PUB 'to develop and commercialise' new technology with RfPs worth $23million

Singapore's national water agency PUB has issued requests for proposals (RfPs) in three fields of water technology research, with a budget totalling SGD 30 million ($23 million).

Singapore wants to improve the energy efficiency of desalination and water reuse processes, as part of ensuring a sustainable water supply for the future

Singapore wants to improve the energy efficiency of desalination and water reuse processes, as part of ensuring a sustainable water supply for the future

The aim is “to develop several promising technologies and to demonstrate their commercial viability,” said Harry Seah, PUB assistant chief executive (future systems and technology).

The RfPs cover energy efficiency in water treatment and water reuse processes, water efficiency in industry, and operational efficiency through smart technology. The funding available for individual awards is capped at SGD2.5 million ($1.9 million) over three years.

The RfP on water and used water treatment processes covers two areas. The first is reducing energy consumption of desalination and water reuse through biomimicry, by exploring water channels or transporters that use very low energy, such as aquaporins derived from certain species of microorganism, fish, and mangrove plants, as well as synthetic channels, for use in biomimetic membranes.

The second area is used water treatment, with the call to develop energy self-sufficient water reclamation plants through anaerobic membrane bioreactors incorporating the Anammox process, and/or other innovative nutrient removal and recovery processes. The aim is to minimise the amount of energy used to treat water, and to recover more energy from the process, resulting in water treatment processes that generate as much energy as they use.

The RfP on water efficiency in industry calls for submissions from an industrial or commercial host in collaboration with an identified technology provider, with the aim to improve water efficiency through recycling or cutting consumption.

The RfP focusing on smart technology requests research and development (R&D) proposals aimed at reducing the number of man hours required for operations and maintenance by using smart technologies, including robotics, drones, automation, data analytics and informatics, and video analytics.

“Investing in R&D is important in enabling PUB to develop innovative water solutions that improve the efficiency of water treatment and keep our water supply sustainable. Through continuous R&D over the years, we have identified several promising technologies. We want to work with technology providers and researchers to develop these technologies further and to demonstrate their commercial viability,” said Seah.

PUB is seeking proposals from companies capable of bringing their technology to market, and joint submissions from institutes of higher learning, or research institutes, in collaboration with an industrial partner with the potential to accelerate the commercialisation.

The closing date for submissions is 13 March 2018.

The RFPs form part of the Singapore National Research Foundation’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 Plan, under the Competitive Research Programme (Water). The foundation has committed SGD 670 million ($507 million) to water research for the period 2006 to 2020, with the aim of fostering leading-edge technologies and creating a vibrant research community.

Further information on each of the RFPs is available from Singapore’s Integrated Grant Management System website, and at a live event in Biopolis, Singapore’s international research and development centre for biomedical science, on 26 January 2018,


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