Grant that boosts environmental services sector enhanced and extended
Amid the increased emphasis on cleaning public spaces following the coronavirus outbreak, an existing grant that improves productivity in the environmental services sector has been enhanced and extended, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said yesterday.
The extension of the $30 million Productivity Solutions Grant, which was due to end on Jan 31, will help more companies make jobs easier and safer for cleaners and other workers in the sector, she said.
Firms will now have up till Feb 28 next year to apply for the grant that helps them buy proven environmental services technology.
From next month, the monetary support for successful applicants will be increased to up to 70 per cent of the qualifying cost, capped at $350,000, up from 50 per cent and a cap of $250,000. Pest management firms can also now tap the grant.
Dr Khor, who made the announcement during a visit to Jewel Changi Airport, said: "In times like these, when we are battling the Covid-19 outbreak, it becomes even more evident that the environmental services sector plays an important role."
She said the cleaning sector, in particular, plays a critical role in helping to ensure high standards of sanitation and hygiene, and "we have been working and looking at how to make the work of workers in the sector easier, smarter, and safer".
She said the National Environment Agency (NEA) has been working with companies to review and redesign work processes, as well as encourage the companies to adopt technology.
Since the grant was launched in September 2018, NEA has approved 473 applications and committed $7.2 million through it.
NEA has also received another 300 applications with a potential grant commitment of $6.1 million.
While the total sum committed represents less than half the full sum of the grant, Dr Khor said the number of applications received is still sizeable and reflects demand for the grant.
More companies are expected to come on board now, including those in the pest management sector.
Jewel, which is among the successful grant applicants, showcased an autonomous scrubber yesterday. It bought six of these Ecobot machines with support from the grant.