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Singapore, Peking and Oxford Research Enterprise to promote water eco-efficiency

05 July 2010

LAUNCH OF SPORE: Representatives of partnering organisations present at the event include (From left) Professor Alistair Borthwick, Deputy head of Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) Prof Barry Halliwell, Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Mr Tan Yong Soon, and Peking University Vice-President Prof Wen Hai
NUS, Peking University and the University of Oxford jointly launched the S$63 million "Singapore, Peking and Oxford Research Enterprise (SPORE) for Water Eco-Efficiency". The five-year initiative will promote research, education and commercialisation of environmental and water technologies. Officiating the launch of SPORE was Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Mr Tan Yong Soon on 30 June 2010.

"NUS is very pleased to establish further collaborations this time in a very significant area of global interest, water eco-efficiency, with two very prestigious universities and fellow members of the International Alliance of Research Universities. SPORE will facilitate research and education in this important area," said NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) Prof Barry Halliwell.

SPORE is supported by the National Research Foundation through the Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI), NUS, Peking University, the University of Oxford as well as competitive research grants and industry partnerships. Hosted by the NUS Environmental Research Institute (NERI), SPORE is headed by Prof Sam Li from NERI and the NUS Department of Chemistry.

With this tripartite collaboration, SPORE will train manpower through postgraduate degree programmes and executive programmes. At least 40 research scientists and engineers are expected to be trained over the next five years. The three universities will research into areas such as efficient systems for safe drinking water, integrated technology based on "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3R)", enhanced biological-based technology for Highly Concentrated Organic Wastewater (HCOW) treatment, and river ecological rehabilitation.

SPORE will also look into market-oriented technology exploitation. In this aspect, it has already secured its first industry partner, Sinomem Technology Limited, which has committed to contribute S$3 million funding over the next five years to study eco-efficient and green technologies for water treatment plant, green technological park and eco-city planning, design and construction.