Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s) National Water Agency (PUB)
Organiser(s) National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Type(s)
Agri-tech, Circular Economy & Sustainability, Energy & Chemicals, Infrastructure, Precision Engineering
, Urban Solutions
Opportunities and Support Pilot funding of up to S$250,000; Gain access to real-world testbeds; Work with PUB engineers to validate your solution
Application Start Date 9 January 2023
Application End Date 1 March 2023
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

After two successful cycles, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, is organising our third Global Innovation Challenge (GIC) to invite innovators and technology companies around the world to propose innovative solutions to Singapore’s water challenges.

Successful solutions stand to win invaluable test-bedding opportunities with PUB in Singapore, as well as funding, mentorship, and scaling opportunities. Your solution could be one of them!

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)
Infrastructure, Precision Engineering, Urban Solutions

Smart Drain Inspector

How might we deploy a cost-effective solution to autonomously inspect our drainage network to identify drain defects and map out the drain alignment/dimension?

In Singapore, rainwater is collected through 8,000 km of drains, canals and rivers. As part of the maintenance regime in PUB, public drains are inspected regularly (typically once every 5 years) for defects and subsequent rectification to ensure that the drainage network is structurally safe and functional. While we would like to increase the frequency of inspection, it is not sustainable to do so with current methods.

What We Are Looking For

A cost-effective site-tested prototype system that can autonomously inspect drains of various types and dimensions, automatically identify drain defects in real-time during an inspection and map out the drain alignment and dimensions to an accuracy of +/- 0.1m for horizontal and vertical displacement into a geospatial database.

If the pilot is successful, the solution would be provided to PUB through a service model where the equipment is owned, operated, and maintained by the company.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)
Energy & Chemicals, Precision Engineering, Urban Solutions

Sewer Sampling Robot

How might we collect factory premises' used water samples from various types of sanitary lateral connections for used water quality monitoring and surveillance, without the need for man-entry into the sewers?

The discharge of trade effluent containing prohibited substances or excessive concentrations of regulated substances into the public sewerage system may cause health and safety risks to workers maintaining the system and disrupt downstream used water treatment processes in PUB's water reclamation plants (WRPs). 

What We Are Looking For

A site-tested robotic platform prototype system that can monitor a factory premise's discharge from the public sewer and collect representative effluent samples from the various types of lateral sanitary connections remotely, without the need for man-entry into the sewers. 

If the pilot is successful, the solution would be provided to PUB through a service model where the equipment is owned, operated, and maintained by the company. Solution providers may consider collaborating with a PUB registered CCTV contractor to tap on their existing competent manpower and resources for this project.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)Energy & Chemicals

Utilising By-products from Carbon Capture?

How might we make the most effective use of the calcium carbonates and magnesium hydroxides/ carbonates formed through the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) in seawater in the most beneficial and economically viable way?

In line with Singapore public sector’s target, PUB aims to achieve net zero emissions around 2045. PUB’s decarbonisation strategies are to:

  • Replace carbon-emitting fuels with renewables,
  • Reduce carbon emissions by improving efficiency and reducing water demand, and
  • Remove carbon from the environment through technologies that can be integrated with PUB’s operations.
What We Are Looking For

A proof-of-concept in the form of a lab-scale or pilot trial to apply the recovered materials in the proposed application and demonstrate its feasibility and techno-economics. In addition, innovators in their applications should provide details on

  • Technical merits of the proposed application,
  • How the calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide slurries might be utilised either directly or repurposed before they could be used.
  • An assessment of the quantity and purity of calcium carbonates and magnesium hydroxides/carbonates
  • Total system techno-economics should be inclusive of transportation to point of use, additional treatment processes and other considerations should be included.

If the proof-of-concept is successful, the solution will be developed further and considered for implementation with the partner.

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Challenge Owner(s)National Water Agency (PUB)
Industry Types(s)
Agri-tech, Circular Economy & Sustainability, Urban Solutions

Phos4SG – Recovering the “P” from PUB’s Used Water Treatment for Improving Singapore’s Food Security?

How might PUB recover phosphorus from dewatered sludge, dewatering centrate or sewage sludge incineration ash (SSIA) cost-effectively for safe and sustainable local vegetable production via hydroponics cultivation?

Phosphorus is a critical yet non-renewable resource for modern agriculture. Its current global reserves are expected to be depleted in 50 - 100 years. The phosphorus scarcity issue poses a serious threat to food security globally. Under the ’30 by 30’ goal, Singapore aspires to build up the capability and capacity of our agri-food industry to produce 30% of our nutritional needs sustainably by 2030. With limited land, Singapore has identified hydroponics as one Agri-tech that can help speed up the growing cycle of our homegrown tech without compromising on nutritional value.

What We Are Looking For

A prototype or equivalent that can effectively recover phosphorus from the waste stream(s) of PUB’s WRP in a form suitable for local agricultural use. Techno-economic analysis should also be included to illustrate the merits of the proposed solution.

If the preliminary study or proof-of-concept is successful, PUB may further scale up the solution.

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Register your interest for the PUB Global Innovation Challenge 3 - Info Session!

Briefing Date:

Wednesday, 18 January 2023, 2:00 – 5:30 PM (GMT+8)
Briefing Venue: