Research & Development (R&D) programmmes

Our key R&D programmes are supported under NRF’s Research, Innovation & Enterprise (RIE) plans which are organised along 4 domains, with MND and MSE co-leading the Urban Solutions and Sustainability (USS) domain. Find out more about the R&D programmes in the links below.

Cities of Tomorrow (CoT) R&D programme

Launched in 2017, the Cities of Tomorrow (CoT) R&D programme is a multi-agency effort led by MND that seeks to sustain Singapore’s success in the decades ahead by leveraging on Research and Innovation (R&I).  The CoT programme aims to establish Singapore as a highly liveable, sustainable, and resilient city of the future, and as a vibrant urban solutions hub, through a suite of carefully curated research to develop urban solutions that address our national needs.

Building on earlier R&D efforts on space creation/optimization while enhancing liveability, the CoT R&D programme expanded its research focuses in RIE2020 to include Advanced Construction, Resilient Infrastructure, and Smart and Advanced Facilities Management to support the efforts under the Built Environment Industry Transformation Maps. In RIE2025, the research focuses further expanded to include City in Nature in support of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and to build a healthy city.

RIE2025 CoT Research Verticals/Horizontals
Current Research Focus (non-exhaustive)
Advanced Construction
  • Robot-oriented designs and automation systems for off-site and on-site assembly of building components
  • 3D concrete printing technology
  • Novel joint connection systems

Resilient Infrastructure
  • Cost effective and productive inspection, monitoring and maintenance methods/systems for buildings and Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) services
  • Pre-emptive measures for building damage due to catastrophic events
  • Alternative materials to improve concrete durability
New Spaces
  • Carbon reduction methodologies for land reclamation works Real-time analytical systems for long-term monitoring of polders
  • Alternative land fill materials Innovative solutions to optimize sea space
  • Cost-effective underground construction and maintenance methods
  • Alternative methods for more accurate underground mapping
Greater Sustainability
  • Solutions to adapt to climate change (i.e. mitigate urban heat island effects, improve coastal protection)
  • Solutions to enhance liveability (i.e. reduce noise, improve indoor thermal comfort, enhance odour abatement, mitigate wind/rainfall impacts on buildings and surroundings such as slope erosion
City in Nature
  • Safe, productive & multi-functional urban greenery Biodiversity monitoring for adaptive management of urban biodiversity
  • Managing human-nature relationships
  • Nature-based solutions for inland climate change adaptation
Smart & Advanced Facilities ManagementProductive solutions for integrated facilities management operations
Urban Environment AnalyticsEvidence-based urban planning solutions (i.e. land use activity, mobility, impact of built environment on health and well-being, polycentric development, people and ecology connectivity

To find out more about the CoT R&D Programme, contact us here.

To find out upcoming CoT research grant calls, please visit the IGMS website.

Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC)

Set up in 2014, the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) is an integrated research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programme that aims to accelerate the development and deployment of promising energy efficient technologies in buildings. GBIC’s key objectives include (i) serving as a one-stop integrated Research, Development & Demonstration hub to experiment, exhibit and exchange knowledge of promising building energy efficient solutions with industry stakeholders, and (ii) coordinating and disseminating building energy efficiency related activities and data.

For more details, please visit the GBIC website.

Marine Climate Change Science (MCCS) programme

Set up in 2021, the Marine Climate Change Science (MCCS) programme serves as a national focal point for multi-disciplinary marine climate change research. The programme aims to advance the core sciences of marine climate change and develop solutions to help address the challenges faced by our coastal and marine environment arising from climate change, such as sea level rise, increasing sea surface temperatures, and extreme storm events. It places emphasis on multi-disciplinary and translational research to inform the development of evidence-based interventions and solutions that seek to safeguard our coastal and marine ecosystems against climate change, and to leverage existing natural capital in our blue spaces.

For more details, please visit the MCCS website.