Singapore offers grants for water-treatment SMEs

An inaugural grant call was launched on 17 December 2012 by SPRING Singapore (SPRING) and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, through the Environment & Water Industry Programme Office (EWI), for Singapore enterprises to develop innovative water treatment technologies.

This is the first grant call for water technologies that is targeted at small/medium enterprises (SMEs). While Singapore SMEs have come up with innovative water technologies in recent years, this grant call aims to foster further innovation in SMEs in the area of used water research and development.

At the same time, it allows PUB to leverage the private sector’s experience, expertise and network to develop the next generation of used water treatment technologies to meet Singapore’s water challenges and support the growth of the water industry.

Projects leading to the development of innovative used water treatment technologies will be funded under SPRING’s Technology Innovation Programme and the Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (Annex A).

For this first grant call, PUB is offering awardees the opportunity to test bed their technologies alongside existing treatment processes in PUB’s facilities. This allows companies to work with actual used water flows collected from homes and industries. Through this experience, awardees will also be able to build up their track record, thereby increasing the marketability of their products.

An example of an SME that has benefitted from these funding schemes is Natflow Pte Ltd. Under the Environment & Water Research Programme’s (EWRP’s) Incentive for Research & Innovation Scheme, Natflow developed an alternative methodology to low-energy desalination by combining the heating, cooling and desalination processes at a single plant.

PUB’s chief technology officer, Harry Seah, said, “PUB is always on the lookout for innovative, high performing technological solutions that will help enhance used water management in Singapore. Used water treatment is an energy-intensive and complex process and we are focused on developing technologies that will not only reduce energy consumption, but also reduce chemical use and waste in the process. We strongly encourage SMEs to come forward with their innovative ideas, and work with us to further develop and commercialise these ideas.”