The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have launched a joint research centre to develop sustainable energy solutions to overcome the global energy challenges of the future.
The Singapore Energy Centre (SgEC) is a consortium funded by industry members which leverages the combined expertise and capabilities of the two universities to co-develop early-stage and near-term energy solutions for the manufacturing sector.
ExxonMobil, SgEC’s first founding industry partner, has committed US$10 million over a five-year period to support the centre’s wide range of innovative research projects and activities. The centre will also be inviting other industry leaders to be part of the joint effort to transform the energy landscape and address future sustainability challenges.
SgEC was launched today by NTU, NUS and ExxonMobil, in conjunction with the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) held at Marina Bay Sands. SgEC is participating in the Asia Clean Energy Summit exhibition, a two-day event starting today held as part of SIEW.
For a start, the joint research centre will focus on researching next-generation technologies such as new forms of energy production, innovations in energy efficiency, energy conversion and storage, as well as exploring ways to mitigate and overcome climate change, and improve energy and water resiliency.
The topics being explored for funding by ExxonMobil include, but are not confined to:
Looking to nature’s biodiversity to discover novel materials and process designs that could result in low carbon dioxide-emitting approaches for making fuels and chemicals, thus potentially lowering overall carbon dioxide emissions.
Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage
Exploring a broad range of technologies to capture existing carbon dioxide from industrial applications and sequester it or cost effectively convert it to useful products. This research has the potential to reduce carbon emissions in line with Singapore’s national goal.
Energy and water efficiency
Exploring technologies that reduce plastic waste, water and energy consumption during manufacturing, while providing for the needs of a growing population and economy. Water and energy usage are vital areas of interest to Singapore.
These research projects embody the concept of the “green economy”, a key focus in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, which aims to transform the nation into a hub for sustainable development that encourages businesses to testbed and adopt greener practices.
Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Vice President for Research, said, “This joint centre will take ideas nurtured at the lab into industry, and also study the environmental impact of innovations, as well as business and economic models for its research projects. With NTU’s strong track record in sustainability, energy efficiency and artificial intelligence, this centre will establish a global footprint of research excellence, supporting Singapore’s transition into a hub for sustainable development.”
“The SgEC marks a milestone in the joint efforts between NUS and NTU in developing next-generation energy technologies. This strategic partnership will enable consortium members to identify issues of common interest to the industry and co-develop solutions with the two universities. This approach will bridge the gap between early-stage research and economic-centric applied research, both of which are needed for development of long-term sustainable energy solutions,” said Professor Chen Tsuhan, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology).
“The Singapore Energy Centre will serve as a focal point for close collaboration between universities and industry in exploring solutions for addressing the dual challenge of meeting society’s growing energy needs while addressing the risks of climate change,” said Vijay Swarup, Vice President of Research and Development at ExxonMobil Engineering and Research Company at a signing ceremony held during SIEW.
“With projected energy demand growth across Asia Pacific, it’s critical that the public and private sectors work together to advance scalable, next-generation energy technologies while reducing the environmental impact of energy production.”
“ExxonMobil’s participation in the Singapore Energy Centre further enhances our technological capabilities in the country, and complements our already strong manufacturing and commercial presence,” said Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. “Our participation in the company’s first energy centre outside of the United States builds on our long and thriving relationship with these two leading universities in Asia.”
SgEC is co-led by both universities, with NTU holding the directorship for the first two years from 2019, and NUS leading the following two years. The centre will tackle technological and socioeconomic issues in sustainable energy development, and will also groom talents in related fields.