First Public-Private Collaboration Initiative for Green Building Research
he Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Ministry of National Development (MND) have jointly awarded funding for nine projects in a pilot green building grant call to encourage research and greater adoption of green building technologies. Launched in April 2011, the grant call is the first of its kind structured to foster Public-Private Collaboration (PPC) in green building research.
The green building joint grant call fosters collaboration between public research institutions and companies through joint R&D projects. Under the PPC arrangement, public research institutions partner at least one related industry organisation as co-investigator. This creates synergies as public research institutions are able to tap on the industry’s experience and network, while companies leverage on the research expertise and cutting edge infrastructure within public research institutes, to develop deployable green building technologies.
The nine awarded projects will support the development of technologies in two key areas - energy efficiency and building facade materials. These include energy efficient technologies that reduce the amount of heat penetration into buildings and innovative air-conditioning technologies that require less energy for cooling and help optimise energy management in buildings. Consequently, the projects may bring about substantial savings for building operators and dwellers through greater energy efficiency.
Mr Tay Kim Poh, Deputy Secretary (Development) of MND, and Chairman of the MND R&D Steering Committee, said “The strong response of over 50 submissions is encouraging. Just as A*STAR, BCA and MND joined hands to launch this grant call, it is heartening to see that many public research institutions and companies have come together in the same spirit of collaboration. This is the first such initiative involving both the Government and the private sector for green building research. We hope to see more of such collaborative efforts when the second call grant is launched later this year, so that more ideas can be translated into innovations to meet urbanisation challenges”.
Welcoming the awards given for this grant call, Dr Raj. Thampuran, Executive Director, Science and Engineering Research Council of A*STAR, said, “Through such PPC initiative, public research institutions and companies can leverage on each other’s strengths and expertise to develop technologies that could potentially generate impactful environmental, economic and social benefits. The benefits in the area of green building technologies are manifold, and can be illustrated through outcomes such as potential reduction in energy use for building operators and dwellers.”
Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA added, “While BCA has made good progress in greening the built environment in Singapore through various initiatives under our Green Building Masterplan, we need to continuously push the frontiers of green buildings through R&D. On this front, BCA led the inter-agency Green Building R&D Workgroup to develop the Green Building R&D Framework in identifying key focus areas for R&D, with an emphasis on developing high-impact, cost-effective solutions for green buildings in the tropics. We believe that the success of this pilot grant call with A*STAR and MND will pave the way for future R&D grant calls and build Singapore’s capability in green building research.”
Following the success of the pilot green building joint grant call, the second green building joint grant call is projected to open in the third quarter of 2012.