Singapore signals more water co-operation with the Dutch

The Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and PUB, the national water agency of Singapore, signed a letter of intent on 22 October 2009 to boost collaborations undertaken by businesses and research institutions in the fields of science, technology and innovations in Singapore’s water sector.

The Netherlands Water House will enhance cooperation and strengthen ties between Singaporean and Dutch businesses and research institutes in the water sector. Representatives of the NWH will organise and participate in meetings, conferences, symposia workshops, courses and exhibitions. The NWH will also promote the Dutch knowledge and expertise in water technology and water management in Singapore and other countries in the region.

“The Netherlands is eager to expand its well established water-related expertise and business to Asia. This provides excellent synergies with Singapore’s research and development activities and impressive efforts to establish itself as a hub for the water market. The ambitions of Singapore and The Netherlands are strongly mutually reinforcing and we are very excited about further strengthening the ties with PUB and Singapore,” said Dr Tjibbe Bouma, the driving force behind the Netherlands Water House in Singapore on behalf of NWP.

Water has been identified as a key engine of growth for the Singapore economy, with an investment of Sing$ 330 million (US$ 236 million) to be committed over five years to grow and develop the local water sector into a hotbed of water technologies. The city is actively wooing R&D investments from leading international water players and encouraging local companies to make inroads overseas.

PUB has inked several research collaborations with KWR Watercycle Research Institute, a leading water research institute in the Netherlands and the Singapore-Delft Water Alliance, a multinational, inter-disciplinary research centre formed by Deltares, PUB and the National University of Singapore.

Over the last two years, the Dutch have also been strong supporters of the annual Singapore International Water Week, a global platform for water solutions that brings together the who’s who of the water industry to address challenges, showcase technologies, discover opportunities and celebrate achievements in the water world. The highlight of the event, the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, was awarded to Dutch scientist Prof Gatze Lettinga this year for his environmentally sustainable solution using oxygen-free anaerobic technology to treat used water.