Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s) National Water Agency (PUB)
Organiser(s)
National Water Agency (PUB) , Padang & Co
Industry Type(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Environmental Services, Infrastructure, Urban Solutions
Opportunities and Support Stand to win test-bedding opportunities with PUB in Singapore, funding, mentorship, and scaling opportunities
Application Start Date 1 July 2021
Application End Date 31 August 2021
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

After a successful launch in 2020, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, once again invites innovators and technology companies around the world to propose innovative solutions to Singapore’s water challenges. Successful solutions stand to win unparalleled test-bedding opportunities with PUB in Singapore, as well as funding, mentorship, and scaling opportunities.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)
Environmental Services, Infrastructure, Precision Engineering

PUB Singapore

As a low-lying island, Singapore is particularly susceptible to the threat of rising sea levels. 

At present, about 70% of Singapore's coastline is protected from erosion by waves and storms, using structures such as concrete seawalls and stone revetments. The rest of the coast consists of natural areas such as beaches and mangroves. 

The existing structures used for coastal protection measures typically take up premium waterfront land. For example, earth bunds are typically designed with slopes with 1:3 ratio for structural stability. In the event that taller bunds are required to protect against rising sea levels, it will not be sustainable to continue using 1:3 slopes, as it would take up premium waterfront land space to build coastal protection measures. 

The existing coastal protection structures also typically do not allow provisions for subsequent add-ons or modifications to adapt to rising sea levels. The structures are designed and built based on the expected loading conditions with limited allowance to cater for future uncertainties, to achieve optimal design. Hence, if there is a need to extend the height of coastal protection measures, a major re-construction of the coastal protection structure is typically required.

What We Are Looking For

We are interested in solutions that can protect our coastlines from rising sea levels as well as erosion by waves and storms, and reduce the landtake for such measures without compromising on structural stability. 

We are keen to explore innovation in material science and construction engineering that allow for incremental enhancements of the coastal protection measures. 

We are also open to explore innovative techniques that incorporates nature or urban landscape features into our coastal protection measures. Nature-based solutions complementing traditional engineering structures could allow us to protect and improve the natural environment and biodiversity while urban landscape features could be functional for local residents and help justify the cost required.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Infrastructure, Urban Solutions

PUB Singapore

Sewer and water pipe construction typically involves deep shaft excavation, open cut, micro-tunnelling, and pipe jacking works. Prior to carrying out any work, it is critical to identify all existing underground utilities and verify their exact locations and depths, so as to prevent damaging them or to divert them before constructing the pipes. Currently, the detection and identification of underground utilities are done by referring to drawings, and trial trenching. Trial trenching is a process whereby small trenches are dug to reveal the underground contents. However, this process can be inefficient and increase the amount of time, effort and costs required to seek approval to allow trenching

What We Are Looking For

We are interested in solutions that support the detection and identification of underground utilities and services. The solution must be able to function without causing any interference or disruption to the utilities and their environment. Ideally, the solution should provide better accuracy and easier execution over conventional solutions.

Other than determining the presence of underground utilities, the solution should also differentiate the type and characteristics of underground utilities found (eg. Material, width) accurately and precisely. This information will validate our findings and further assure relevant utility owners that their services have been accounted for before commencement of excavation works.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Environmental Services, Urban Solutions

PUB

Singapore experiences an average of 167 rain days in a year, including 31 to 73 days classified as heavy rain days (based on 10 years of data). 

Today, PUB is relying on 81 units of rain gauges across 710 km2 of land area to monitor rainfall across the entire island. Due to World Meteorological Organization’s requirements as well as limited suitable sites for installing rain gauges, there will be locations where rain gauges are sited as far as 3-5km away from each other. This results in the problem whereby the nearest rain gauges are too far to give representative readings of the rain intensity in certain areas. 

Due to the convective nature of Singapore’s weather system, the rainfall in Singapore can vary significantly spatially and temporally. It is important that PUB obtains adequate rainfall data to support decisions to deploy flood management resources. The existing density of the rain gauge network does not provide enough resolution of the rainfall distribution and therefore, there have been instances in which the nearest rain gauge does not capture the actual rainfall at a location at a particular moment because it is sited outside the localised heavy rain area.

What We Are Looking For

An integrated system of cost-effective rain sensors that is validated through deployment and testing in a district in Singapore. The sensors should be mounted on appropriate public infrastructure such as lamp posts, bus stops, HDB flats, moving buses or any other suitable structures that the solution provider can propose. A dashboard interface developed by the solution provider shall provide a system overview and data visualisation of all deployed sensors in one dashboard. All sensors to be provided for this pilot including the customised web page for display of data shall be owned, operated and maintained by the solution provider. The solution provider will be responsible for obtaining the necessary approval from the relevant agencies. 

If the pilot is successful, the solution will be provided to PUB through a leasing model to which the solution provider is to provide an indicative pricing model.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Environmental Services, Infrastructure

PUB

The presence of prohibited organic compounds in wastewater may affect health and safety of workers maintaining our public sewerage system as well as the treatment processes of downstream used water treatment plants.

These compounds are prohibited under the First Schedule of the Sewerage and Drainage (Trade Effluent) Regulation [SD(TE)R] and are already being monitored routinely by PUB. However, many prohibited organic compounds cannot be rapidly detected, identified and quantified using existing available detection systems like the Photoionisation Detectors (PID) currently in use.

What We Are Looking For

PUB is interested in acquiring systems and/or sensors that can identify prohibited organic compounds individually or as groups (e.g. functional groups). Such sensors and measuring devices would be deployed at the sewers and potentially even at industrial premises to closely and efficiently monitor, identify and facilitate source tracing of an illegal discharge. 

The solution would ideally be able to detect, identify and quantify, through direct measurement or through indirect methods, the entire range of 30 prohibited organic compounds stipulated in the First Schedule of the Sewerage and Drainage (Trade Effluent) Regulation [SD(TE)R]. We wish to understand from innovators the detection effectiveness and cost implications of such a solution to consider practical adjustments to its specifications. 

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PUB Global Innovation Challenge Info Session

14 July, 4pm-5:30pm (UTC+8)

Register Here