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Singapore looking to the future with investments in technology

Singapore is preparing well for the future of the maritime industry through investments in innovation as well as adopting the right mindset. These were the key messages at the opening of the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC), which is part of Singapore Maritime Week 2018.

Opening the conference Singapore senior minister of state for transport and health Lam Pin Min noted that the environment for Singapore as an international maritime centre is changing with the rise of digitalisation. “The industry’s rules of engagement are also changing due to new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and autonomous technology,” he noted.

“To continue to remain relevant and competitive, we have to innovate and re-invent ourselves. This is why innovation is a key focus of the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM),” Lam reiterated.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has aligned with these objectives signed at the conference, five Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and two agreements with local and international partners, that will strengthen Singapore’s connectivity, deepen maritime R&D capabilities and create a vibrant innovation culture.

These include an MoU with Keppel Offshore & Marine and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore to jointly develop remotely controlled or autonomous vessels for harbour operations, with Wartsila to promote the development of technologies on digital acceleration, cyber-physical security and intelligent vessel and port operation, with the IACS class societies to share data about Singapore-registered ships, with NUS Enterprise and PortXL to grow the maritime start-up ecosystem and international networks, as well as a renewal of the existing MoU with the Research Council of Norway to continue cooperation in maritime R&D and education.

“We are glad to have like-minded partners who strongly believe in the importance of digitalisation, technology and innovation. These MOUs will help us to take the maritime sector to a new level of development in areas such as automation, data analytics, intelligent systems and cybersecurity. Along with support for maritime start-ups, MPA hopes to create an enabling environment for both existing and new players to co-exist side by side as part of a vibrant innovative cluster. That way, Maritime Singapore will be able to stay ahead of the curve as a world class hub port and international maritime centre,” said MPA ce Andrew Tan.

The agreements signed included the $1.1bn Tuas Terminal Phase II development deal signed with Penta Ocean, Hyundai and Boskalis that will increase total port capacity by another 21m teu by 2027 and a deal awarded to a group of ST Electronics and Kongsberg Norcontrol to purse the Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System (NGVTMS) Innovation Programme. Awarded under the Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund the consortium will co-invest $7.5m to set up a NGVTMS Lab which will seek to set new frontiers for navigation safety and security as well as improve the efficiency of maritime operations.

These initiatives and projects are not disparate initiatives, said Lam. “They are part of a larger effort to create the environment and ecosystem in Singapore for maritime enterprises to thrive,” he concluded.

Read all the news from Singapore Maritime Week on our dedicated Live From Singapore Maritime Week 2018 page