Singapore researchers get $2 million in total for proposed projects
The National Research Foundation (NRF) has awarded a total of two million Sing dollars to eight researchers in Singapore for their proposed projects in the latest round of prototype funding.
The NRF received 45 research projects from institutes of higher learning in Singapore for the eighth Proof-of-Concept (POC) Grant Call held last July.
Five of the eight awarded projects are in engineering, two in pharmaceutical/biotechnology, and one in medical device technology.
Awardees will each receive up to $250,000 to demonstrate that their technologies or processes are feasible.
They have 12 months to commercialise their ideas.
One of the projects proposed by two researchers from the National University of Singapore A/Prof Hong Liang and Dr. Chen Xinwei) is a more efficient and cost-effective method of separating water contaminated by emulsified or dissolved oil.
The researchers have come up with a new material made of ceramic membrane and comprising carbon nanotubes to reduce fouling) that separates polluted effluents at a much faster rate.
Such a technology, which would allow reuse of the purified water or enable a cleaner discharge, could potentially lower the cost of treating oil-polluted waters for oil-drilling companies and petroleum plants substantially.
Another researcher Assistant Professor Liu Quan from the Nanyang Technological University hopes to produce a surgical assessment probe that will enable surgeons to excise cancerous breast tumour within a precise margin. This will help the patient conserve good breast tissue during breast tumour surgery and reducing the need for corrective operations.
The project proposals were assessed on a range of criteria such as project scope, innovativeness, technical soundness, market potential, manufacturability and scalability as well as the potential for spin-offs.
NRF's Chief Executive Officer Professor Low Teck Seng said:
"The process of taking technology from the lab to the marketplace is fraught with challenges. The NRF POC scheme makes available funds for researchers so that novel innovative ideas will receive the resources needed to be honed for commercialisation. By seeding many promising ideas, hopefully, we will help grow a critical mass of start-ups, some of which may take off to become global high tech companies in Singapore."
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