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Five urban sustainability research projects get S$14m in funding

THE Ministry of National Development (MND) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore have awarded five research projects a total of S$14 million in funding under the Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (L2 NIC).

"The awarded projects presented opportunities to use technology to improve the living environment for Singaporeans, as well as push the frontier of possibilities for future development of living spaces," MND said in a joint release with NRF on Monday.

In the second call for proposals, 26 white papers were received at the close in August 2015. All submitted proposals underwent a rigorous evaluation process by international and local technical experts and government agencies.

The L2 NIC Second Call for Proposals was launched in July 2015 during the Urban Sustainability R&D Congress to challenge the research community to come up with innovative solutions. These are aimed at (a) improving the cost effectiveness of underground developments by 50 per cent, as well as (b) improving human comfort and well-being by reducing ambient temperature by four degrees Celsius and ambient noise by 10dBA in residential areas.

The call was open to principal investigators from all Singapore-based institutions of higher learning (IHLs), private companies, non-profit laboratories and public-sector agencies.

Among the five awarded projects is one called "Cool Singapore" by the Nanyang Technological University, which will look into developing cool surface materials to cut the ambient temperature of surroundings when used on buildings or road surfaces.

Another project, by the National University of Singapore, aims to develop a prototype equipment to help reduce the cost of underground space construction by enabling direct injection of cement into soft ground around corners and obstacles.

Including the five new projects, L2 NIC has awarded 25 projects since inception, covering key topics such as underground construction, floating structures, ageing-in-place, noise mitigation, environmental modelling and greenery.