The US manufacturing giant, which focuses on innovation, has invested more than $1 billion in Singapore – its base for Southeast Asian operations. The company attributed the deep trust in Singapore to country’s safety, efficient logistics systems and talent pool.
3M started operations in Singapore with only eight employees. It now employs more than 1,600 people across three facilities in Tuas, Yishun and Woodlands. Yishun houses its customer technical centre, while its manufacturing plant in Woodlands produces diverse products such as N95 respirators, window films and traffic safety systems.
The Woodlands centre is also home to the company’s first Smart Urban Solutions (SUS) lab, focused on addressing issues in urbanisation. The $10 million centre focuses on technology such as delivering clean air, clean water and energy efficiency. These are areas the company believes can be scaled and replicated across the region as Asia confronts rapid urbanisation.
The SUS is now concentrating its attention on three main areas. One is energy technology, which includes smart energy management, efficiency and productivity improvement. The second is information communications technologies integration which takes in sensing communications and analytics. Finally, the centre also tackles environment and water technologies such as green materials, residential and industrial water treatment and air filtration.