News:Asia

Singapore to establish ‘MPA Living Lab’ to enhance competitiveness

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is establishing a MPA Living Lab and working with partners to set up three Centres of Excellence to deepen maritime R&D competencies.

The MPA Living Lab will provide a technology partnership platform, with sufficient scale and real operating conditions in the port of Singapore, that technology providers and industry partners can plug into for the co-development and piloting of innovations.

Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA, said: “The MPA Living Lab will be the first of its kind in the region and will not only help Singapore to transform its maritime sector into a high technology industry through the test-bedding and development of new systems and capabilities for future port operations but also enable companies to test-bed locally developed solutions under actual operating conditions, bringing these technologies closer to commercialisation and internationalisation.”

To be set up this year, the MPA Living Lab will focus on developing capabilities in the four areas of data analytics and intelligent systems, autonomous systems and robotics, smart and innovative infrastructure, and safety and security.

The MPA will also partner the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) to set up three maritime research Centres of Excellence within local institutes of higher learning over the next five years.

The first centre focusing on maritime environment and energy will be launched by MPA and Nanyang Technological University by the second quarter of this year.

Two other Centres of Excellence focusing on port operations and maritime safety will be established later.

Meanwhile, MPA said it has increased the co-funding for the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF)-Productivity from 50% to 70% of qualifying costs, and expanded the scope of qualifying costs to include software licensing, specialised hardware as well as salaries of up to two company employees to carry out the productivity projects.

MPA also enhanced the co-funding under MCF for Manpower Development (MCF-MD) to include a wider scope of topics for training programmes and longer durations for overseas training attachments.

The MCF-MD will now be able to support technical training in IT skills, data analytics, and green technology with maritime applications; soft skills such as negotiation, communication and supervisory skills; and executive leadership courses.

MPA added that in order to encourage maritime companies to continue offering meaningful overseas training attachment opportunities to local employees, the maximum supportable duration has been extended from six to 12 months.

The enhancements to both MCF-Productivity and MCF-MD have taken effect from 1 February.

Posted 08 March 2017

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Lee Hong Liang

Lee Hong Liang
Asia Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

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