The AI for Materials Discovery Grand Challenge, organised in collaboration with the Future Systems and Technology Directorate, MINDEF Singapore, and DSO National Laboratories, aims to encourage the development of innovative approaches that assist scientists with efficient exploration of materials to generate high-potential candidates. It supports ground-breaking research ideas that adopt AI techniques to address the following challenge:

“How can AI accelerate inverse material design to discover advanced materials that are 50% lighter while retaining and/or enhancing their functional properties?”

The Grand Challenge will focus on 2 key material classes:



The Grand Challenge requires close collaboration between AI and material scientists with expertise in both material classes to develop cross-cutting AI solutions. We invite applications from local Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and Research Institutes (RIs). Each application should be submitted by a research team or consortium consisting of one Lead Principal Investigator with an extensive background in AI, and at least one Co-Principal Investigator with domain expertise. We also encourage researchers to involve collaborators from the public and/or private sectors in their teams.

Programme Structure

Stage 1: Technology Development

  • 3 teams will be funded up to S$4M each, over 3 years
  • Physical prototyping and experimental validations will be sponsored

Stage 2: Value Demonstration

  • Each deserving team could be funded up to S$5M over 2 years
  • Teams will have the opportunity to work with agencies to adapt and scale up the developed AI techniques for dual-use applications

Note: Funding support is only available for Stage 1 of the Grand Challenge. Funding support for Stage 2 will be determined as part of the final evaluation near the end of Stage 1.