A new initiative led by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University’s EcoLabs Centre of Innovation for Energy is looking to help scale up, test and commercialise low carbon technologies such as alternative fuels, maritime port equipment electrification, renewable energy integration, fuel cells and hybrid-electric propulsion systems
EcoLabs and its co-investors will jointly support firms with a fund worth S$100,000 (US$72,000) and in-kind contribution, investments and co-funding of projects. The initiative is aimed at helping cleantech companies pilot-test and launch their innovations.
The chairman of EcoLabs’ governing board and associate vice president (strategy and partnerships) at NTU Singapore, Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, said the initiative will help start-ups specialising in decarbonisation and sustainability bridge their transition from the lab to the market which is “currently a gap in the maritime sector where many start-ups fail to cross.”
NTU EcoLabs will work with technology partner SDGX and three co-investors, Blue Ashva Capital, Origgin Ventures and Chrysalix Venture Capital, to support the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)’s Maritime GreenFuture Fund.
Blue Ashva Capital founder and chief executive Satya Bansal said his company is “committed to building profitable and sustainable businesses in the decarbonisation space for a better future,” adding, “We are pleased to partner with Ecolabs and MPA in this regard and look forward to working with promising companies operating in this space."
The EcoLabs centre for innovation was launched in April 2019 by NTU Singapore, Enterprise Singapore, and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In addition, start-ups identified as part of Singapore’s Smart Port Challenge can gain access to eligibility for MPA grant applications of up to S$50,000 (US$50,000).
Ecolabs will also support novel onboard carbon capture technologies, emissions monitoring, transparency and new scrubbers to clean up exhaust gas emissions.
The Maritime GreenFuture Fund was launced by MPA earlier this year to accelerate efforts in research, test-bedding, and promoting the adoption of low-carbon technologies as Singapore aims to reduce emissions and take the lead in maritime sustainability as countries seek to meet IMO’s emissions reductions target.
IMO estimates that emissions from shipping could grow between 50% to 250% by 2050. In response, IMO has adopted a target to reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in 2050, and to reduce the average carbon intensity by 40% in 2030 and 70% in 2050, compared to 2008 levels.