Published on 08 Dec 2023

Ushering in a sustainable tomorrow

Whether reducing pollution, solving pressing challenges with artificial intelligence, or encouraging lifelong learning, research at NTU is helping to pave the way for a more sustainable future.

Planet Earth in a lightbulb

More than 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions can be attributed to the shipping industry alone, making it one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases.

To deepen Singapore’s capacity for sustainable shipping, NTU was awarded funding for five years from the Singapore Maritime Institute to support the research efforts of the Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence (MESD).

With this funding, MESD will develop alternative energy management solutions and decarbonise maritime operations, consistent with Singapore’s vision of adopting low-carbon alternatives. The centre will also support 16 research projects with industrial applications ranging from carbon capture utilisation and storage to environmentally friendly fuels.


One way to conserve resources and reduce pollution is to recycle valuable metals found in electronic waste, or e-waste. 

The National Environment Agency in Singapore has awarded a five-year grant to the NTU Singapore-CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy (SCARCE) to support the next phase of its research in recycling e-waste such as lithiumion batteries, silicon solar panels and printed circuit boards.

Launched in 2018, SCARCE is a joint laboratory between NTU and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, which combines the expertise of researchers from Singapore and France to address the recycling and recovery of materials from e-waste.


Lifelong learning gives us the edge to thrive in a world that continues to be shaped by new technologies.

With renewed funding for another three years, the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Individualised Cognition (CLIC), co-led by Prof Annabel ChenProfessor of Psychology and Director of NTU’s Centre for Research and Development in Learning, will investigate the importance of mental agility in the neurodevelopment of infants and come up with a training programme for adolescents and adults. This work could also lead to practical applications in schools and homes to optimise learning.

CLIC was started in 2020 as a programme under the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore Ltd (CARES) to study cognitive flexibility for future learning. It brings together researchers from NTU and the University of Cambridge to study the science of learning and translate the findings into educational and other real-life applications. CARES is a partnership between NTU, the National University of Singapore and the University of Cambridge, funded by Singapore’s National Research Foundation under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise programme.


NTU has been selected for the Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, a programme of Schmidt Futures that supports PhD talent whose research integrates artificial intelligence (AI) to solve challenging problems in society.

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative co-founded by former Google CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy, who is the President of the Schmidt Family Foundation.

NTU is among an initial cohort of nine universities across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Singapore – including the University of Oxford and Imperial College London – that are part of the US$148 million (S$211 million) postdoctoral fellowship programme.

Postdoctoral fellows at NTU will be able to leverage the University’s strong interdisciplinary research ecosystem to develop solutions that apply AI methods to research in engineering and the natural and mathematical sciences.

The article appeared first in NTU's research and innovation magazine Pushing Frontiers (issue #22, August 2023).