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Cities of Tomorrow (CoT) R&D Programme

Launched in 2017, the Cities of Tomorrow R&D Programme (CoT) is a multi-agency effort led by Ministry of National Development (MND) to identify challenges that cities face and develop R&D solutions to address the challenges.

Vision

The vision of CoT is to establish Singapore as a highly liveable, sustainable and resilient city of the future, and as a vibrant urban solutions hub that features cutting-edge urban solutions. Under RIE2025, this vision will be achieved through the development of integrated R&D solutions in 5 key verticals and supported by 3 enabling horizontals: 

Key Research Verticals


Research focus

The CoT programme was developed by the MND Family in conjunction with partner agencies, with the aim of delivering outcomes in collaboration with the research community and industry partners. CoT will support R&D across the project value chain from upstream research to downstream technology deployment, with an emphasis on projects that have high potential for practical implementation and commercialisation.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will be the implementing agency for $46 million of the research funds allocated to the research vertical of Advanced Construction and research horizontal of Smart & Advanced Facilities Management (FM). The vision and key research focus areas under Advanced Construction and Smart & Advanced FM are as follows:

Vertical

Vision

Research themes

Vertical 1: Advanced Construction

To develop a highly productive, integrated and technologically advanced construction sector that can build faster and more sustainably, while optimising manpower and resources

  • Additive manufacturing such as 3D printing technology to allow more complex structures to be built faster and more effectively using less manual labour through automated manufacturing-like processes. 

  • Robotics and automation – Develop technologies and facilitate robotics deployment to streamline Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) processess on-site and off-site to achieve greater productivity in the construction process.

  • Advanced Materials for the Built Environment – Develop sustainable construction materials with enhanced materials properties.

  • Safe and productive construction – Drive development of innovative technologies and systems to enhance safety and improve construction productivity. 

  • Advanced project management – Enhance coordination across the construction value chain and optimise resource utilisation by leveraging smart/digital technologies.             

Horizontal 3:  Smart & Advanced FM

To build a high-quality facilities management sector for the built environment through the integration and efficient execution of FM disciplines (e.g. security, landscape, cleaning etc.) 

  • Centralised Network Intelligence and Coordinated Deployment of Robotics for Optimal FM Operation – Develop intelligent platform capable of centrally monitoring several FM services (e.g. cleaning, security etc.) within and across buildings, to allow building/estate-level predictive maintenance, and deployment of FM robotic fleets for improved productivity in FM services. 

Eligibility

Principal Investigators (PIs) from the following are eligible to apply for CoT:

  • Singapore-based Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs)
  • Not-for-profit entities 
  • Companies and company-affiliated research laboratories/institutions 

Collaboration with foreign organisations and experts in the capacity of Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), or as Collaborator is allowed. 

The lead PI who leads the research must be based in Singapore and the research work should be done in Singapore, unless expressly approved in writing.

Funding

The CoT will support 100 percent of the approved qualifying direct costs of a project for Singapore-based IHLs. Companies, company-affiliated research laboratories or institutions and not-for-profit entities will qualify for up to 70 percent of the approved qualifying direct costs of a project depending on the type of firms as listed in the following table. Support for indirect costs, in the form of overheads, will only be provided for Singapore-based IHLs.

S/N Type Max Direct Cost support  
 1  All non-SG private sector entities (including not-for-profits)  30%
 2  LLEs  50%
 3  SG SMEs  70%
 4  SG Start-ups
 5  SG Not-for-profits

Evaluation criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Criteria

Description

Potential contribution to the objectives of CoT

  • Relevance of proposed research in contributing to objectives of the call topic

Potential for breakthrough and innovation

  • Quality and significance of proposed research, including value for money, and the potential for breakthrough/ innovation to advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields

Potential for application and deployment in Singapore and commercialisation/export

  • Potential for application of research outcomes in Singapore by a public agency and potential for solutions to be replicated in Singapore beyond a single site/project

  • Feasibility for commercialisation/ export in areas where Singapore has a competitive advantage

Execution strength and competency of research team

  • Quality of plans for execution and delivery of the research programme and goals

  • Quality, significance, and relevance of the recent research record of the PI and Co-PIs and the strength of the applicant group 

Grant calls

Grant calls will be launched via National Research Foundation's Integrated Grant Management System (IGMS). Please visit the IGMS website here to view ongoing grant calls.

Enquiries:

For further enquiries, please contact BCA_COT@bca.gov.sg.

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