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Ending Plastic Waste - ACE Grant Call

The ACE (Accelerating Creativity and Excellence) Programmeaims to spark bold, creative and unconventional ideas at the intersections of research disciplines. The programme promotes interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty, NTU schools and colleges to catalyse bold and unconventional research. 

Acknowledging the need and responsibility to step up to the challenge of contributing solutions for and knowledge on critical global environmental challenges, NTU through its Global alliance of Industries (GAIN) initiative, is partnering with one of the leading non-profit organisation – Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) to work on solutions to the widespread problem of eradicating global plastic waste pollution.

In partnership with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), S$1.2 million is ring-fenced to fund this Special Accelerating Creativity and Excellence (ACE) Call for Proposals.


Theme: Ending Plastic Waste 

Proposals are sought that are audacious, creative and unusual, at the intersections of research disciplines that broadly address the challenge of ending plastic waste. The AEPW is seeking action-oriented ideas that push the boundaries of the following thematic areas that currently drive their strategy implementation and project development:

·         Advanced Recovery & Recycling

·         Creating Value for Recyclates

·         Design for Circularity

·         Societal Behaviour


Within these broad themes, solving the challenge of plastic waste can include solutions in biochemistry to breakdown, re-use plastic or upcycle plastic into a valuable resource. It involves advanced technology to manage, retrieve and handle plastic waste. However, ending plastic waste also requires changing people’s behaviour and mindsets, needs a deep understanding of the environmental as well as societal impact of plastic waste, political and diplomatic solutions to deal with plastic waste, design of products with circularity in mind, new business models to create value from plastic waste and infrastructure solutions that directly reduce plastic waste or reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment.


Applicants can apply to two categories of funding: up to S$100,000 (category A) and up to S$200,000 (category B). Successful applicants will be supported by a lump sum grant and given the freedom to conduct research outside the usual domain–constraints.


This thematic round is accepting proposals from 23 November 2020 through 15 January 2021, 17:00 hrs.


A feedback panel will be organised by TRACS (Talent, Recruitment and Career Support), NISTH (NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity) and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste to provide interested PI's and teams of PI's feedback on the main concept of their proposal to maximise chances for success.


Objectives of ACE:

·   Spark audacious, creative and unusual thinking at the intersections of research disciplines with a preference for those with demonstrable outcomes.

·       Support the unfettered exploration of cutting-edge research domains, leading to new theory, methodological approaches or solutions.


Eligibility criteria:

·        All faculty across NTU are eligible.

·   The proposed project must include participating faculty from at least two different colleges and/or research institutes.


Application process:

·      Applicants should complete the below application form by 15 January 2021,
17:00 hrs
and submit by e-mail to

About Alliance to End Plastic Waste 


The Alliance to End Plastic Waste was founded by companies that make, use, sell, process, collect and recycle plastics. It is a unique cross-value chain initiative and provides a framework for companies dedicated to fighting plastic waste in the environment.

Comprised of more than 40 major global companies, the Alliance has a goal of initially funding USD $1.5 billion over five years, to develop, accelerate and bring to scale solutions that minimize and manage plastic waste, to catalyze additional investments, and to promote solutions such as reuse, recycling and recovery. ​​

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