NTU, ExxonMobil, A*STAR launch $60M lab for low carbon technologies
Photo courtesy of Singapore Economic Development Board

NTU, ExxonMobil, A*STAR launch $60M lab for low carbon technologies

In a major boost to Singapore’s sustainability efforts, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), ExxonMobil, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have joined forces to establish a SGD60 million (USD44 million) corporate lab focused on developing low-carbon technologies and solutions.

The ExxonMobil-NTU-A*STAR Corporate Lab was officially launched on April 26 by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who highlighted the importance of such industry-academia partnerships in addressing real-world challenges through innovative research.

Cutting-edge research programs

The new corporate lab will host more than 50 researchers, students, and engineers collaborating on five cutting-edge research programs over the next five years:

  1. Converting biomass into lower-emission fuels for aviation, maritime, and chemical sectors.
  2. Carbon capture and utilization using industrial brine to produce alternative construction materials.
  3. Developing new processes to produce low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas while finding applications for solid carbon.
  4. Efficient carbon capture and carbonation technology to produce solid carbonates for construction applications from industrial by-products.
  5. Large-scale application of carbon materials in concrete for sustainable and durable buildings.

Fostering innovation and talent development

“The partnership between NTU, ExxonMobil and A*STAR is an example of how close collaboration with academia, industry, and public agencies is crucial in developing innovative solutions to address real world challenges,” said NTU Vice President for Industry Professor Lam Khin Yong. He added that the corporate lab aligns with NTU’s strategic efforts to tackle grand challenges and will build on NTU’s deep expertise in sustainability to help amplify Singapore’s on-going efforts to develop low carbon solutions.

ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Chairman and Managing Director Geraldine Chin expressed excitement about working with Singapore’s world-class researchers to accelerate low-carbon R&D. “Our involvement in the translational R&D stages can help scale up projects for commercial deployment. We look forward to collaborating with our corporate lab partners on innovative discoveries that can help change our industry and the world.”

A*STAR’s Assistant Chief Executive for Science and Engineering Research Council, Professor Lim Keng Hui, emphasised the shared commitment to achieving a carbon circular economy through technological innovations.

The corporate lab will not only drive research but also nurture local talent in sustainability and the carbon circular economy. Students and researchers will gain practical skills and insights through this unique collaboration.

Boosting Singapore’s sustainability efforts

The new corporate lab is supported by the Industry Alignment Fund-Industry Collaboration Project (IAF-ICP) under Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 plan. It aims to foster industry-relevant public sector R&D and advance collaborations between researchers and enterprises.

“The joint lab is a valuable addition to our ecosystem that will spur solutions for a greener future while developing home-grown talent in R&D and sustainability here,” said Lim Wey-Len, executive vice president of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

With its focus on low-carbon technologies, the ExxonMobil-NTU-A*STAR Corporate Lab is poised to make significant contributions to Singapore’s energy security, socio-economic development, and progress towards a net-zero future.