Singapore Launches First Research Program for Costal Protection

Apr 2023

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) of Singapore has launched Singapore’s first research program dedicated to strengthening coastal protection and inland flood management capabilities. The SGD 125 million (USD 94 million) Coastal Protection and Flood Management Research Programme (CFRP) will advance knowledge in coastal and flood resilience, as well as spur the growth of a vibrant research and development ecosystem for coastal and flood resilience in Singapore. It will be funded under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan.​

​​With climate change, sea levels around Singapore are projected to rise by up to 1 meter by 2100. More extreme storms with higher rainfall intensities could become more frequent, resulting in increased flood risks. As a low-lying island surrounded by the sea, enhancing the nation’s overall coastal and flood resilience is a critical long-term endeavor that will require new capabilities and technologies.​​​​

As Singapore’s coastal protection agency, PUB seeks to develop effective climate adaptation measures to protect Singapore’s coastline against sea level rise, supported by robust climate science and deep understanding of climate change impact. The CFRP consists of four research verticals to ​develop innovative, sustainable, and smart solutions tailored for Singapore’s urban and land-squeezed environment – a challenge which many other coastal cities also face. The verticals will be supported by three cross-cutting research horizontals:​​

  • Advance coastal science research to deepen understanding of extremities and changes in coastal processes affected by climate change;​​
  • Enhance capabilities in monitoring, prediction, and digitalization of Singapore’s coastal environment;​​​
  • Develop an effective framework to support integrated and adaptive planning, to strengthen risk management and decision-making processes when prioritizing investments made in coastal and flood protection infrastructure.

A new multi-institutional Centre of Excellence (CoE) will be set up to conduct research in the above areas. The CoE will be hosted at the National University of Singapore, with The Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) as partner institutes. With collaboration at the core of the CoE, the research community will grow to include international institutions as well as industry partners.

The CoE will anchor in-house research with the aim of growing the local talent base of research scientists and engineers. Institutes of Higher Learning can capitalize on the synergies with research work to enrich education and professional training in coastal engineering and flood management. These are in line with PUB’s objective to develop long-term capability in coastal protection and flood management and groom a sustained pipeline of local professionals for coastal protection and flood management work.

The translation and commercialization of coastal protection and flood management solutions will be achieved via two of the CFRP’s components – Applied Research and a Living Lab. Applied Research projects can be executed through Request for Proposals (RFP) or direct award (administered by PUB), while the Living Lab will provide a platform for promising research projects that have a higher technology readiness level to be proven and accelerate their adoption. Developed solutions that are successfully test-bedded will eventually be implemented locally, with the potential to be exported overseas.

(Source: Public Utilities Board of Singapore)

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