Media Releases

Rotman School Partners with Singapore Polytechnic to launch DesignWorks Singapore

September 28, 2010

Singapore/Toronto — The birth of Design­Works Sin­ga­pore at Sin­ga­pore Poly­tech­nic (SP) has opened up a new avenue for busi­ness enter­pris­es, sec­tor asso­ci­a­tions, and gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions in Sin­ga­pore to iden­ti­fy oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth and inno­va­tion. Part­ner­ing with Rot­man Design­Works, which is part of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment, SP aims to be the leader and cham­pi­on in encour­ag­ing busi­ness enter­pris­es in Sin­ga­pore to inte­grate the dis­ci­pline of Busi­ness Design into plan­ning as a plat­form for inno­va­tion and growth.

For over five years, lead­ers at the Rot­man School such as Dean Roger Mar­tin and Heather Fras­er, Direc­tor of Rot­man Design­Works, have been instru­men­tal in help­ing dri­ve Busi­ness Design into busi­ness, mar­ket­ing and cor­po­rate cul­ture of major cor­po­ra­tions and entre­pre­neurs in North Amer­i­ca.

Busi­ness Design is a dis­ci­plined method­ol­o­gy and a lead­ing edge way of think­ing that takes the best prin­ci­ples and prac­tices from the world of design, and applies them to busi­ness strat­e­gy. Invit­ed to con­tribute to the devel­op­ment of new skills that can help Sin­ga­pore achieve its high ambi­tions for inno­va­tion and com­pet­i­tive­ness, the Rot­man School is poised to import their approach to Busi­ness Design into the Sin­ga­pore mar­ket.

SP Prin­ci­pal Mr. Tan Hang Cheong revealed that for a start, SP staff are being equipped with Busi­ness Design capa­bil­i­ties and com­pe­ten­cy through Rotman’s Busi­ness Design Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram. Togeth­er, SP and the Rot­man School will offer a range of prod­ucts and ser­vices designed to meet the needs of enter­pris­es via Design­Works Sin­ga­pore. Mr. Tan added, “We share the belief that cre­ativ­i­ty and inno­va­tion is the next leap for enter­pris­es and we have tak­en the first step to engage Busi­ness Design. Sin­ga­pore Poly­tech­nic, being the country’s first poly­tech­nic, has the added advan­tage of deep knowl­edge in design, busi­ness, engi­neer­ing and the sci­ences, plus broad expe­ri­ence gained from indus­try part­ner­ships and trans­la­tion­al research oppor­tu­ni­ties that have turned ideas into mon­ey-mak­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices. SP is proud to part­ner with Rot­man who is a world leader in Busi­ness Design.”

“Sin­ga­pore has demon­strat­ed one of the most ambi­tious com­mit­ments to design in the world – a true reflec­tion on the for­ward-think­ing stance Sin­ga­pore is admired for around the world. The dis­ci­pline of Busi­ness Design can bring an impor­tant new com­pe­ten­cy in iden­ti­fy­ing new oppor­tu­ni­ties, and shap­ing new strate­gies for accel­er­at­ed growth and com­pet­i­tive­ness in Sin­ga­pore. Sin­ga­pore Poly­tech­nic has the depth of tal­ent and con­vic­tion to take on an impor­tant lead­er­ship role in build­ing a local com­pe­ten­cy in this dis­ci­pline,” said Heather Fras­er, Direc­tor, Rot­man Design­Works, who is also an adjunct pro­fes­sor at the Rot­man School.

“SPRING Sin­ga­pore has been encour­ag­ing our enter­pris­es to inno­vate, and Design­Works Sin­ga­pore will intro­duce a new dimen­sion of busi­ness think­ing to ben­e­fit local com­pa­nies. Through Design­Works new busi­ness design pro­gram, enter­pris­es can build up design capa­bil­i­ties and inte­grate their strate­gic think­ing to achieve inno­v­a­tive growth for their busi­ness­es,” said Mr. Philip Yeo, Chair­man, SPRING Sin­ga­pore.

To date, twelve Sin­ga­pore-based enter­pris­es have par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Busi­ness Design Pro­gram con­duct­ed by Rot­man Design­Works and have iden­ti­fied oppor­tu­ni­ties by embed­ding Busi­ness Design into exist­ing enter­prise devel­op­ment prac­tices.

One such enter­prise is recent­ly list­ed Jason Marine Group, a lead­ing inte­grat­ed marine equip­ment solu­tions provider estab­lished in 1976. Keen to grow and dif­fer­en­ti­ate itself from its com­peti­tors, Jason Marine embarked on the Busi­ness Design pro­gram to cre­ate new break­throughs for its busi­ness.

Mr. Joseph Foo, Exec­u­tive Chair­man and Founder of Jason Marine Group said, “We are glad for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to go through this exer­cise. The pro­gram has equipped us with the method­ol­o­gy to incor­po­rate key sys­tems into our process flow to ensure enhanced per­for­mance for the Group. With a bet­ter under­stand­ing of our­selves, our cus­tomers will also know what we can do for them.”

About Sin­ga­pore Poly­tech­nic (

Estab­lished in 1954 to meet the man­pow­er needs iden­ti­fied by the gov­ern­ment, Sin­ga­pore Poly­tech­nic (SP) is Singapore’s first edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tion of its kind. Its nine aca­d­e­m­ic schools offer 49 full-time diplo­ma cours­es for its 15,000 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 90 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 Sin­ga­pore Poly­tech­nic 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 the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

Rot­man Design­Works is the Rot­man School’s cen­tre for design-based inno­va­tion and edu­ca­tion, focus­ing on Strat­e­gy and Busi­ness Design. As an aca­d­e­m­ic and com­mer­cial ‘learn­ing lab’, they have built strong ties to indus­try and a grow­ing net­work of local and inter­na­tion­al part­ners. They offer degree pro­grams as well as exec­u­tive edu­ca­tion pro­grams to enter­pris­ing orga­ni­za­tions across all sec­tors.

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is redesign­ing busi­ness edu­ca­tion for the 21st cen­tu­ry with a cur­ricu­lum based on Inte­gra­tive Think­ing. Locat­ed in the world’s most diverse city, the Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables the design of cre­ative busi­ness solu­tions.  The School is cur­rent­ly rais­ing $200 mil­lion to ensure Cana­da has the world-class busi­ness school it deserves. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


For Infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Fol­low on Twit­ter — @rotmanschool