March 18, 2022 | The Government has allocated $220 million under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) Urban Solutions & Sustainability (USS) domain to drive new initiatives in water technologies and resource circularity. This draws from the National Research Fund, under the five-year RIE2025 tranche. These initiatives will help the country achieve the Singapore Green Plan 2030 targets while optimizing limited resources.
Closing the Resource Loop Funding Initiative
Of this, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will administer a new $80 million Closing the Resource Loop (CTRL) Funding Initiative that supports the Green Plan and the Zero Waste Masterplan. The funding will support research and development (R&D) on sustainable resource recovery solutions for key waste streams such as e-waste, plastics and food, and finding useful and safe applications for treated waste residues.
The new $80 million CTRL Funding Initiative will build upon the R&D work carried out under the earlier Waste-to-Energy (WtE) programme and the Closing the Waste Loop (CTWL) Funding Initiative. CTRL will contribute to the country’s efforts to pursue a circular economy approach under the Zero Waste Masterplan to achieve a sustainable, resource-efficient, and climate-resilient Singapore.
Centres of Excellence Programme for water technology R&D
Another $87 million has been allocated to support R&D efforts in three water technology focus areas: (i) Desalination and Water Reuse; ii) Used Water Treatment; and iii) Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery under the RIE2025. The funding will go towards supporting the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Separation Technologies Applied Research and Translation (START) under the Centre of Excellence (CoE) Programme. These Centres of Excellence have amassed considerable capabilities in R&D, attracting talent and investments from all over the world, and enriching Singapore’s water industry.
The investments in these Centres of Excellence will go towards developing high impact solutions for Singapore’s national water needs. It will also be an economic multiplier and will spur private sector R&D spending, jobs creation and technology spin-offs in the water industry and adjacent sectors. For example, under RIE2020, NEWRI has deployed nine technologies with local and global applications in areas such as water purification, and anchored investments from global companies in Singapore.
New Desalination Integrated Validation Plant to be commissioned
In RIE2025, PUB will require START to build on its existing achievements and deepen its expertise in separate technologies for desalination through the design and operation of a Desalination Integrated Validation Plant (IVP). The IVP will integrate the most promising technologies, configure and optimize them at the system level to validate if lower energy consumption and superior performance can be achieved. If successful, the IVP will reduce the system-level energy consumption of desalination to < 2kWh/m3, taking PUB one step closer to attaining net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century.
Source/Further information: PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency