New S$6.5m facility at NTU by SCELSE and Carl Zeiss to boost used water treatment and environmental life sciences engineering research in Singapore

Published on : 20-Jul-2012

The Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), today launched a S$6.5m Advanced Biofilm Imaging Facility at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in partnership with optical and opto-electronic leader Carl Zeiss.

SCELSE, a first-of-its-kind research institution that aims to harness the powers of micro-organisms for environmental and water sustainability, is a S$120 million centre funded by the Singapore government.
With the new facility and state-of-the-art imaging equipment from Carl Zeiss, SCELSE, aims to become the first research centre in the world to achieve real-time observation of how bacteria interact with each other in real-time and to conduct unique DNA testing so as to develop new research techniques not possible before in this field.

This new facility is part of a long-term collaboration between SCELSE and Carl Zeiss that was inked today. Leveraging advanced imaging technologies from Carl Zeiss such as the high-resolution, high-sensitivity laser scanning confocal system, SCELSE will embark on bacteria research projects in used water treatment, public health and other critical environmental life sciences engineering research in Singapore.

Professor Staffan Kjelleberg, SCELSE Director, said: "Through its partnership with Carl Zeiss, SCELSE has become the first institution in the world to use such advanced imaging equipment in pushing the frontiers of environmental life sciences, enabling us to achieve a deeper understanding of bacterial interactions in numerous environments. Our students and researchers are already working on several environmental projects such as used water treatment and surface waterways. We are confident that this new collaboration with Carl Zeiss will help deliver ground-breaking findings and intellectual property to help strengthen Singapore’s position as a global leader in environmental life sciences engineering R&D.”

This is the first time that Carl Zeiss is working with a partner in the field of environmental life sciences engineering. As part of their MOU agreement, the optical and opto-electronic leader and SCELSE will explore ways to make optimal use of the systems for research in this emerging field of study. 

Ven Raman, Managing Director of Southeast Asia, Carl Zeiss, added: “Carl Zeiss is very excited to partner SCELSE, a world-class research group helmed by pioneers in environmental life sciences engineering. We are looking forward to working closely with SCELSE to explore the unexplored area of bacterial interaction, and harness that knowledge for important projects such as water treatment and public health for the benefit of all Singaporeans.”

The Advanced Biofilm Imaging Facility by SCELSE and Carl Zeiss is located at 60 Nanyang Drive, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. 

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Press contact at Hive Consulting:
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Press contact at NTU:
Lester Kok
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Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804

About Carl Zeiss

Founded in Germany as a workshop for precision mechanics and optics in 1846, Carl Zeiss is today a global leader in the optical and opto-electronic industries. Carl Zeiss currently has around 24,000 em-ployees in offices in over 30 countries and are represented in more than 100 countries, with production centers in Europe, North America, Central America and Asia. Singapore, as its headquarters in South East Asia, is Carl Zeiss’ strategic gateway to further expand into Asia Pacific to meet the region’s growing demand for advanced imaging solutions.

Carl Zeiss offers cutting-edge imaging products and solutions for biomedical research and medical technology, as well as for the semiconductor, automotive and mechanical engineering industries. Planetariums and high-quality consumer goods such as camera lenses and binoculars bring the ZEISS brand to millions of people around the world.

Further information:

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit

About the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering

SCELSE is Singapore’s newest Research Centre of Excellence, which breaks new ground in understanding, harnessing and controlling microbial biofilm communities in environmental, industrial and public health settings.

Housed at the Nanyang Technological University, SCELSE’s interdisciplinary research focuses on overall community structure, function and performance of microbial biofilms as well as the mechanisms of their communication and micro-ecological interactions by using cutting edge expertise from emerging technologies in engineering and natural sciences.

The $120 million dollar research centre, funded by the National Research Foundation and the Ministry of Education, aims to harness biofilms to meet the crucial challenges of securing clean water and maintaining a sustainable environment.

Learn more about SCELSE at

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