Data Analytics and Project Management are Key Drivers for Asia Pacific Real Estate Industry Innovation


ESG identified as key decision factor in new technology adoption across the region.

HONG KONG (3 November 2021) – Data analytics and project management are the two key areas of focus for innovation in the Asia Pacific real estate sector, according to the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Technology and Innovation survey. Conducted in collaboration with Taronga Ventures, the new survey lifts the lid on the level of technology adoption in the region and the challenges the industry faces while implementing innovation.

Real estate companies in Asia Pacific have recognised the importance of actively driving innovation in their organisations, with 88% planning to partner with technology companies in the next two years while 75% are looking to participate in an innovation programme. Aligning sustainability with innovation strategies is also a key priority, with ESG considered as a significant factor in the decision-making for new technologies.

David Faulkner, President of ULI Asia Pacific, said: “Innovation and technology are high on the agenda of senior leaders in the region’s real estate sector. 60% of firms have now established a technology team while 62% have already partnered with technology companies to engage with new technologies. While firms appreciate the importance of technology integration, they also report that internal challenges – such as a resistance to change (53%) and business-as-usual conflicts (43%) – are the two largest barriers to technology adoption. This breaks down the common misconception that budget and strategy are the key barriers to innovation.”

Jonathan Hannam, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Taronga Ventures, said, “It was pleasing to see most firms had set up internal technology teams (60%) to interface and partner with emerging technology companies (62%). In years to come, we hope to see greater executive leadership for innovation with more appointments of Chief Digital Officers (24%) and Chief Innovation Officers (20%). That said, we are encouraged by the increasing focus on ESG considerations in new technology decision making and almost half of respondents applying innovation to sustainability management (47%). The survey has been an important status check on the rapidly advancing state of innovation across Asia Pacific.”

Additional insights from the survey include:

  • COVID-19 remains a key stumbling block, with 62% and 38% of respondents believing that construction innovation and innovation in data analytics respectively was affected by the pandemic.
  • Developing new technology products internally (65%), directly investing into technology companies (58%) and partnering with a venture fund (52%) are the other three key strategies being explored by the surveyed real estate firms in the next two years to engage new technologies.
  • While data analytics and project management are the top two business areas that have implemented new technologies, transaction management (61%), property management (59%) as well as space design and usage (57%) are also key priorities for companies’ innovation strategy.
  • When asked which among the three ESG factors is significant in influencing decision-making for new technologies, most respondents (40%) cited environmental factors, while 33% cited governance and 27% cited social factors.
  • Those with an innovation team better met their innovation strategy, as compared to firms that established a technology team. 89% of firms with an established innovation team replied that the innovation strategy met or exceeded expectations, while only 53% of firms with an established technology team replied that the innovation strategy met or exceeded expectations.

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About the Urban Land Institute

  • The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 45,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.
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  • ULI has more than 2,600 members in the Asia Pacific region. For more information on ULI Asia Pacific, visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

About Taronga Ventures

  • Taronga Ventures, through its RealTech Ventures Fund, is a technology and innovation investor focused on innovation for the built environment. The Fund is an institutional venture fund that invests into globally scalable entities that will enhance or challenge the way real estate is designed, procured, financed, developed and managed across all sectors.
  • The Fund is focused on developing a diverse portfolio covering sustainability, design, materials and software and provides capital, mentorship and global networks for those companies in which it invests, as well as first-mover advantage for the corporates that participate in the Fund.
  • Taronga Ventures has extensive experience across global markets and asset classes and is supported by strategic and institutional partners across Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
  • RealTechX is Asia’s first government-supported, industry-focused independent scale-up program for companies impacting real estate and the wider built world.
  • For more information about Taronga Ventures, please visit