NTU has in recent years positioned itself firmly at the forefront of strategic research in Singapore, winning a growing number of key competitive grants for its projects.
Sustainability research accounts for the largest proportion of grants won over the years. With about S$1.3 billion for sustainability research, NTU is making a name globally in this area. Its broad range of "green" projects covers clean water, environmental engineering, energy and earth sciences.
Bearing testament to its research capabilities and the relevance of its research, the university’s competitive research funding has multiplied manifold in the past few years. This includes S$270 million from the Singapore government for two Research Centres of Excellence, the Earth Observatory of Singapore and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering, reaffirming NTU's leadership in the earth sciences and environmental engineering.
NTU has done particularly well under the National Research Foundation's Competitive Research Programme funding scheme, winning 15 out of 33 grants worth up to S$10 million each. These grants are awarded under the programme to research proposals with promising economic or societal benefits. The winning propositions are judged at international scientific reviews to show the greatest potential for addressing key scientific and technological challenges.
NTU has consistently demonstrated its research edge since the inaugural Competitive Research Programme grant call in April 2007. Reflecting its strengths in urban sustainability, in 2010, four of its research projects won the lion's share of awarded grants – up to S$40 million – from the National Research Foundation following its fifth call for proposals on "Sustainable Urban Systems". Only five out of the 68 proposals received under the Competitive Research Programme were recommended and selected for funding.
In 2010, NTU also won three out of the five inaugural Environment Technology Research Programme grants awarded by Singapore's National Environment Agency to realise advanced technologies for waste management.
In the field of interactive digital media, NTU has won 10 out of 13 National Research Foundation funding awards, as well as four out of five National Research Foundation grants for proposals related to interactive digital media in education. In 2009, NTU won three out of six grants for interactive digital media research under the Competitive Research Programme's fourth call for grants.
These grant successes highlight the critical role NTU plays in fuelling Singapore's drive for research and innovation.