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NTU to spend S$20m to become green varsity

SINGAPORE — Companies with ideas on how to reduce energy and water usage could see them tested out at Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) campus, which will be turned into an eco test bed as part of a S$20-million initiative by the university.

SINGAPORE — Companies with ideas on how to reduce energy and water usage could see them tested out at Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) campus, which will be turned into an eco test bed as part of a S$20-million initiative by the university.

Under the EcoCampus initiative launched yesterday, NTU aims to work towards a 35 per cent reduction in its energy and water usage, carbon footprint and waste output by 2020.

To achieve this, 12 research projects have been selected by NTU so far, among them an air-conditioning management system that detects energy consumption patterns and adjusts the temperature accordingly, as well as electric buses to replace the diesel ones currently plying the campus. The projects are the result of NTU’s collaborations with 11 firms, including 3M, Siemens and Phillips.

In partnership with JTC Corporation and the Singapore Economic Development Board, NTU’s 200ha campus, together with the JTC’s 50ha CleanTech Park will be transformed into a massive test bed for companies to experiment with and commercialise sustainable urban solutions. They can range from smart building systems and renewable energy, to electric transport and water conservation technologies.

Programme director of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), Mr Nilesh Jadhav, said not only would NTU be able to provide companies the space needed as a test bed for their technologies, but it can also provide them researchers to further improve their projects. “Many companies have told us that by working through this process, they will not only benefit from the common knowledge that comes from various people who joined the initiative, but also commercial opportunities,” he said.

NTU students and staff will also be actively taking part in the research projects, with possible adjustments to the undergraduate curriculum along the way. Over time, ideas that work will be implemented successively and take NTU closer to becoming one of the world’s most eco-friendly campuses. The university said its target of 35 per cent reduction was made in line with the goal set out in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint in 2009.

At the official launch of the Eco Campus initiative yesterday, Mr S Iswaran, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, said growing urbanisation has led to a greater demand for resources such as energy, water and food.

With climate change considerations and the growing demand, Mr Iswaran, who is also a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, said sustainability is now a strategic imperative for cities around the world.

“As a high-impact integrated Living Lab, the EcoCampus will create exciting green-collar jobs, raise our international standing and inspire Singaporeans to adopt sustainable practices.

“It offers opportunities for systems-level test bedding, which will enable us to assess innovative technologies at both the building and district levels, and establish best practices for Singapore and the tropics,” he said.

NTU is inviting companies to submit their innovative green ideas for test bedding through either the ERI@N website or the Government Electronic Business (GeBIZ) Portal. Applications can also be submitted through the EcoCampus website beginning later this month.

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