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Cities of Tomorrow (CoT) R&D Programme


The Cities of Tomorrow R&D Programme (CoT) is a multi-agency effort, led by Ministry of National Development (MND), to identify challenges that cities face and develop R&D solutions to address the challenges.

A total of $150 million has been set aside for CoT, which is part of the $900 million allocated to the Urban Solutions and Sustainability (USS) domain under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020).


The vision of CoT programme is to establish Singapore as a highly liveable, sustainable and resilient city of the future, and as a vibrant urban solutions hub - a living model which features cutting-edge urban solutions. This will be achieved through the integrated development of R&D in 4 key verticals, namely, Advanced Construction, Resilient Infrastructure, New Spaces, and Greater Sustainability. These are supported by 2 enabling horizontals of Urban Environment Analytics and Complex Science for Urban Solutions.


The CoT programme was developed by the MND Family in conjunction with partner agencies, with the aim of delivering outcomes in collaboration with the research community and industry partners. CoT will support basic research, applied research, and small-scale demonstration projects, with an emphasis on projects that have high potential for practical implementation and commercialisation.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will be co-leading the research verticals of Advanced Construction, Resilient Infrastructure and Greater Sustainability. The vision and research focus areas for these verticals are as follows:

  1. Vertical 1 - Advanced Construction

    Vision: To build a highly productive, integrated and technologically advanced construction sector

    Key Research Themes:

    • Productive Construction - Develop an integrated, intelligent, digitally-enabled construction environment that is highly productive and cost effective

    • Resource and Land Optimisation - Reduce and reuse resources required in construction and intensify land use for off-site production

    • Nuisance Mitigation - Reduce environmental impact of construction activities

  2. Vertical 2 - Resilient Infrastructure

    Vision: A robust, flexible and well-maintained city that has reliable and cost-efficient infrastructure

    Key Research Themes:

    • Building Structure and Facade Fixure - Minimise building defects, enhance building inspection processes and reduce the cost and manpower needs for maintenance

    • Building Systems - Enhance the performance and reliability of key Mechanical and Electrical services

  3. Vertical 4 - Greater Sustainability

    Vision: A high quality living environment that is inclusive, resource efficient and adaptive to climate change

    Key Research Themes:

    • Urban Ecosystems - Create sustainable, resilient and green cities through applying an ecosystem approach to urban planning, development and management

    • Quality Living - Create a comfortable and pleasant living environment for residents

    • Energy and Resource-Efficiency - Enhance the energy and resource efficiency of towns, estates and buildings to reduce the environmental impact of operations

    • Coastal Protection - Future-ready for rising sea level


Principal Investigators (PIs) from all Singapore-based institutions of higher learning (IHLs), public sector agencies and not-for-profit research laboratories as well as companies and company-affiliated research laboratories/institutions, are eligible to apply. The Lead PI who leads the Research must be based in Singapore. Collaboration with foreign organisations and experts in the capacity of Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), or as Collaborator is allowed. Research work should be done in Singapore, and should not be carried out overseas unless expressly approved in writing.


  • The CoT will support 100 percent of the approved qualifying direct costs of a project for Singapore-based IHLs, public sector agencies and not-for-profit hospitals and research laboratories. Companies and company-affiliated research laboratories or institutions will qualify for up to 70 percent of the approved qualifying direct costs of a project.

  • Supportable direct costs can be classified into the following cost categories:

    1. Expenditure On Mmanpower (EOM);
    2. Equipment;
    3. Other Operating Expenses (OOE);
    4. Overseas Travel; and
    5. Research Scholarship
  • Support for indirect costs, in the form of overheads, will only be provided to Singapore-based IHLs, and not-for-profit entities. Funding support of 20 percent of the total qualifying approved direct costs will be allowed.


Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential contribution to the objectives of CoT

    • Relevance of proposed research in contributing to objectives of the call topic

  2. Potential for breakthrough and innovation

    • Quality and significance of proposed research, including value for money, and the potential for breakthrough/innovation to advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields

  3. Potential for application and deployment in Singapore and commercialisation/export

    • Potential for application of research outcomes in Singapore by a public agency and potential for solutions to be replicated in Singapore beyond a single site/project

    • Feasibility for commercialisation/ export in areas where Singapore has a competitive advantage

  4. Execution strength and competency of research team

    • Quality of plans for execution and delivery of the research programme and goals

    • Quality, significance, and relevance of the recent research record of the PI and Co-PIs and the strength of the applicant group


Please access the Integrated Grant Management System (IGMS) for more information on grant calls.

Refer to the following for information on past grant call:


For enquiries on CoT, please contact the Secretariat at: BCA_COT@bca.gov.sg