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Sustainability Research At NUS Gets A Boost From Temasek

hydrogen technologies and blue carbon ecosystems

As an urban island-state, Singapore has limited access to renewable or alternative energy sources, and faces threats from rising sea levels and other adverse effects of climate change. To enhance the resiliency and sustainability of the nation, researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have been actively working on technological innovations to reduce our carbon footprint.

Now, these research efforts will be further strengthened with support from investment company Temasek. It has recently pledged a gift of S$15 million to co-fund a research centre that harnesses hydrogen for sustainability applications, and a gift of S$3 million to implement a research programme to develop a knowledge database and toolkit for blue carbon stocks in the region.

This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Mr Heng Swee Keat, on 29 September 2021 during his speech at the Ecosperity Week 2021 presented by Temasek. The event gathered global business leaders, policy-makers, investors and civil society from the region and beyond for discussions around the opportunities in decarbonisation and climate action, reimagining nature and resources, and sustainable investing and financing.

Mr Heng delivering his speech

Mr Heng delivering his speech (Photo: Temasek)

New centre for innovative hydrogen solutions

Hydrogen is the world’s most abundant element, and has shown promise to be a green fuel for Singapore in its fight against climate change. To harness its potential, NUS will establish a new Centre For Hydrogen Innovations (CHI), bringing together the best talents from the academia and industry to generate novel solutions to support Singapore’s national carbon reduction target.

NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) Professor Chen Tsuhan said, “The establishment of CHI is timely, made possible through the generous gift from Temasek. CHI will be the first hydrogen research centre in Singapore, and it aims to empower Singapore to be a gamechanger in enabling a hydrogen economy, diversify our nation’s energy supply to strengthen energy security, and contribute to the global agenda of combatting climate change.”

In addition, CHI will leverage NUS’ thought leadership, state-of-the-art facilities, and unique strength in translating interdisciplinary research to address complex and system level challenges involved in the deployment of hydrogen technologies. In this way, the new Centre will be well positioned to serve as a nexus to build an ecosystem of industry partners, as well as to scale and commercialise the technologies across the supply chain and downstream applications.

The new Centre, which is expected to be operational in 2022, will conduct research in the areas of hydrogen production, transportation, storage and end-use applications that push technological frontiers. It will also testbed technologies for deployment, and will contribute to the development of researchers and industry practitioners to support a hydrogen economy.

New research programme on blue carbon

Nature-based climate solutions offer multiple benefits to society, including clean air and water, food security, and livelihood opportunities. Such solutions can provide over a third of the cost-effective mitigation needed worldwide to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Blue Carbon

Mangroves are one of the coastal ecosystems that have been identified to sequester and store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests. They are now being recognised for their role in mitigating climate change. (Photo: Dan Friess)

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