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Singapore's Public Utility Board receives $51 million funding for water research as part of RIE 2025

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Singapore's National Water Agency PUB has launched 2 Request-for-Proposals (RFPs) after receiving S$51 million from the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF) under the Competitive Funding for Water Research (CWR) program. This CWR program forms part of the larger Innovation and Enterprise (I&E) strategy to develop and commercialise cutting-edge water technologies to cement Singapore's position as a global hydro-hub.

This falls under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan, and is the fourth tranche of RIE funding received by PUB. The funding obtained will be used to develop innovative and high-impact solutions to meet national water needs over the next 5 years.

In line with the Singapore Green Plan, a whole of nation movement to advance Singapore's national agenda on sustainable development, two new areas of research for the water sector are included in RIE 2025 - (i) Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery, and (ii) Climate Science and Adaptation. These efforts attempt to address future challenges brought about by climate change. Areas of focus identified for research and development include reducing energy use in seawater desalination, increasing energy self-sufficiency in used water treatment and reducing industrial water demand.

[In picture: Marina Barrage, a dam in Singapore built at the confluence of five rivers, across the Marina Channel between Marina East and Marina South.]

Focus Area Under RIE 2025 for CWR Programme

As mentioned, PUB has launched 2 RFPs for 2 key areas:

  1. Recovering Chemicals & Minerals from the Water Loop

  2. Projecting the Impacts of Climate Change on Singapore's Water System

RPF 1: Recovering Chemicals & Minerals from the Water Loop

PUB is seeking technologies and solutions that can recover the following categories of useful resources:

  • Chemicals needed in water and used water treatment processes from local waste streams (including, but not limited to, waste streams by PUB); and

  • Rare metals (e.g. caesium, lithium and barium) relevant to industries from seawater desalination brine.

All the proposals submitted shall articulate the advancement of the proposed technology against the current global state-of-the-art at the system level. The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the proposed technology has to be stated in the proposal. At the end of the project, the TRL is expected to progress by at least two levels, unless otherwise justified in the proposal. For more information on the definition of TRLs, refer to appendix D of the PDF below.

Thematic RFP 2101 Fact Sheet Resource Recovery open on 13 Sep 2021
Download PDF • 982KB

RPF 2: Projecting the Impacts of Climate Change on Singapore's Water System

This RPF aims to study the impact that climate change will have on the Singapore water system for the next 10, 20 and 40 years to guide the formulation of future adaptation strategies. The study will address two focus areas - (i) the impact of climate change on water quality, and (ii) PUB infrastructure.

Applicants are free and encouraged to propose other areas of study, except for areas related to flooding and coastal protection. This is because separate studies are ongoing.

Thematic RFP 2101 Fact Sheet Resource Recovery open on 13 Sep 2021
Download PDF • 982KB

Application for RPFs

Applications for RPFs are open from 13 September to 26 November 2021. Various funding schemes as well as information and details on how to apply for the RFPs are available here.

RPF Information Session

Interested parties can invited to register for an RFP information session on 24 September 2021 via this link. Registration closes 21 September 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) How can an overseas based company quality for the funding?

The overseas based company will have to work with a local partner as only research in Singapore can be funded.

2) Is research work carried out overseas fundable?

The condition of the grant is that all research works have to be conducted in Singapore, since the primary objective of the National Research (NR) Fund is to develop the local research capability and capacity. Though the research work to be conducted is not supportable, where possible, if the overseas experts can impart is knowledge to the local project team members, the related training (or consultancy) and travel cost can be provided for in the proposal and adequately justified for PUB's approval.

For any further enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Chay Peck Si

PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency


For media queries, please contact:

Ms Nicole Chan

PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency

Tel: +65 97488551


Contact the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore for more information about business opportunities and how Denmark seeks to inspire green transition in Southeast Asia:

Mark Edward Perry

Sector Expert at Royal Danish Embassy Singapore

Phone: +65 9088 5567




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