Enhancements to Singapore’s measures to help develop maritime start-ups were announced by Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport, at the Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2021 Grand Final on Tuesday. The aim is to support up to 150 start-ups by 2025, up from a previous target of 100 previously.
The PIER71 (Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71), which supports maritime start-ups, is to be expanded with the agreement between the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the National University of Singapore extended for another three years.
The expansion includes a programme called Ascend, which will offer by-invitation to support the scaling of mature start-ups over a 12-month period.
The MPA’s Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund-STARTUP grant scheme awards up to SGD50,000 ($36,600) to PIER71 alumni to pilot projects and up to SGD100,000 to those scaling-up. Eligibility for these grants will now be extended to recognised partner programmes from private industry.
These programmes are Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) Ventures, Ocean of Opportunities (O3) Challenge by Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Symphony Creative Solutions (SCS), PSA unboXed and Rainmaking Innovation. Engagement with the venture capital community will also be stepped up.
Minister Chee said, "As Maritime Singapore emerges from the pandemic, we are going for growth. Our ambition to be a leading MarineTech hub is a key driver of this growth. Through MPA and NUS’s renewed partnership and new initiatives, we will support MarineTech companies with access to markets, technology, funding, and talent, to enable good ideas to become scalable solutions.”
MPA also launched a new MarineTech Start-up Playbook which gives information on support schemes and programmes in Singapore relating to capital, talent, technology R&D resources.