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MPA grants $480,500 seed funding for 13 technology start-ups

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has announced the awarding of SGD650,000 ($480,500) seed funding to 13 technology start-ups from the Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2018 for the development and test-bedding of their innovative solutions.

Each of the 13 start-ups will receive SGD50,000 in seed funding from MPA.

The SPC is part of the Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71) launched in June 2018, a collaboration between MPA and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS). PIER71 comprises of three components, namely SPC, an eight-week acceleration phase and ecosystem building.

“MPA and NUS Enterprise jointly launched PIER71 last year to spur digital adoption in the maritime industry,” said Professor Wong Poh Kam, senior director, NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, NUS Enterprise.

“These technology start-ups have expertise in various technology areas, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet-of-Things and augmented reality. This encourages the adoption of latest technologies and emerging innovations for a more productive and competitive maritime sector in Singapore,” Wong said.

One of the recipients of the seed funding was Claritecs. The Singapore homegrown firm developed BunkerMaestro, an algorithm-based software to assist bunker operators in bunker tankers scheduling so as to achieve higher work efficiencies.

Read more: Claritecs signs four MOUs for bunker tanker scheduling platform BunkerMaestro

To adopt a more targeted approach, PIER71 has grouped these start-up solutions into three clusters, namely enabling platforms, port and cargo operations, and crossed industry/border innovation. This approach addresses the need for higher network speed and encourages cross-sharing of services.

Kenneth Lim, cto of MPA, commented: “Although increased digitalisation and innovative technologies have resulted in unprecedented change in the maritime sector, it has also brought about cost- and time-savings, growth and new capabilities.

“Through initiatives under the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map and continued collaboration across the maritime ecosystem, Maritime Singapore will be able to ride the next wave of innovation-driven growth and move up the value chain, to maintain our standing as a global maritime hub,” Lim said.

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