Above image: The signing of the new living lab partnership between NTU and Smart City World Labs. Photo credit: Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore, Her Excellency Mrs Dorte Bech Vizard’s LinkedIn page
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Smart City World Labs, a Danish consortium, are collaborating to develop technologies to improve the sustainability and liveability of cities.
This includes the test-bedding of various technologies ranging from water and energy saving innovations, to green building systems and electric vehicles for tropical megacities such as Singapore.
The tests will be conducted on NTU’s 200-hectare campus, which is already a living lab for many environment-friendly research projects such as the 5-megawatts peak rooftop solar farms installed on buildings around campus. In January this year, NTU also launched Singapore’s first Smart Mobility Consortium at its campus for the testing of smart mobility technologies.
Leading NTU’s efforts will be the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), who together with the Danish consortium experts, will explore five broad areas of research – green building technologies, electromobility, environmental sustainability, liveability, and sustainable energy solutions.
Smart City World Labs, funded by the Danish Industry Foundation, will also support internationalisation efforts of Singapore and Danish small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and start-ups and help them go global by tapping on an international network of living labs.
NTU Chief of Staff and Vice President (Research), Professor Lam Khin Yong said, “We are living in a world that needs sustainable development so as to address the challenges brought about by rapid urbanization. NTU’s partnership with Smart City World Labs will develop innovations to improve the liveability of cities such as Singapore as we embrace green technologies for a more sustainable future.”
Based in Denmark, the Smart City World Labs Consortium comprises of the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the City of Copenhagen, Gate 21 and Quercus Group, a consultancy firm that specialises in sustainable development.
Her Excellency, Mrs Dorte Bech Vizard, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore, said, “Denmark and Singapore – both small countries – are important drivers of the green transition through smart tenders and new ways of doing public-private collaboration. Connecting Danish and Singaporean living labs will make it easier for especially our small and medium-sized companies to test and adapt their innovative products in a real life scenario and to show-case the benefits to a broad range of stakeholders in our markets. I expect this will accelerate the uptake of new green solutions and create export successes in both countries.”
Helping businesses go global
NTU and the consortium will form a gateway that allows local SMEs to tap into a global network of living labs where they can test their ideas, products and innovations overseas. This will allow them to customise their products and services to meet the needs of a specific market.
Apart from providing Singapore companies with a launch pad to expand their businesses overseas, the new partnership will also facilitate access into Asian markets and government agencies for Danish companies.
This removes some key barriers to internationalisation, as companies can easily tailor their technologies and business models for other markets.
Dr. Sanjay Chittarajan Kuttan, Senior Scientist at NTU’s Energy Research Institute, said, “Start-ups and SMEs are often the source of the most innovative solutions for solving urgent issues facing cities around the world, but lack of “proof of performance” in real world deployment and market access limits their option to scale and extract more value from innovation. By creating a platform for international living lab collaboration, this partnership helps to break down such barriers for companies to go beyond their home markets.”