By Olivia Siong | POSTED: 29 Mar 2014 11:24 | CNA

SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has launched a $500,000 fund to help transform ideas that seek to improve HDB living into reality.

Budding inventors will be able to tap on the Cool Ideas Fund to develop prototypes for test-bedding in HDB flats.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced this at the second Cool Ideas for Better HDB Living exhibition on Saturday.

The fund will be built up over three years and will support 50 ideas.

HDB said the money will help to bridge the gap between the ideas stage and the test-bedding stage.

Inventors will be given a grant capped at $10,000 to support the development cost as well as the test-bedding costs of their prototype.

But they have to put in an equal amount of money in order to receive the grant.

The “Cool Ideas” initiative, launched in 2011, has received over 200 ideas from the public on ways to improve HDB living.

Mr Khaw noted the number of ideas submitted this year has gone up by more than 50 per cent.

Fourteen ideas and prototypes are currently on display at the exhibition held at the HDB Hub Mall in Toa Payoh.

The ideas were submitted via several channels – the Cool Ideas Facebook page, student competitions and local constituency competitions.

The fourth constituency to take part in this competition is Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

Residents will work on new ideas to tackle problems such as high-rise litter and cluttered common corridors.

Previous competitions were held in the East Coast, Sembawang and Nee Soon GRCs.

HDB plans to hold such competitions island-wide, so that all residents can be engaged and involved in enhancing their living environment.

– CNA/ir