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Advancing coastal defense: Singapore highlights new initiatives and research projects

  • Advancing coastal defense: Singapore highlights new initiatives and research projects

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PUB Singapore's National Water Agency
PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. It is the national water agency that manages Singapore’s water supply, water catchment and used water in an integrated way.

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This year's Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) saw active exchanges by global stakeholders on best practices on flood mitigation and coastal protection, under the new pillar of climate adaptation. At the Coastal and Flood Resilience Leaders Summit this morning, the award of the second tranche of research projects under the Coastal Protection and Flood Resilience Institute (CFI) Singapore was announced. PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, also launched an open Request-for-Proposal (RFP) to seek innovative solutions to support Singapore’s coastal protection and flood management efforts. These milestones further cement Singapore’s commitment to developing capabilities and enhancing coastal protection and flood resilience.    

New research projects launched to bolster Singapore’s coastal protection and flood management efforts

Building on the foundational work of the first tranche, the second tranche of eight projects will focus on innovative solutions and advanced technologies to facilitate the implementation of coastal protection infrastructure. The awarded projects encompass a broad spectrum of research areas including monitoring and simulation of the coastal environment and impacts as well as assessing coastal engineering solutions and nature-based approaches for coastal defence. 

For example, one of the projects under the National University of Singapore (NUS) will develop anchored floating breakwaters which is adaptive, allowing for the floating breakwaters to be incrementally raised to adapt to rising sea levels. The breakwaters also have the potential to tap on wave and tidal energy to harvest green energy. Another project by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) aims to design barriers made from jute, a composite of plant fibre and calcium waste. These barriers could be deployed at beaches to protect the shoreline from erosion and restore beaches through soil accumulation, serving as a sustainable alternative to engineering solutions.

New initiatives to strengthen partnerships amongst key players

Launch of new Coastal Protection Chapter by Singapore Water Association

Recognising that coastal protection is an emerging sector, the Singapore Water Association (SWA) will launch a new coastal protection chapter, to foster collaboration among companies and support the implementation of coastal protection infrastructure. In addition, SWA will promote and link Singapore’s coastal protection and flood management industry to the international network, enhancing knowledge sharing and collaboration in the sector.  

The Committee is chaired by Mr. James Lam, Executive Director, Coastal Engineering & Management, Surbana Jurong Consultants. Members comprise leaders from local companies such as HSL Constructor, Woh Hup and UpConverge as well as international companies such as Ramboll, China Communication Construction Company, and Delta Marine Consultants.

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CFI Singapore, SWA, and the Forum for Climate Change Adaptation (FCCA)

In conjunction with the launch of a new coastal protection chapter, SWA will sign a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CFI Singapore and the Forum for Climate Change Adaptation (FCCA). This MOU aims to bring together expertise from both industry and academia and will strengthen closer collaboration.

Innovative solutions needed: Request-for-proposals on coastal protection and flood resilience

PUB has launched an open Request-for-Proposal (RFP) to seek innovative and forward-looking solutions to support Singapore’s coastal protection and flood management efforts. This grant call is under the applied research pillar of Coastal Protection and Flood Management Research Programme, established in 2023.

Aimed at addressing Singapore’s unique circumstances, the RFP will consider five topics: sustainable materials, smart structural health monitoring, decision-making for adaptive planning, innovative solutions, and sensors for sediment transport. For instance, one of the focus areas aims to explore sustainable construction material that could be used for coastal protection structures. Given that extensive coastal protection infrastructure is required to protect more than 300km of Singapore’s coastlines, there is a need to source for sustainable materials which i) are durable in the dynamic coastal environment in order to have long service life, ii) are high-strength but light-weight, to facilitate retrofitting of existing coastal protection structures against rising sea level, or iii) are sustainably sourced or produced. Please refer to Annex B for more information.

This grant call is open to Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), public sector entities, and private sector companies based in Singapore. Interested applicants must submit their proposals through the official application portal https://www.researchgrant.gov.sg by 6 August 2024, Singapore time 4pm.

Proposals should demonstrate collaboration across disciplines and sectors, including partnerships with international experts to enhance research capabilities and  technical expertise in Singapore. 

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