L’Oréal Singapore has announced a series of initiatives it is undertaking in partnerships with Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), with the aim to nurture the innovation and entrepreneurial business skills of final year undergraduates.

At the same time, it will also be collaborating with National University of Singapore (NUS) on pioneering soil microbe research that could shape the future of green sciences. This was announced at the global beauty brand's inaugural Singapore Showcase event on Friday (19 April 2024).

Details on the partnerships are as follow:

Partnerships with SMU and SUSS to run L’Oréal Brandstorm

The partnership with SMU and SUSS will see the introduction of L’Oréal Brandstorm, its signature innovation competition for young people. The competition will be a key component of SMU’s curriculum, while SUSS will encourage its students to participate in this competition as part of their educational experience.

Starting in 2025, for a period of three years, final year undergraduates at SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) taking ‘The Design of Business’, a 13-week mandatory capstone course, will work on the L’Oréal Brandstorm competition challenge. This multi-disciplinary and experiential SMU-X course consolidates student knowledge and skills in finance, marketing, and innovation & entrepreneurship, and will involve mentoring by L’Oréal senior business leaders.

L’Oréal will also share business insights into marketing and consumer behaviour through other undergraduate and postgraduate programmes held at SMU.

Additionally, SMU and L’Oréal will collaborate on career development, job placement opportunities, as well as capability building through training programmes. These will prepare undergraduates for careers in marketing and technology, and enhance their employability in an increasingly competitive global job market.

Under the partnership with SUSS, all students will be encouraged to participate in L’Oréal Brandstorm, with the aim of offering it as a credited module. SUSS and L’Oréal will also collaborate on career development and job placement opportunities, as well as capability building through training programmes. The company said these initiatives are designed to equip SUSS students for careers in digital marketing and technological innovation, aiming to enhance their employability in the competitive global jobs market and prepare them to contribute to entrepreneurial foresight and beauty technology ideation.

Conducting pioneering research in green sciences alongside NUS

The collaboration with NUS' Environmental Research Institute will see both conducting pioneering research on soil and plant microbes – the naturally occurring microorganisms in soil and those living in and around plants. The joint research initiative aims to find new ways to improve soil health and increase plant yield without needing more land or relying on chemical fertilisers – what has been deemed as a mutually important area of study.

Researchers in a joint L'Oréal and NUS Agritech Centre ‘grow zone’ will conduct research analysis and lab assessments that advance understanding and use of beneficial soil microbes to increase the yields of commercially important crops in a climate-controlled environment. If successful, this will be followed by field trials for potential deployment of these solutions commercially.

The plant varieties selected are used in the formulation of cosmetics and skincare products. L'Oréal noted that this research initiative could also be potentially applied to Singapore’s food security research and innovation initiatives including Singapore's '30 by 30' food security goal, which aims to produce 30% of the country's nutritional requirements locally by 2030 for a more resilient food future.

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