Standard Life Aberdeen plc is one of the world’s largest investment companies, created in 2017 from the merger of Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC. Operating under the brand Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI), the investment arm manages US$669.1bn of assets. It has a significant global presence and the scale and expertise to help clients meet their investment goals.
They offer a comprehensive range of investment solutions, as well as the very highest level of service and support. This includes the provision of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance analysis and reporting for their clients. This is a relatively new service, compared to more traditional financial performance reporting.
Currently, ESG performance data are drawn from two sources: the Bloomberg terminal, and from their own written notes through ESG discussions with clients.
ESG reports are then manually produced for clients, covering metrics like:
- Environmental performance
- Energy usage
- Water intensity
- Carbon emissions
- Environmental policy
- Social performance
- Workforce diversity
- Workplace accident rates and safety policies
- Employee turnover
- Human rights policy
- Governance performance
- CEO remuneration
- Board diversity and independence
Producing the reports is currently very time consuming, involving copying and pasting of data from multiple sources.
How might we automate the production of ESG performance reports using our current data sources, providing compelling and salient reports for our clients?
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR
- A prototype solution for ESG analysts to automatically produce compelling, salient and highly visual reports on ESG performance for our clients. The solution needs to achieve the following:
- Extract relevant ESG performance data from two primary data sources:
- The Bloomberg Terminal
- Our notes from ESG performance discussions with our clients, can be both digital or non-digital (specifically, extracting the summary section from these notes
- Use that data to automatically populate a report template that:
- Features approximately 20 pre-determined indicators (some quantitative, like carbon emissions, some binary, like ‘do you have a human rights policy?’)
- Can compare current performance data with the company’s own historical performance (time series), and against industry benchmarks (comparison) to help contextualise the performance, and will alert the analyst if the results are outside preset thresholds (for example, dramatic changes year-on-year)
- Uses creative data visualisations within the report to make the information highly salient to the reader
- Produces a reliably accurate report, requiring less than 5 minutes of final editing and approval by the analyst
- Creates the final report as a shareable one or two page PDF that the analyst can send to the client
- Extract relevant ESG performance data from two primary data sources:
- The solution will therefore need the following features:
- A simple, usable interface from which the ESG analyst can specify the company and request the report
- A means to automatically extract the data from the two sources (some form of integration with Bloomberg terminal and our internal notes)
- A database of historical and comparison data (data to be provided by us)
- Design of an appropriate report template (co-designed with us)
- The automated solution to populate the report, initially in a format editable by the analyst, and then exported as a PDF document
- While not in scope for the prototype, preference will be given to solutions that can demonstrate:
- Ability to add additional data sources in the future
- Potential to integrate with PowerBI or similar analytics tool, to enable our analysts to use the same ESG data for custom and advanced analytics, beyond the simple reporting function
POSSIBLE USE CASE
The primary use case is when one of our ESG analysts has a need to provide a report to a client on their performance. They will need to:
- Use the solution interface to specify and confirm the company in question,
- Request the report from the solution (e.g. click ‘produce report’), and
- Receive the automatically produced report in a form that it can be edited (only if needed), and then sent to the client as a PDF
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU
- SGD 20,000 of prize money for each winner of this challenge (see Award Model)
- Partnership with an experience industry leader, who has the existing data and clients to make this solution a success
- Opportunity to work on a solution tackling a high priority for the industry (ESG performance), with potential for future product development, growth and scale
- Collaborate with IMAS (Investment Management Association of Singapore) to reach out to the greater community for exposure, refinement and deployment
- Opportunity to pitch to industry audience in:
- IMAS DAP Showcase in March 2020
- IMAS-Bloomberg Investment Conference in April 2020
- For more information, visit www.imasdap.com.
The Applicants shall be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria set out below.
- To what extent does the proposed solution address the problem statement effectively?
- How ready is the proposed solution to go to market?
- Is there any evidence to suggest capacity to scale?
- Is the solution truly innovative, does it make use of new technologies in the market, and can it potentially generate new IP?
- Does the product have user and revenue traction?
- Do the team members possess strong scientific/technical background?
30% of the prize money will be awarded to each selected finalist at the start of the prototype development process, with the remainder 70% to be awarded during the prototype development process, based on milestones agreed between ASI and the solver.
Note that a finalist who is selected to undertake the prototype development process will be required to enter into an agreement with ASI that will include more detailed conditions pertaining to the prototype development.
Standard Life Abardeen plc
SG:D Open Innovation Platform
There are no restrictions on the geographic location of the problem solvers who may choose to apply to this challenge. However, the prototype needs to be demonstrated in Singapore.
Terms and Conditions
KINDLY NOTE THAT THE BELOW (A) INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION (B) TERMS REGARDING YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS CHALLENGE SHALL APPLY BETWEEN YOU (A “PROBLEM SOLVER”) AND ABERDEEN STANDARD INVESTMENTS (ASIA) LIMITED (“ASI”):
A. INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION
1.1 We understand that Problem Solvers looking to present a solution to the Challenge posted by ASI are keen to participate and share their ideas with ASI. Submissions will be treated as confidential by ASI, but all information contained in the submissions may be used by ASI and IMDA in evaluating a submission for the purposes of the Challenge posted by ASI.
2. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND EXCLUSIVITY
2.1 Ideas in and of themselves are not protected, and Problem Solvers must be careful to ensure that they do not divulge any confidential information, proprietary information, know-how, or trade secrets.
2.2 Problem Solvers must read the terms set out below carefully and ensure that they understand these before making their submission via the IMDA Open Innovation Platform.
3. ELIGIBILITY FOR PARTICIPATION
3.1 Problem Solvers (or any of your teammates, if you are participating in the Challenge as a team) must not be a current employee of (a) ASI, or (b) any other organisation which is involved in administering or organising the Challenge (including IMDA).
4. SUBMISSION CRITERIA
4.1 Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and disqualified.
4.2 All submission materials must be presented and/or submitted in English language.
4.3 All submission must be made by way of the IMDA Open Innovation Platform and submissions made otherwise will not be accepted.
B. TERMS OF CONDITIONS (“TERMS”)
1. CHALLENGE TERMS
1.1. The Problem Solver and ASI (the “Parties” and each, individually, a “Party”) accept and agree that they will be bound by these Terms.
For the purposes of these Terms:
“Challenge” means the technology challenge administered/organised by IMDA on Open Innovation Platforms, where organisations (including ASI) are invited to submit problem statements and problem solvers will seek to provide solutions to be used by the problem owner or the sector with the broad objectives of solving sector-wide problems, and in this particular instance, shall mean the challenge posted by ASI.
“Problem Solver” means a participant (individuals, start-ups, corporates) of the Challenge
1.2. The Problem Solver agrees to the instructions set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Instructions and Information section on eligibility for participation and submission criteria.
1.3. The Problem Solver shall abide by and accept as final and binding on the Problem Solver, all of ASI’s decisions on all matters related to this Challenge.
1.4. The Parties acknowledge and agree that the solutions provided in this Challenge will be used for sector-wide applications, and agree to endeavour to achieve the broad objectives of solving sector-wide problems.
2.1. "Confidential Information" means all confidential information indicated in writing or labelled as "confidential", "proprietary information" or where the circumstances of disclosure indicate that the information so disclosed is confidential or proprietary.
2.2. Use. The Parties agree to maintain the confidence of Confidential Information and will only use Confidential Information for the purposes of ASI evaluating the Problem Solver’s submission. Without prejudice and in addition to the foregoing, save as expressly permitted herein, the Parties shall not disclose Confidential Information, whether directly or indirectly (including publishing any reports containing any Confidential Information), to any third party without prior written approval of the other Party.
2.3. Disclosure. Confidential Information may only be disclosed to each Party’s employees, its affiliates and employees thereof, or their respective advisers strictly on a need-to-know basis for the purposes set out in Clause 2.2 above, and each Party shall also ensure that the same obligation of confidentiality shall at all times be observed and maintained by such employees or advisers to whom the Confidential Information is disclosed (collectively, “Representatives”).
2.4. Compelled Disclosure. In addition, if the receiving Party or any of its Representatives becomes compelled (pursuant to any law or regulation or order of court or the request or requirements of any stock exchange or other governmental or regulatory authority having authority over the receiving Party or such Representative, as the case may be) to disclose any part of the Confidential Information, the receiving Party shall, to the extent legally permitted, promptly (and, if practicable, before complying with any such requirement) notify the disclosing Party in writing of the same and of the action which is proposed to be taken in response. In such event, the receiving Party or such Representative, as the case may be, shall take full account of (but shall not be obliged to comply with) any reasonable request made by the disclosing Party, whether concerning resistance to the disclosure or the form, manner or extent of disclosure, and the receiving Party or such Representative shall only disclose such information to the extent that the receiving Party or such Representative is so compelled to disclose. The receiving Party or such Representative shall exercise its best efforts to ensure that confidential treatment to the maximum extent possible will be accorded to such Confidential Information.
2.5. Ownership. Confidential Information disclosed under these Terms shall at all times remain, as between the Parties, the property of the disclosing Party and does not grant the receiving Party any rights in any Confidential Information, other than the limited right to use the Confidential Information as permitted by these Terms.
2.6. Exceptions. Nothing in these Terms prohibits or limits the receiving Party’s use of information, and “Confidential Information” shall not include information:
2.6.1. known to it prior to disclosure by the disclosing Party;
2.6.2. which is or becomes publicly available through no breach of the Terms by the receiving Party and its Representatives;
2.6.3. received from a third party not known to the receiving Party to owe any duty of confidentiality to the disclosing Party; or
2.6.4. independently developed by the receiving Party without use of the disclosing Party's Confidential Information.
2.7. Protection. Each Party agrees to protect Confidential Information using the same means and standards it uses to protect its own confidential information, but in any event not less than reasonable means, to prevent the unauthorised, access, disclosure or use of Confidential Information.
2.8. Time limitation. Each Party agrees that the obligations created as part of this Clause 2 will terminate after two years, such period commencing on the date of the submission by the Problem Solver of the solution to the Challenge.
3. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
3.1. ASI acknowledges the Problem Solver’s ownership of intellectual property (“IP”) rights. All IP created from the Problem Solver’s work on the Challenge (“Created IP”) will be owned by the Problem Solver. The Problem Solver, however, grants IMDA and ASI the right to view, consider, and (where applicable) evaluate and assess the submission in detail, for the period of the Challenge.
3.2. Save as specifically set out in this document, no licence to use or assignment of any IP is granted or shall occur, unless the Problem Solver and ASI enter into a separate agreement with each other at point of finalist(s) selection.
3.3. Insofar as the Problem Solver’s submission uses or refers to any pre-existing IP, the Problem Solver will ensure that it has all the necessary rights and/or licences for the incorporation of such IP into its submission and/or any subsequent evaluation and use as part of the Challenge. The Problem Solver must also use all efforts to ensure that its submission does not infringe the IP rights of any third party.
3.4. EXTENDED TESTING LICENCE: If the Problem Solver’s submission is selected as a finalist for the Challenge, an extended period of testing may be required to evaluate its submission and for the proof-of-concept or prototype of the solution to be developed. ASI therefore may expect the Problem Solver to grant to it, a non-exclusive, royalty-free licence of all IP for the purpose of testing and evaluating the Problem Solver’s solution, for a period of 12 months from the date the Problem Solver’s submission is selected as a finalist for the Challenge. To be clear, the Problem Solver is not obliged to grant the licence mentioned above until the Problem Solver and ASI enter into a separate written agreement containing the terms of this licence.
3.5. EXCLUSIVITY: If the Problem Solver’s submission is selected as a finalist for the Challenge, the Problem Solver agrees to enter into exclusive negotiations with ASI to explore a commercial agreement with respect to the respective solution. The period of exclusive negotiations shall be for a period of 6 months from the date the Challenge ends, during which the Problem Solver agrees that it will not disclose, market, or enter into negotiations with third parties in relation to the respective solution.
4. IP DEVELOPMENT LICENCE
4.1. The Parties acknowledge and agree that the solutions provided in this Challenge will be used for sector-wide applications, and agree to endeavour to achieve the broad objectives of solving sector-wide problems. Consequently, the Parties agree to consider the following points in negotiations:
4.1.1. In the event the Problem Solver is unable to or not willing to further develop the solution, or any component thereof, generated by the Problem Solver to solve the Problem, the Problem Solver agrees to negotiate the sale or licence of the Created IP to ASI for ASI to further develop solutions to the sector-wide problem.
4.1.2. that ASI will be granted by the Problem Solver a licence to adapt, modify, expunge, make derivative works of, disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer, republish, download, or copy any part of the Created IP for further development.
Any questions pertaining to the Challenge may be submitted to IMDA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header beginning with “Automated Reporting of Environmental, Social & Governance Performance”.
All correspondence throughout the Challenge must be in the English language.
How to Apply
Submissions are to be lodged online.
All submissions must be made by 14 February 2020, 1600 hours (SGT/GMT +8). NHB and IMDA may extend the deadline of the submission at their discretion. Late submissions will not be considered.
Any questions pertaining to the Challenge may be submitted to IMDA via email at email@example.com with the subject header beginning with “Automated Reporting of Environment, Social and Governance Performance”.
All correspondence throughout the Challenge must be in the English language.