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MISA 2017

In 2017, MDBC made the decision to rename the Awards Program to the MDBC Innovation & Sustainability Awards (MISA), reflecting the integral part that innovation plays in sustainability.  MISA enabled us to reach out to an even larger segment of the business community as we continued to evolve our successful Awards Program.

Successful and sustainable innovation is about persisting when the going gets tough, and rethinking your business in the face of disruption.  In order for an organization to be sustainable, it must innovate.  Further, intentionally or not, innovations often result in sustainability gains, therefore resulting in our new focus being Innovation and Sustainability.

For MISA 2017, the Award categories were Best Service Innovation, Best Product Innovation, and Most Innovative Start – Up.  MISA stimulated healthy competition and saw a record number of submissions from eager participants.  It created exposure opportunities for participants and generated a platform for our members to expand their network outside of the MDBC community.

After an intense day of competition and tough deliberation by the judges the winners of MISA 2017 were announced at the Awards Ceremony and Dinner (held immediately after the day program).  With awards presented by VIP Guest YB Brig. Jen. Khairy Jamaluddin (Minister of Youth & Sports) and Chief Judge H.E. Karen Mössenlechner (Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), the evening program proved to be an exciting, interactive, and learning experience for all attendees. 

Held on Thursday, 26 October 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, the following emerged as winners of MISA ’17!

Audience Award: Akzo Nobel Paints (Malaysia) (By Live Vote)
Most Innovative Start – Up: GROM
Best Service Innovation: &samhoud
Best Product Innovation: 
Sime Darby Plantation

Congratulations to the MDBC Innovation & Sustainability Awards 2017 Winners!  l to r: Low Kuan Shiuan (Brand Manager, Akzo Nobel Paints (Malaysia)), Koen Munneke (CEO, GROM), Ivan Yeung (GROM), YB Brig. Jen. Khairy Jamaluddin, H.E. Karin Mössenlechner, Marco Winter (Executive Director, MDBC), Mirjiam van Thiel (Honorary Treasurer, MDBC / Finance Director, Dutch Lady Milk Industries), Dr. David Ross Appleton (Head of Biotechnology and Breeding, Sime Darby Plantation Research & Development), Thomas van Dorsten (Communications Executive, MDBC), Sahil Sharma (Consultant, &samhoud), and Isma Husein (Consultant, &samhoud).

MISA 2017 Categories

2017 Categories

Please note that as always, the expert panel of MISA judges have the right to move a participant from one category to another if the judges believe that a different category is more appropriate / applicable.  For more information on the Judges of MISA 2017, please see the Judges panel.

The Award Categories for MISA 2017 were:

  1. Best Service Innovation

    The winner has a service innovation that is new or has significantly improved characteristics.  The innovation adds user value, enables entry into adjacent markets, or creates new markets.

    Examples & Quotes:
    * “Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices” – R.L. Duncan
    * AirAsia was the innovation leader in baggage self – tagging, e – boarding passes, and multi-currency 
       payment cards.
    * FedEx innovated their services by making the delivery process interactive with their customers.  
       You can now “live” track your package.

  2. Best Product Innovation 

    The winner has a product innovation that is new or has significantly improved characteristics.  The innovation adds user – value, enables entry into adjacent markets, or creates new markets.

    Examples & Quotes:
    * “Creativity is thinking up new things, innovation is doing new things” – Theodore Levitt
    * Modern day tourism has not been the same after the invention of the selfie stick
    * “Our solar roof compliments your homes architecture while turning sunlight into electricity” – Tesla
    * “with our new machine we made it possible to board oil platforms even during rough and bad weather”

  3. Most Innovative Start – up

    The winner is implementing an innovative service, product, or business concept.  You can apply for this award if the company has existed for less than 3 years and has less than 10 employees; the organization must also be a registered business entity.

    Examples & Quotes:
    * “Our start-up transforms used cooking oil into fresh scented handmade soaps”
    * “There are no old roads to new directions” – Boston Consulting Group
    * “The best way to predict the future is to invent it” – Alan Kay
    * “With our start up we have a technical solution for turning organic waste into animal feed”

All shortlisted nominees also competed for the ‘Audience Award’.  After the presentations at the day – program, each shortlisted nominee were invited to deliver a one minute elevator pitch in order to promote their project or start – up during the MISA Awards Ceremony & Dinner.  The audience was then invited to cast their vote for which nominee they thought deserved to win the ‘Audience Award’.  

MISA 2017 Shortlisted

The selection process in MISA 2017 proved to be difficult due to both the quality and the quantity of competitors (with a record number of entries for this, the sixth edition of the Awards Program).  Announced at a special press lunch hosted by the Chief Judge – H.E. Karin Mössenlechner (Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), the following were announced as shortlisted entries for MISA 2017.  These shortlisted companies were then invited to present their projects during the MISA 2017 Day Program (which was open to the general public) for a Q&A session and final judging.

Please note: Shortlisted nominees are listed in alphabetical order; the order is NOT indicative of any ranking.

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Best Service Innovation‘ category were:

Air Liquide Business Services – Creates expertise teams based on data analytics to optimize their operations: Predictive analytics for maintenance and optimizing energy efficiency.

LeadWomen – A platform in the board recruitment process providing a one stop solution for both boards looking for high caliber female candidates, and for female candidates looking for positions on corporate boards.

&samhoud – Using serious gaming and virtual / augmented reality in their consultancy services.

YTL Corporation – Holistic water treatment to reduce the impact of excess nutrients.

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Best Product Innovation‘ category were:

Akzo Nobel Paints (Malaysia) – A premium acrylic exterior paint which reduces the surface temperature of exterior walls resulting in cooler temperatures for interiors and a lower consumption in air – conditioning.

HEINEKEN Malaysia – Tiger beer eco packaging made from discarded coconut husks.

SBM Offshore – Software tools that allow offshore production crews, partners, and clients to work together to reduce flare volume from the company’s vessel, hence reducing the greenhouse effect of an operation.

Sime Darby Plantation – A method to increase crop yield potential in palm oil plantations.

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Most Innovative Start Up‘ category were:

AppyKoins – A new way to solve the problem of left over foreign currencies after international travel.

GROM – A B2B application in the healthcare IT space: using 3D scanning, mobile, and cloud computing to digitize the prescription process for custom medical devices.

KLCSI Venture – KLCSI is dedicated to researching and developing new ideas for enhancing the livability and quality of life in the Greater KL region.

MISA 2017 Judges

All MISA entries were judged by highly regarded, independent, expert individuals led by the Chief Judge – H.E. Karin Mössenlechner (Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands).  

After shortlisting entries to the top 3 in each category, judges do one final round of assessment during the MISA Day Program where each shortlisted nominee gives a presentation on their submission.  Judges and audience members alike are allowed to ask questions of each nominee before category judges meet privately to confer and tally up the points.  

Winners in each category are announced immediately after the Day Program at the MISA Awards Ceremony and Dinner.  This announcement is inclusive of a Judges Report on the winner’s submission highlighting the underlying core concept of MISA – the sharing of best practices which leads to an elevation in the understanding of Innovation & Sustainability.

CHIEF JUDGE – H.E. Karin Mössenlechner
Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands

The Ambassador started her diplomatic career in 1997.  She was first posted in The Hague, followed by a posting as Head of Political Section in New Delhi, India.  From 2006 – 2010, she was the Deputy Ambassador and Head of Economic Affairs in Berne, Switzerland.  From 2010 – 2011, she was Assistant Director for European Integration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.  She then went on a transfer to the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), where she worked as the Coordinator for Security Policy and Public Affairs, as well as Deputy Competition Leader for the Dutch Premier League (Eredivisie). From 2013 – 2016 she was back at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague as Deputy Director Security Policy and in the latter part of that period also as coordinator for MH17.  On 1 August 2016 the Ambassador took up her post here in Malaysia.


JUDGE A – Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris
General Manager – Government Relations, Shell Malaysia

Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris has made significant national contributions to Malaysia’s Green Technology and Sustainability efforts.  His most notable national contributions were the Malaysia’s Green Technology Policy and Malaysia’s Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan. Ir. Hadri is widely recognised for his success in transforming solar and renewable energy industries in Malaysia and was the architect of the Malaysian feed-in tariff.  


JUDGE B – Biruntha Mooruthi (Biru)
Vice President – Commercialisation Specialist / Head of Intellectual Property & Commercialisation, PlaTCOM Ventures

Biruntha is an intellectual property management and technology commercialisation specialist with broad experience in technology transfer and commercialisation domains. She is also a registered patent, trademark and industrial design agent with the Malaysian Intellectual Property Organisation. Biruntha had an eventful career with reputable organisations in intellectual property management, open innovation, technology commercialisation, marketing strategy and managing national driven programs in the technology transfer and IP commercialisation areas by supporting and facilitating universities, research organisations and companies from various industries.


JUDGE A – Susan van Boxtel
Advisor for Innovation, Technology & Science, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands – Singapore

Susan van Boxtel heads the regional team of the Holland Innovation Network, reporting to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.  She is trained as a biomedical scientist at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands and has worked for ten years in the pharmaceutical industry (Solvay and Organon). Her expertise is in pre-clinical pharmacology and translational biomarker research. She was part of the pioneering team to set up the MSD Translational Medicine Research Centre in Singapore before joining the Embassy in 2012.  


JUDGE A – Kees Slingerland
Business Director, AMS Institute (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions)

Kees Slingerland was Director General of the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG), Wageningen University and Research. Prior to this role, he worked as an Advisor for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), as well as Project Manager for Nehem Intl., a leading consultancy promoting international development. He was the Managing Director of ARCADIS Netherlands, a leading engineering firm in environment, buildings and infrastructure.


JUDGE B – Chua Hsui Lin
Head of Advisory, InvestKL

Chua Hsui Lin holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the University Putra Malaysia and international MBA from the EuropeseHogeschool Brussel.   To date, she has more than 15 years of experience mainly in corporate recovery, corporate advisory as well as strategic planning and management. Her functional expertise in the course of her career includes business diagnostic review, business process improvement, financing, financial modeling, R&D, benchmarking, strategic business development, risk management and corporate social responsibility, to name a few.  Her work has enabled her to gain insights into key industries such as hydroelectric power station, public sector education, public sector home loan, corporate investment, land transportation, construction, plantation and ecotourism.

MISA 2017 – Video 1

MDBC: MISA 2017 – Video 1

MISA 2017 – Video 2

MDBC: MISA 2017 – Video 2

MISA 2017 Supplement