access to companies' emerging consumer knowledge and increased real-world research and learning opportunities, and in turn, member companies would have access to innovative insights from faculty and students who see consumer opportunities with fresh eyes and unbiased perspectives." He added that this would also increase students' employability and prepare them to enter the job market.
Thien Kwee Eng, Director, Lifestyle Program Office, Economic Development Board said, "Singapore, with its cultural affinity and connectivity to Asia, is an ideal innovation hub for companies to gather consumer insights and create solutions for the region."
"P&G's initiative to bring the LWC to Singapore attests to our efforts to facilitate strategic industry collaborations that will foster consumer-centric design innovation activities. This supports Singapore's aspirations to be a leading consumer business center in Asia."
Adding his insights, Craig Vogel, President of LWC-C, and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at the College of Design Architecture Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati said that the over-50 consumer of today wants to continue their current quality of life as they age. "Younger consumers look for the latest technology breakthrough while 50 plus consumers look for comprehensive innovation. A new product for over-50 consumers must be technologically advanced but also easy to adopt into and support the needs of aging consumers' diverse and active lifestyles.
"To put it simply, while young consumers suffer for fashion, 50 plus consumers want products that look good but end suffering."
Recognizing the business potential of the LWC-S, Boeing, along with P&G, has joined the LWC-S as a founding member.
"Boeing is joining Live Well Collaborative Singapore to gain additional insights into the aging population demographic which has become a driving factor for many of our airline customers," said Peter Hoffman, director of Global R&D Strategy for Boeing Research & Technology.
"Our goal is to leverage the design and technical community's expertise so that our airplane cabin designs incorporate the latest capabilities to enable all people to travel with greater comfort and ease."
LWC-S welcomes corporations interested in opening up new business opportunities in the 50 plus consumer market in Asia by delivering novel solutions designed specifically for their needs.
About Procter & Gamble - Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®.
The P&G community includes approximately 127,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.
About Singapore Polytechnic (www.sp.edu.sg) - Established in 1954 to meet the manpower needs identified by the government, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore's first polytechnic. Its nine academic schools offer 49 full-time diploma courses for its 15,500 students and courses are kept relevant through close links with industry and government bodies, as well as with various overseas institutions.
SP offers broad-based, multi-disciplinary and flexible curriculum dedicated to hands-on experience and is committed to the development of its applied research and development capability to enhance the quality of teaching and commercialization efforts. Beyond the classroom, close to 100 student clubs covering areas like arts, culture, sports and community service make student life vibrant and fulfilling. The presence of foreign students from countries such as China, India and Indonesia also provides a variety of cultures and perspectives, nurturing a global mindset in SP students.
Among SP's 150,000 graduates are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multinational and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals, many of whom are captains of industries, university professors and researchers, and leaders in government.
About University of Cincinnati - The University of Cincinnati, Ohio's premier urban research university, traces its origins to 1819. For many years, the University of Cincinnati was the second oldest and second largest municipal university in the country.
In 1906, the University of Cincinnati created the first cooperative education program in the world. In 1968, UC became a "municipally sponsored, state affiliated" institution, entering a
transitional period culminating on July 1, 1977 when UC joined the University System of Ohio.
Today, the University of Cincinnati is classified as a Research University (Very High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Commission, and is ranked as one of America's top 25 public research universities by the National Science Foundation.
The latest edition of U.S. News & World Report's annual college guide lists the University of Cincinnati among its "Best National Universities," and continues to cite UC as an "up and comer." The Chronicle of Higher Education calls UC a "research heavyweight," and the influential Times Higher Education magazine, based in London, England, just ranked UC among the top 200 global universities in its annual world university rankings. In those ranking, UC was placed 190th among all universities, 69th among United States universities, and 28th among U.S. public universities.
(i) Kimberly Spykerman and Stacey China, 3 May 2010, Hey there, silver spender, The Straits Times
(ii) Population aging and Development 2009, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Last accessed 14 September 2010.
(iii) The Future Demographics Asia Pacific report, Euromonitor International, November 2009