Channel NewsAsia

186 scholarships awarded to talent in built environment sector

The Building and Construction Authority says the scholarships, for both degree and diploma levels, will help the built environment sector grow the talent pool needed for its transition to become more knowledge- and technology-based.

SINGAPORE: Of more than 1,100 students who applied, a record 186 received Built Environment Scholarships at the degree and diploma levels on Tuesday (July 29).

There was also a record number of companies - 54 - sponsoring the scholarships this year, and of these, 11 firms awarded scholarships to three or more individuals, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said.

A first-time undergraduate sponsor, Surbana International Consultants, gave out 16 scholarships. Explaining the move, Surbana CEO Pang Yee Ean said: "Asia will continue to urbanise at rapid rates; in China alone, there will be more than 100 million people moving into cities by 2020. Our scholars will join us and be part of our multi-disciplinary team of experts to play an important part in this urbanisation drive."

Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA, said the strong support from the industry is heartening. "With the sector's transformation to become more knowledge- and technology-based and design-intensive, more firms are realising the importance of investing in talents to grow their businesses."

Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah officiated at the BCA-Industry Environment Scholarship Award Ceremony 2014 on Tuesday.

ENHANCING iGRANT

Beyond the scholarships given out, BCA is also enhancing its existing S$5 million Innovation Grant (iGrant) from Aug 1. The grant supports and facilitates industry firms' research and development (R&D) efforts to introduce emerging, game-changing technologies that have high impact on construction productivity, the agency said.

Under the enhanced framework, the iGrant will be expanded to cater to experimental type of projects requiring the fast-tracking of proof-of-concept studies and bringing these solutions to the market, BCA said.

It added that iGrant will be available until Oct 7, 2016, or until the funds are exhausted.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia