SINGAPORE: Businesses are now better positioned to tap the research expertise of institutions in the area of membrane separation technologies, with the launch of the new S$30 million Separation Technologies Applied Research and Translation (START) centre.
The centre will build and test advanced separation technologies and processes in partnership with the industry.
Technology areas which START will explore include novel membranes and processes that can help lower energy costs and increase higher yields for seawater desalination.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that the new centre will help companies commercialise intellectual property from universities and research institutes.
"While our universities and research institutes are producing a rich pool of intellectual property (IP) related to membrane separation technologies, there is a lack of specialist talent and infrastructure to help our companies take up these IPs, further scale up the research, and get it ready for market," said Mr Masagos. "START aims to fill this gap."
The centre will first focus on the commercialisation of membrane-related technologies used in the water sector, and going forward, it will diversify to other applications like environmental and air filtration.
Singapore has about 180 water companies and more than 20 research centres.