Two sustainability research funding schemes open for applications

An artist's impression of an underground science city in Kent Ridge - one of the ideas being explored by JTC as part of the Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (L2 NIC) in 2013.
An artist's impression of an underground science city in Kent Ridge - one of the ideas being explored by JTC as part of the Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (L2 NIC) in 2013. PHOTO: JTC

SINGAPORE - Two government funding schemes for sustainability-related research and development are now open for applications, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee announced at the opening ceremony of the Urban Sustainability R&D Congress on Thursday.

The multi-agency Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (L2 NIC), launched in 2013, is making its second call for proposals from July 9 to Aug 20 this year, with up to $10 million of funding available for projects.

The programme funds projects that create space and optimise land use, or make for a more liveable city.

This second call for proposals is looking for solutions to three challenges: halving the cost of underground development, reducing the temperature in housing estates by 4 deg C, and reducing noise levels in housing estates by 10 dBA (A-weighted decibels) while maintaining natural ventilation.

For projects related to smart buildings, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has launched the first R&D grant call under its Green Building Innovation Cluster.

Potential research areas include sensing tools and analytics that can help optimise building energy performance. All research funded by this grant must be conducted in Singapore, and project duration is capped at two years.

The BCA has also awarded four R&D projects amounting to $6 million under its second Energy Innovation Research Programme grant call for building energy efficiency.

The projects are for air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems, which account for a major part of a building's energy consumption.

These include an integrated low-cost sensor that can monitor various aspects of indoor environmental quality, including gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, air temperature, relative humidity and certain bacteria.

At the opening ceremony of the two-day Congress, Mr Lee also presented the Minister for National Development's R&D Award to four projects.

The Distinguished Award was given to a membrane-based air dehumidification system that makes air-conditioning more energy-efficient, developed by the National University of Singapore.

The Housing Board received two Merit Awards for a modelling tool used in designing towns and its development of solar energy projects.

And a Special Mention was awarded to a National Parks Board project that uses computer modelling to predict how changes in coastal waters affect certain organisms such as coral larvae.