Land & Liveability National Innovation Challenge


One of the key goals for Singapore is to continue to be able to deliver sustainable growth and a good quality of life for our people. The Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (NIC) is a multi-agency effort that recognises land as a precious resource to Singapore, and seeks to leverage on R&D to develop innovative technological solutions to increase Singapore’s land capacity for our long term development needs and provide options for future generations.

Vision and Challenge

The vision of the Land and Liveability NIC is to support an economically vibrant, highly-liveable and resilient city of the future with land capacity for sustained growth. The challenge statement is to “Create new space cost-effectively and optimise the use of space to sustain Singapore’s long-term growth and resilience”.

Research Thrusts

Two inter-related R&D thrusts, supported by an enabling thrust focused on Info-Communication Technologies (ICT) have been identified to support the Land and Liveability NIC objectives of creating sustained capacity and options for future generations:

(a) Creating new space cost-effectively;

There is potential for R&D into the following areas:

  • Creation of useable underground spaces in caverns and areas of poor soil; 
  • New land reclamation methods that require less sand; 
  • Development of alternatives to land reclamation.

(b) Optimising the use of space while maintaining high liveability.

There is potential for R&D into the following areas:

  • Intensification of low-density land uses like industry and infrastructure; 
  • Achieving a good quality living environment even with intensified developments; 
  • Reducing space demands for infrastructure like transport; 
  • Co-location of urban infrastructure, utilities and services with other spaces; 
  • Reduction of unproductive use of land.

R&D on enabling ICT and platforms, embedded with capabilities of intelligence gathering, analytics, modelling and simulation could support the two thrusts on creation of new space and optimising the use of space, in the areas of:

  • Enhancing the utility of new spaces;
  • Enabling efficient, integrated city operations, robust planning, and detection of emerging risks;
  • Enhancing the environmental quality of high density environments.

Socio-behavioural research will also be coupled with technological R&D for solutions to be relevant to the needs of the population.


The funding allocation for the NIC is S$135 million, from 2013 to 2018 to support high-impact research and small scale demonstration projects.

Inter-disciplinary Approach

To ensure the effective translation of research into practical solutions, the Land and Liveability NIC will involve close collaboration across Singapore’s infrastructure and development agencies, researchers and industry. As Singapore continues to develop new towns and growth areas, solutions developed through the Land and Liveability NIC can be test bedded and deployed, to provide capacity for sustained growth.


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Singapore 138602

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Email: communications@nrf.gov.sg