In March 2007, the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC) chaired by the Singapore Prime Minister, endorsed Clean Energy as a key growth area for Singapore. The National Research Foundation (NRF) approved a SGD 50 million Clean Energy Research Programme (CERP) to promote and support R&D in clean energy technologies through a competitive bidding process. Each bidding round will seek applications in specific technologies. Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), public sector agencies and not-for-profit organisations qualify for up to 100% funding support of approved direct qualifying costs of a project. Private sector companies qualify for up to 70% of the approved direct qualifying costs of a project. Only IHLs and not-for-profit entities can receive support for indirect costs. These include up to 20% of qualifying costs for overhead costs and an additional support of up to 10% to support intellectual property protection and commercialisation activities. The projects must run for a maximum of 3 years, and submit regular progress reports. The first round opened on 2 November 2007 and closed on 31 January 2008, targeting solar technologies, including but not limited to: - Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics - Thin-Film Photovoltaics - Novel Solar Photovoltaics - Process and Equipment Design for Solar Cell Manufacturing - Solar Thermal - Building Integrated Photovoltaics - Solar in Off-grid Applications - Distributed Generation and System Integration for Solar Applications The second round opened on 10 November 2008 and will close on 22 December 2008, for projects in the field of novel roof-mounted solar harvesting devices and systems for the tropical region.