Urban Solutions and Sustainability

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To develop a sustainable and liveable city through integrated solutions for Singapore and the world


Our goal is to create a vibrant and endearing city, which every Singaporean is proud to call home. We are already known internationally as a city in a garden. We will further improve our built and natural environment to offer an even higher quality of life for all Singaporeans, despite resource constraints and the challenges of climate change. 


Strategic Goals in RIE2020

In RIE2020, the Urban Solutions and Sustainability (USS) domain will focus our energies collectively to enhance our living environment and address our resource constraints through an interdisciplinary approach. This includes devising new urban mobility solutions, creating and optimising liveable space, building the next generation smart grid, and lowering the energy consumption of used water treatment, seawater desalination, and NEWater production.

USS will take an integrative approach to reap synergies at the intersection of the energy-water-land nexus. For example, energy can be recovered from used water treatment processes to reduce energy consumption. Treatment facilities can also be co-located to save land and enable sharing of feed and waste streams. 

An integrative approach also optimises solutions to better meet Singaporeans’ needs. In urban mobility, for example, research into different modes of transport, including public transport, self-driving vehicles, urban logistics, cycling, and walking, will allow the transport system to be optimised as a whole, improving connectivity, peak period congestion and travel time. Urban planning studies can also help to integrate new technologies like car sharing, or on-demand urban mobility solutions into our town planning. Besides technical research, an understanding of mobility patterns and demand through social behavioural studies will also inform engineers of the type of urban mobility solutions to build, and policy makers of transport planning.  

USS agencies will also collaborate with industry partners to create economic value and establish Singapore as an international hub for sustainable urban solutions. There will be support for companies to embrace innovation through equity co-investment schemes, and research consortia formed from industry and research performers to co-create and commercialise these urban solutions. For example, the Separation Technologies Applied Research and Translation (START) Centre for water technologies, the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster integrated R&D hub at the Building and Construction Authority Academy, and Waste-to-Energy test-bed facility in Tuas will all serve to accelerate the translation of R&D to commercial use and encourage greater industry adoption. We will also build up manpower capabilities in the USS domain, through graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowship programmes. 


Key Schemes open to Public Research Performers

Scheme Description 
Capability Building Programmes
  • Supports the training of local research and innovation talent in USS fields
Industry Alignment Fund (Pre-Positioning) (IAF-PP)
  • Supports collaborative research with companies to seed and build capabilities in areas ahead of industry need


Key Schemes open to Public Research Performers and Industry

Scheme Description 

USS Competitive Research Programmes for Energy (e.g. solar, power systems, green buildings, waste-to-energy, and green data Centres), Water, Land and Liveability, and Urban Mobility

  • Support cutting-edge research with potential impact to Singapore
  • Open to science and technology areas that are relevant to the USS domain

USS Living Lab Initiatives for Energy (e.g. power systems, green buildings, waste-to-energy, and green data centres), Water and Urban Mobility

  • Supports piloting and test-bedding of new technologies in the USS space to accelerate their commercialisation and adoption

Name and eligibility criteria of funding schemes may vary depending on the implementing agency. 



Contact Point

USS Secretariat at: USS_Secretariat@nrf.gov.sg  



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