The Singaporean subsidiary of global diversified technology company 3M has revealed plans to invest over US$7m into a research and product development facility aimed at promoting sustainable urban living.
The facility, dubbed ‘Smart Urban Solutions (SUS) Lab’ forms part of 3M’s global research and development (R&D) strategy to create “megatrend-focused” teams across its facilities, said a company statement.
Several issues to be addressed include improvement of air quality and water and smart urban living.
According to ZDNet, the establishment of the Smart Urban Solutions (SUS) Lab will contribute to the Southeast Asian country’s smart and sustainable urban ecosystem – “identified as one of five growth areas in the country’s 2015 budget.”
Smart solutions for improved urban living
Ashish K. Khandpur, senior vice president for R&D and CTO at 3M, said that the company has observed consumer habits, monitored markets and tracked major local trends to accelerate technology development.
“The launch of the 3M SUS Lab will help us address Singapore and Southeast Asia regional trends around the need for clean water, clean air, energy efficiency, and more,” Mr Khandpur said.
Apart from the Smart Urban Solution Lab, the technology company has engaged in several other initiatives with Singapore’s academic institutions including Nanyang Technological University EcoCampus and Nanyang Polytechnic.
The partnership resulted in the development of a testbed to trial smart energy solutions, such as advanced lighting, data centre cooling and other building and construction technologies.
3M’s managing director Arthur Fong said: “Through the new lab, we are committed to help Singapore achieve its sustainability goals, such as equipping 80% of buildings with green functionalities, and deriving a 35% improvement in energy usage intensity by 2030.”
Singapore data centre hub
In other smart energy news in Singapore, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said the country accounts for 60% of the data centre capacity in the Southeast Asia region.
The IDA stated that recent growth in the city-state’s data centre sector further strengthens Singapore’s position as an “Asian data management and connectivity hub”.
The authority added that attention will be focused on reducing the energy consumption of data centres as the industry continues to grow.
The IDA is embarking on a comprehensive Green Data Centre Innovation Programme in a bid to increase the overall energy efficiency of the Singapore data centre industry.
Professor Toh Chai Keong, IDA’s assistant chief executive (Engineering & Technology Group) said: “As more and more data centres establish themselves here in Singapore, there will be greater demand for energy.
“So to fulfil this expanded need, we have to start implementing measures and policies so that energy consumption by data centres is sustainable.”