News: Singapore & Sweden - institutes link research collaboration on environmental technologies
A Singapore research institute has announced a partnership with Sweden's Linkoping University to pursue research on environmental technologies.
Tuesday, 30th March 2010
The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), an institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), said in a statement it will be teaming up with Linkoping University on technologies such as remanufacturing, clean production technology processes and industrial symbiosis. These technologies are promising, in terms of minimizing the environmental impacts of the manufacturing industry while simultaneously increasing value-add and reducing costs. The collaboration will facilitate the sharing of research expertise from both institutes in joint academic meetings, forums, exchange of students and senior researchers as well as research projects to advance the development, implementation and commercialisation of environmental technologies. Technology advancements in environmental technologies are aligned to the Singapore government's long term vision to help build a greener, more energy efficient and sustainable nation. The government committed US$ 692 million (S$1 billion) in April 2009 to implement Singapore's blueprint for sustainable development to create new technologies and alternative sources of energy. SIMTech's executive director, Dr Lim Ser Yong, said that the institute was "excited about the partnership as we can tap on the vast experience and track records of Linkoping University in environment technologies to complement and strengthen our research in sustainable manufacturing". "This is also timely as sustainable manufacturing is the theme of our Annual Manufacturing Forum and we will intensify our industry development effort in this area. This collaboration will certainly help to accelerate the development, implementation, and commercialisation of sustainable manufacturing technologies for the industry," he said. Linköping University's rector, Professor Mille Millnert, said that "seeking highly qualified international partners is for us a key to the continued development of excellence in strategic areas such as environmental technologies and industrial ecology". "We look forward to develop our cooperation with SIMTech and learn from their vast industrial expertise. Together we can push the frontiers of sustainable manufacturing," he said. This collaboration is an extension of A*star's research alliance with the Golisano Institute for Sustainability of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), USA, signed in 2009 to provide a comprehensive and integrated spectrum of environmental technologies for the industry. More about the technologies: Remanufacturing transforms end-of-life products into new components or products, saving about 85 per cent less embodied energy in production. The global remanufacturing industry has generated more than US$53 billion in annual sales and its products can be commonly found in consumer, industrial, automotive and medical industries amongst others. In remanufacturing, worn, defective or discarded products are disassembled in a manufacturing environment. All components are cleaned, checked, brought up to specification or replaced where applicable. When the product is reassembled and tested, it is close to its original condition, performing as new or even upgraded with the latest technology when possible. Industrial Symbiosis is a subset of industrial ecology, with a focus on sharing information, services and by-product resources among industrial entities or industries with the aim to add value, reduce costs and improve the environment. Industrial symbioses are created to achieve economic and environmental efficiencies as well as competitive advantage for the parties involved, and the concept is currently being applied in some parts of the world. Clean production refers to the application of integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes and products to reduce risks to the environment. Largely preventive, cleaner production processes aim to minimise emissions and waste. This might involve processes that eliminate or reduce emissions of toxicity and GHG of a product during manufacturing stages. Clean production also minimises the use of raw materials and energy.