In the construction industry, coatings are widely used for decorative and functional purposes. Examples of functional applications include anti-corrosion, water resistance and heat reflection. Nipo International Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based coatings specialist manufacturer, was keen to expand its capabilities. It was also looking into more environmentally sustainable solutions combined with enhanced performance due to changing market demands.
Nipo’s early years were spent developing bituminous coatings used for waterproofing application. Since then, it had invested substantially to improve and broaden its manufacturing competency in bitumen-based and other coatings. As part of its drive to create new product offerings, Nipo aspired to manufacture a multi-functional coating platform with both protective and anti-radiation applications, along with a reduced impact on the environment.
Nipo first approached IPI via its online technology marketplace, which features innovative technologies from a wide range of industries. Through a face-to-face meeting to better understand their needs, Nipo was matched with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as it had the expertise in inorganic coating technology which suited Nipo’s requirements. A Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) was subsequently signed between the pair to co-develop an environmentally-friendly coating technology platform, which could be functionalised according to the needs of its clients. The R&D collaboration is currently ongoing and Nipo anticipates significant impact on its business innovation and performance when the product is fully developed.
“SMEs like Nipo may not have the resources and expertise to venture into R&D of new products. IPI not only provides the necessary guidance and advice, but more importantly, exposes SMEs to the latest technology to tackle the challenges faced by the SMEs’ respective industries. IPI has an important role in SMEs’ transformation from traditional to innovative approach,” commented Mrs Amanda Khoo, Director of Nipo International Pte Ltd.