Government launches grant call for SMEs developing water technologies

Government launches grant call for SMEs developing water technologies
A giant inflatable Water Wally, the official Singapore Public Utilities Board mascot at Marina Barrage.

SINGAPORE - SPRING Singapore (SPRING) and Singapore's national water agency PUB have launched the second grant call for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to develop and validate water technologies.

Targeted at SMEs who are keen to develop water solutions that can be readily applied in Singapore and beyond, the grant call aims to catalyse innovation in water research and development, and foster collaboration with PUB to support SMEs in improving their capabilities.

The scheme will leverage the private sector's experience, expertise and network to develop the next generation of technologies to meet Singapore's water challenges, and support the growth of the water industry, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) said in a statement. PUB also said that it will offer awardees the opportunity to test-bed their technologies alongside existing processes in PUB's facilities, allowing companies to work with actual water streams in PUB's facilities.

Through this, awardees will be able to establish their track record and increase the marketability of their products.

Projects leading to the development of water technologies will be funded by SPRING Singapore.

PUB's Chief Technology Officer, Mr Harry Seah, said: "PUB is always on the lookout for innovative, high performing technological solutions that will improve the efficiency of water treatment in Singapore. We are focused on developing technologies that will ensure an affordable and sustainable supply of water. These could be related to various aspects of the water loop, such as reducing energy or chemical consumption, minimisation of waste, protecting water quality or improving water security. We strongly encourage SMEs to come forward and work with us to further develop and commercialise their ideas."

The first joint grant call was launched in 2012 and awarded last year. Focusing on the area of used water research and development, seven local enterprises were awarded $2.5 million to develop innovative used water treatment technologies.

The newest grant call extends the scope beyond used water treatment technologies to encompass all areas of the water loop.

SPRING's Deputy Chief Executive, Mr Ted Tan, said, "SPRING is delighted to be partnering PUB once again in this joint grant call. We are pleased with the progress of our first grant call, and hope that more SMEs and start-ups will seize this opportunity to test-bed and develop innovative water technologies. SPRING continues to look for good partners to create an environment that fosters collaboration between large enterprises and SMEs. Through such partnerships, we hope to accelerate the journey from technology conceptualisation to commercialisation for our local enterprises."

The Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI), an inter-agency outfit comprising agencies such as PUB, EDB, IE Singapore and SPRING, is leading efforts to transform Singapore into a global hydro-hub via three strategic thrusts:i) technology development, ii) cluster development and iii) internationalisation of Singapore-based companies.

Underscoring the focus on technology development, the National Research Foundation (NRF) has committed $470 million to drive public and private sector water research through EWI.

Companies can tap various funding schemes for R&D activities, from idea conceptualisati on to commercialisation.

Interested parties are invited to attend either of the public briefings to find out more about the PUB-SPRING Joint Grant Call.

1)  June 13, 2 . 30 pm, Waterhub Auditorium @ 80 Toh Guan Road East S608576

2) July 11, 2.30pm, Zenith Room @ 1 Fusionopolis Walk, #01 - 02 South Tower, Solaris, Singapore 138628

Companies may submit their proposals from now until 4.00pm on August 29. More details can also be found at www.spring.gov.sg.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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