Sembcorp partners EDB to launch first industrial living lab in Singapore

SINGAPORE - Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) has entered into a partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to be Singapore's first industrial 'living laboratory'.

As a living lab, Sembcorp will grant technology providers access and share insights into its proprietary wastewater treatment and waste-to-energy facilities on Jurong Island for late-stage test-bedding and co-innovation of water and environmental technologies, the company announced on Friday (Sept 18).

Sembcorp and EDB will jointly invest up to a total of $8 million to support the commercialisation of research and development (R&D) projects from the pilot-testing stage to market-ready levels.

Proposals from the technology providers will be jointly evaluated by Sembcorp and EDB for their scalability, technological merits and economic impact.

Sembcorp's researchers and engineers will then work with successful applicants to test bed their new technologies in actual industrial settings.

If the technologies are proven successful, they have the potential to be deployed in Sembcorp's global operations. This gives smaller players that do not own any infrastructure the chance to scale up their technologies and develop a track record.

Said Tang Kin Fei, group president and CEO of Sembcorp Industries: "As a global water and energy company with a rich history of being technology and innovation driven, we hope that we will be able to contribute towards raising the profile of Singapore as a hub for applied R&D, and at the same time, support the long-term growth of the water and energy sectors."

Lim Kok Kiang, EDB assistant managing director, said the initiative will strengthen Singapore's position as a "global hydrohub" and provide another pathway to commercialise water research investments..

"It is also aligned with Singapore's aspiration to be a living lab where companies can develop, test and commercialise urban solutions in a real-life setting before scaling up for the region and beyond," he said.