NUS and NTU to set up Singapore Energy Centre in 2019

Memorandum of Understanding signed with ExxonMobil for its participation as the centre’s first founding member

Other industry leading companies will be invited to join as members to foster interdisciplinary research collaborations

National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and will be launching the new Singapore Energy Centre in early 2019 to explore innovative ideas and develop talent to meet future energy needs in Asia Pacific.

The centre aims to address the big challenges of today and in the future of how the world consumes and produces energy by fostering interdisciplinary interactions among local universities, institutes, and industry.

It will focus on researching next-generation technologies such as new forms of energy production; energy efficiency, conversion and storage; climate change mitigation and adaptation; and energy and water access. The centre’s horizon for research outcomes is long term and is aimed towards new discoveries and significant improvements in technologies.

With the participation of NTU and NUS professors, students, and researchers, the centre will serve as a platform to encourage and foster long-term research partnerships among Singapore academic institutions and industry.

Both universities will co-lead the centre, with NTU holding the directorship for the first two years and NUS leading for the next two years. The centre will also groom future leaders skilled in developing sustainable energy solutions through an Energy Fellowship programme. Under this programme, students from both universities will be able to pursue research areas consistent with centre goals to help nurture an ecosystem of innovation and research excellence in Singapore and regionally.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Acting Provost, Chief of Staff, and Vice President for Research, said, “This tripartite partnership aims to break new grounds in sustainability and clean energy as it synergises industry expertise with academic excellence. This creates an industry-academic nexus, which not only accelerates technological breakthroughs, but also places our researchers and students at the forefront of translational research. Leveraging NTU’s established strengths in sustainability and innovation, this partnership will also raise the bar in developing sustainable industry solutions, paving the way towards a greener future.”

Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Deputy President (Research & Technology) and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor, said, “NUS is pleased to partner with ExxonMobil and NTU in this joint research initiative, which combines the rich scientific capabilities of both academia and industry to solve complex, real-world challenges. We will contribute our expertise in basic and applied engineering research to develop innovative sustainable energy solutions that will not only boost the competitiveness of Singapore and our industries in the region, but also improve overall environmental sustainability.”

NTU, NUS and ExxonMobil signed a Memorandum of Understanding today for ExxonMobil to become the first founding member of the centre.

“The Singapore Energy Centre is the first energy centre partnership ExxonMobil has undertaken outside the U.S.,” said Dr Vijay Swarup, Vice President of Research and Development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “Through this collaboration with NTU and NUS, we hope to explore new areas of research that can help find efficient, scalable and sustainable ways to meet the world’s future energy needs.”

As a founding member, ExxonMobil plans to support the centre’s wide range of early-stage innovative research projects and activities, while NTU and NUS will share their expertise, knowledge and research infrastructure to support the centre’s initiatives. ExxonMobil scientists and researchers will also collaborate with NUS and NTU on these projects. 

“Our research collaboration with NTU and NUS will add another dimension to ExxonMobil’s commitment in Singapore,” said Mr Gan Seow Kee, Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. “We are excited about this new endeavor to enhance energy research in Singapore and we look forward to our collaboration with the two universities.”

The centre will expand to include more industry partners and to broaden its research scope. Both universities will be inviting other industry leading companies – local as well as global leaders – that share the centre’s commitment to lead long-term fundamental research, transform the energy landscape and address sustainability concerns for generations to come. Participation in the centre allows sponsor members to participate in core research, as well as undertake member-directed research with the universities.