FuturePlace Interview Spotlight, Andrew Young
FuturePlace recently interviewed Andrew Young, Associate Director (Innovation) of Sino Group where he shared his insights PropTech Innovation and Sustainability in Real Estate. Andrew discussed Sino Group’s innovative approach to transforming the real estate industry in Hong Kong and beyond. Discover how this forward-thinking organisation is nurturing talent, investing in innovation, and driving sustainability initiatives while maintaining a global perspective.
FuturePlace: Hi Andrew, what is your role and responsibilities within Sino Group?
Andrew Young: My role is Head of Innovation function, basically my department champions innovation and development in Sino group which we have created a Sino in a platform where we work with tech companies and startups to bring in innovation into our ecosystem because we believe in contributing in ecosystem both internally and globally.
We also look for investment opportunities from tech companies and help them to nurture and grow and scale them up to patch their journey, not just in Hong Kong but also in south-east Asia and now entering in Australia.
FuturePlace: What innovations are you seeing in the market that most impress you?
Andrew Young: PropTech in Hong Kong is a fast-growing sector that will transform the real estate industry, especially for innovations prioritising sustainability and digitalisation in property development and management. Hong Kong is an ideal testing ground for new PropTech solutions and technologies for Asia deployment. This demand for innovation creates a rich environment for PropTech companies to develop and test their products and services. Dedicated to supporting innovation and technology, Sino Group established Sino Inno Lab in 2008 to provide a sandbox platform that supports start-ups, inventors and technology companies from Hong Kong and overseas to develop proptech solutions. Launched PropXTech in 2020 to connect start-ups, inventors, technology companies and the local real estate industry. Examples of innovation solutions prioritising sustainability and digitalisation: The Enertainer, OpenSpace, EcoBricks, etc.
Hong Kong’s strategic location and unique global financial and business hub position make it an ideal location for PropTech companies looking to enter the mainland China market. Hong Kong’s strong connectivity to the rest of the world and highly developed infrastructure makes it a valuable gateway to the vast and rapidly growing Chinese market.
FuturePlace: What innovation are you personally driving across Sino Groups Portfolio?
Andrew Young: Sino Group fully supports the overall development of the I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong. We engage with internal and external stakeholders to co-create and promote original innovation in society.
- Nurturing talents: Hong Kong Science Fair, The HKUST–Sino One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition
- Supporting start ups: Sino Inno Lab, PropXTech
- Encouraging colleagues: Sinovation
FuturePlace: What PropTechs are you investing in at the moment?
Andrew Young: Innovation is the foundation for a more sustainable future. We invest in innovation to develop new ideas for the real estate industry that can positively impact our business and our communities.
Sino Inno Lab engaged over 800 innovators, from which collaborations more than 100 new technologies have already been trailed or applied in Sino Group’s business and operations. For example, The Enertainer, OpenSpace, EcoBricks, etc.
In 2020, we launched the inaugural PropXTech, a corporate innovation programme, to incubate and grow promising property technology solutions to advance the long term development of the real estate industry in Asia. We then collaborate with Hongkong Land to co-organise PropXTech 2022/2023.
This year’s programme attracted more than 3,000 applications from 70 countries and territories, while some finalists are applying to our daily operation, such as Verobotics and Visionaries 777.
“Innovation is the foundation for a more sustainable future. We invest in innovation to develop new ideas for the real estate industry that can positively impact our business and our communities.”
FuturePlace: How important is the road to Net Zero, and is it getting easier to navigate for real estate companies?
Andrew Young: Sustainability is integral to Sino Group’s business, and decarbonisation is one of the focuses of our strategy; we are committed to achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2050.
As a responsible player in the market, we have set up goals and defined our strategies to achieve sustainability, which include: Sustainability Vision 2030
- Decarbonisation Blueprint
- Standalone Climate Action Report – formulated in alignment with Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”)
- Invest and build sustainable buildings with the certification of BEAM Plus and WELLTM certifications, etc.
Combining the know-how, resources and our established platforms, we are delighted that we can identify and nurture promising proptech innovators from around the globe to encourage sustainability and digitalisation. We look forward to positively impacting Hong Kong’s proptech landscape through continued engagement with industry peers and start-ups.
Real Estate Innovation Festival
Andrew will be speaking at the Real Estate Innovation Festival, taking place on 23-24 October 2023 in Sydney. Bringing together the top owners, operators, developers, investors, media, PropTech startups, and technology & service providers from across the country at the go-to event for the Australasia real estate technology movement. Together, let’s build the future of real estate.