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In the context of the APO, a COE is defined as an institution with a world-class level of competency and leadership, exemplary performance, and best practices in a specific body of knowledge or focus area which contribute to productivity. It also has the drive to achieve and sustain the highest standards in the focus area.
In recognition of the importance of strengthening the BE capabilities of APO member countries, the 51st GBM designated SPRING Singapore as the pilot COE on BE in 2009. It was originally to be supported by the APO for two years. The support was then extended to March 2013.
The following were the key objectives of the COE on BE established at the outset:
|17–20 October 2011||Business Excellence Global Conference, Singapore|
|18 October 2011||BE CEO Roundtable, Singapore|
|9–10 November 2010||BE Global Conference
About 400 participants from 16 countries, including APO member countries, attended the conference. BE practitioners and experts from the USA, Europe, India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Singapore spoke at the conference.
|8 November 2010||BE CEO Roundtable
Twenty business leaders from various countries attended the BE CEO Roundtable to share their experiences in steering their organizations through the global economic crisis. Mr. C.V. Jagadish, CEO, Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte. Ltd., chaired the discussion.
|15–18 December 2009||Conference on Quality Award Winners and APO Regional Meeting on Quality Award Winners and BE Systems in Thailand
The COE facilitated the participation of Mr. C.V. Jagadish, CEO, Systems of Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte. Ltd., a Singapore Quality Award winner, as a speaker at the conference.
|3–4 November 2009||BE Global Conference
About 500 participants from 22 countries, including APO member countries, attended the conference. Experts and BE program administrators from the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Thailand, India, New Zealand, Mexico, and Singapore spoke at the conference. There were also presentations by BE/quality award winners from Japan, India, Thailand, Denmark, Australia, Mongolia, the USA, and Singapore.
|24–28 August 2009||Multicountry Observational Study Mission on Quality Awards in APO Member Countries to Japan
This study mission focused on management excellence for SMEs, and the COE provided a speaker from a Singapore SME Business Excellence Award winner, Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd., to shared best practices with participants.
|17–21 October 2011||APO Workshop for BE Consultants, Singapore|
|19–20 May 2011||Workshop to Develop a BE Consultants’ Manual, Singapore|
|24–25 March 2011||Workshop to Develop a Self-help Toolkit on BE for SMEs, Singapore|
|2010||Development of a BE Assessors’ Training Manual
This manual comprises a trainer’s guide and a participant’s workbook.
|8–12 November 2010||Regional Training Workshop for Senior BE Assessors
Eighteen participants from 11 APO member countries attended the workshop, which was aimed at enhancing their capabilities to train assessors in their own countries and at gathering their feedback on the Assessors’ Training Manual developed by the COE.
|5–6 November 2009||Workshop for Senior BE Assessors
Eighteen participants from 10 APO member countries attended this workshop, where the core competencies of assessors were identified. The COE worked on the Assessors’ Training Manual as a follow-up to this workshop.
|11–16 July 2011||One Singaporean expert visited the NPO of Pakistan for Quality Award Assessor Development Training.|
|25–27 January 2011||Visit by a Study Team from the President’s Office, Mongolia, to Singapore, on BE.|
|2010||The COE sent experts to Thailand and Pakistan to advise on initiatives to develop or strengthen BE programs.|
|2010||Development of a database on BE experts was initiated. This database serves as a useful reference to help APO members identify suitable experts to assist them or organizations in their countries.|
|2009||The COE assigned an expert from 4–7 October to help the Development Academy of the Philippines develop an action plan to enhance the Philippine Quality Award program.|
|2009||The COE assigned an expert from 2–3 August to help the NPO of Bangladesh develop an action plan to introduce a quality award program.|
|2009||APO Research Survey on BE Impact on Adopting Organizations
The COE provided inputs on the research methodology, broad areas for investigation, and survey questionnaire for this APO research conducted by Dr. Robin Mann, Director, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Massey University, New Zealand. The key research findings were presented at the APO Regional Meeting on BE/Quality Award Systems in Thailand in December. The COE took into consideration the key BE priorities identified through this research in the development of its 2010 and 2011 work plans.
|19–25 July 2011||One US expert visited Singapore for enhancing the institutional capability of the APO’s designated COE, SPRING Singapore, in administering the Singapore Quality Award.|
|2010||Two experts from the USA and Europe were assigned to the COE in July to provide advice on the COE’s Assessors’ Training Manual and to share best practices in BE.|
|2009||Two experts from the USA and Europe were assigned to the COE in July to provide advice on the BE Award assessment process in Singapore and to help ensure that the assessment process advocated by the COE continues to be internationally aligned.|
The Fiji Business Excellence Awards (FBEAs) were launched in 1998, with the aim of encouraging organizations to implement quality and productivity measures in the workplace. The FBEA framework is based on the Australian Business Excellence framework and is comparable with other awards throughout the world.
The Japan Quality Award was established in 1995 by the Japan Productivity Center (formerly known as Japan Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development). It was modeled after the concept of self-assessment of organizational work and is structured in such a way that any organization, regardless of its business or size, can use it to assess performance.
The Industry Excellence Awards in Malaysia are aimed at promoting quality awareness among various organizations, promoting the adoption of quality values in organizations, encouraging healthy competition among organizations for continuous improvement of quality, and encouraging information sharing on successful performance strategies and the benefits derived from using these strategies.
The Prime Minister’s Quality Award was developed on the basis of globally recognized BE principles found in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards and other similar schemes. Its intent is to promote awareness of productivity and its impact on competitiveness, disseminate the requirements for excellence in quality, and share information on successful strategies and on benefits derived.
The Philippine Quality Award is the highest level of national recognition for exemplary organizational performance. It aims to stimulate local companies and organizations to improve quality and productivity for the pride of recognition while obtaining a competitive edge and providing examples to others. It also promotes the sharing of information and benchmarking of best practices and results among organizations pursuing quality improvement.
The BE model adopted in Singapore is based on universally accepted standards of the US Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, EFQM Excellence Award, and Australian Business Excellence Award. It helps organizations to strengthen their management systems and capabilities to enhance their competitiveness.
The Thailand Quality Award (TQA) is widely recognized as the most prestigious quality award in Thailand and the symbol of world-class performance excellence. It aims to improve organizations’ competitiveness through implementation of TQA criteria, stimulate organizational learning and sharing of best practices, and demonstrate the country’s commitment to pursuing world-class management and performance excellence.
The Vietnam Quality Award was established in 1996 by Decree of the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment (MOSTE) on 5 August 1995. The award criteria are modeled on the US Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards with modifications for the level of Vietnamese companies. The award offers applicants the opportunity to gain an understanding of quality management and quality assurance systems. Competing enterprises learn how to improve their applications of the principles of total quality management, best practices, and BE.
The 55th session of the APO GBM in Tokyo in May 2013 approved the establishment of the APO COE on GP in the ROC. Spearheaded by the China Productivity Cente in conjunction with several government ministries, the center supports the APO in promoting and implementing GP-related activities and publicizes valuable examples of GP in the Asia-Pacific region. COE on GP activities focus on four key themes covering the three major sectors of agriculture, industry, and services: 1) resource recycling; 2) green energy; 3) green factories; and 4) agro-innovation.
The following were the key objectives of the COE on GP established initially:
Visit COE on GP website for details.
The 57th session of the APO Governing Body Meeting in Bangkok in April 2015 approved the establishment of the APO COE on Public-sector Productivity (PSP) in the Philippines. Under the Development Academy of the Phippines (DAP), the center supports the APO in promoting and implementing PSP-related activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The COE on PSP has initiated projects to help member country governments improve their performance and productivity such as research, assessment of needs for future capacity-building initiatives, training of PSP practitioners so that they can lead capacity-building initiatives, introducing new knowledge, and continuing review of the APO PSP Framework. The COE was formally launched in November 2015 with the involvement of various stakeholders including those from the public sector. The launch highlighted the commitment of the Philippine government to supporting the APO COE on PSP under the auspices of the DAP.
The COE on PSP has the following key objectives:
The 59th session of the APO GBM in Tehran in April 2017 approved the establishment the APO COE on IT for Industry 4.0 under the National Productivity Council (NPC). This COE aims at supporting industries in APO members to become more competitive and productive in the global digital economy. The COE also identifies methods to bridge gaps that could hinder the adoption of Industry 4.0 tools and technology, contributing to overall productivity improvement.
During its 61st session, the APO Governing Body unanimously endorsed the proposal of setting up a new COE on Smart Manufacturing (SM) in the China Productivity Center (CPC). The COE on SM provides leadership in facilitating industry upgrading among all APO members, identifying the best smart technology and automation adoption methods, and improving production efficiency.
Visit COE on Smart Manufacturing website for details.
APO Directors approved the establishment of the APO Center of Excellence (COE) on Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA) on 10 March 2023. Hosted by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) of Japan, the COE will promote and implement CSA-related activities and publicize examples of CSA in the Asia-Pacific region. The aim is to contribute to the improvement of agricultural productivity and farmers’ profits as well as reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the agricultural sector in the region. Activities will include training in the deployment of climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies and new cultivation know-how, primarily for rice as the staple food in the APO membership.
The COE on CSA is expected to provide technical knowledge and skills related to technologies that can reduce methane emissions from paddy fields; agricultural weather data systems for rice, wheat, and soybean production; web-based soil carbon sequestration visualization tools for GHG reduction efforts in the production of various crops such as rice, wheat, and soybean; applications of biochar and development of carbon credit methodologies; and water management practices in rice cultivation and treatment of livestock waste. The COE may also provide technical knowledge and skills in other areas as needs are identified.
1. The needs and readiness for implementing the climate-change mitigation and adaptation technologies developed by the COE on CSA for rice, wheat, soybeans, and other 16 crops in APO members will be surveyed.
2. Two international conferences on climate-smart agriculture and other COE focus areas will be organized, both face-to-face and online.
3. APO members with the greatest readiness for implementing climate-change mitigation and adaptation technologies will be selected to participate in pilot projects to apply technologies developed by the COE on CSA starting from 2024, with one member per annual pilot project.
4. Know-how and skills on existing technologies and methodologies related to CSA will be shared through seminars, study missions, workshops, and on-site training including customization of the know-how to the local needs of APO members.
Visit the COE on CSA YouTube channel to learn more.