SINGAPORE, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The National Research Foundation of Singapore will give an additional funding of 140 million Singapore dollars (113.8 million U.S. dollars) to promote researches aimed at converting ideas into practical water solutions, local media reported on Tuesday.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the additional funding at the opening ceremony of the Singapore International Water Week on Monday, local Chinese language daily Lianhe Zaobao reported.
The new funding will come on top of the 330 million Singapore dollars previously committed in 2006.
Tharman said that it is important to invest in new technologies for the long term, and that finding new ways to develop sustainable water solutions will be key to Singapore's water security.
Singapore government has invested heavily in water-related research and development over the past years in an effort to address its severe challenge of water shortage. The city state relies heavily on imported water resources.
"We are hopeful that with these investments, we will achieve our goal of growing the value-added contribution from this sector from 0.5 billion in 2003 to 1.7 billion by 2015, and doubling jobs in the sector to 11,000," said Tharman, who is also the finance minister.
It is important to grow the private sector players in the water industry, he said, citing the example of the national water agency PUB awarding a contract to private company ST Electronics.
The government also tried to facilitate the development of the water industry by putting in place public private partnership.
"More recently, we've used public private partnerships, or PPP, for short, to involve the private sector in the desalination as well as the production of NEWater, so our companies like Hyflux, Sembcorp and Keppel Corp, have entered into contracts with PUB," said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan.