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Singapore’s MPA commits more to MINT Fund

Singapore’s MPA commits more to MINT Fund
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has committed a further SGD50m ($36.7m) to a fund for innovation and technology, bringing its war chest to a total of SGD200m.

The Maritime Innovation & Technology (MINT) Fund was established in 2003 by MPA with an initial SGD100m to support R&D and test-bedding of maritime technologies by universities, research institutes and companies in Singapore over a ten-year period.

The fund was last topped up by another SGD50m in 2013 and extended to 2018, before the latest SGD50m additional top-up and term extension to 2021, MPA announced.

Besides the top-up, MPA will be enhancing the fund by introducing a new MINT Product Development scheme to promote local development of products and solutions for the maritime industry.

There will also be enhancement to its funding policies and guidelines to encourage higher quality projects, and expansion of the fund’s focus areas to include research in sub-focus areas such as data analytics, modelling and simulation, autonomous technologies and sensors.

“These enhancements are in response to emerging technological developments and industry feedback, and place greater emphasis on translating R&D outputs into applicable products and solutions for the maritime industry,” MPA said.

The current focus of the fund has been on areas including environment and energy, operations and logistics, safety and security, ICT and systems, and marine and offshore engineering.

“By co-funding up to 50% of project costs, the MINT Fund encourages companies with a local presence to undertake maritime R&D and use Singapore's port and maritime facilities as the test-bed for their innovations,” MPA said.

Since its inception, the fund has supported more than 290 R&D projects in areas such as port automation, marine environment and navigation safety.

“Such efforts have resulted in innovations such as automation of container port operations, a novel ballast water treatment process and a real-time under keel clearance monitoring system to prevent the grounding of ships. The automation of container yards operations for instance, enables one operator to remotely control multiple yard cranes,” MPA said.