International Experts Commend Progress of Research & Development in Singapore’s Water Industry [Press Releases]
The International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Singapore’s Environment and Water Technology industry commented on the excellent progress that the Singapore water industry has made in the last five years. The panel held its annual meeting on 8 July 2011, as part of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW).
Singapore is presently home to a flourishing water industry of more than 70 international and local companies, a significant increase from 50 in 2006. Investments made by these companies in the last five years, when fully realised, will contribute S$590 million of annual value-added to the Singapore economy and generate 2,300 professional and skilled jobs. Singapore-based companies have also been doing well in the international water markets, with a cumulative project value reaching S$8.4 billion since 2006. Through various incentive schemes under the Environment and Water Industry Programme Office’s (EWI) Environment and Water Research Programme, there is now a vibrant research community of 23 R&D centres working on more than 60 projects on leading-edge technologies.
The panel is of the view that while building on the good work in water research and technology, there are additional areas and opportunities that Singapore should focus on. EWI should continue to help companies and researchers to better translate their new technologies to viable products for the market and export. In addition, it is imperative to build up talent and develop the skills set in marketing, product development and project management.
The panel is of the view that Singapore should look into understanding and exploiting the nexus and potential synergies between water, energy and waste management, in the context of growing demand for resources and climate change uncertainties. There are research and business opportunities to develop solutions to further harness energy and resources from used water and solid waste.
Co-Chair of the panel, Lord Ronald Oxburgh, expressed his confidence in the role Singapore can take to lead the growth of water industry in the region, “Singapore has progressed very well on water R&D and developed a niche in practical water technologies. There remain opportunities in the water, energy and waste sectors to be tapped, for example, how energy and useful materials can be cost effectively recovered, and how greater efficiency can be achieved in water-energy or wasteenergy areas. With the strong support of the Government, I believe that the industry is ready to capitalise on the rapidly growing business opportunities in the region and beyond.”