Driving win-win private sector partnerships
An integrated lab-of-sorts, Cities of Tomorrow (CoT) is a multi-agency effort launched to address key urban issues by leveraging R&D in four key areas: advanced construction, resilient infrastructure, new spaces, and greater sustainability.
In the built environment, corporate labs have been setup by leading infrastructure companies such as Surbana Jurong together with Nanyang Technological University, as well as Sembcorp in collaboration with National University of Singapore. These drive research on a diverse range of topics, including digital technologies for building productivity, and sustainable solutions including energy and waste management.
While the concept of partnering with industry players is not new, CoT goes a step further in working with the industry as co-investors and co-developers of research. To date, some 75% of the applications received involve the private sector, not just as vendors, but as co-developers of new, promising and bold ideas.
Building cities of tomorrow requires careful long-term planning and skilful execution. However, beyond that, strengthening public-private partnerships with initiatives to catalyse the development and adoption of innovative solutions to boost the capability of built environment businesses is definitely a step in the right direction.