MPA’s Latest Push for Innovation within the Maritime Sector

June 7, 20178:34 am541 views

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has launched the first Smart Port Challenge in its push for innovation within the maritime sector. This challenge is open for participation to both startups and non-startups.

This six-month programme is aimed at identifying challenges related to technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, machine learning, blockchain, and translating these ideas into commercial solutions.

Each of the selected startup winning from this challenge will receive seed funding support of up to $50,000 from the MPA and PSA unboXed to develop full prototypes of their solutions that can be used for business operations. The participating startups can also receive seed funding support from other venture capitals (VCs), while the shortlisted non startups will be eligible for MPA’s Maritime Innovation and Technology funding for test-bedding or product development.

The Smart Port Challenge is aimed at boosting collaboration between organisations and start-ups to drive digital transformation in the maritime industry. Close to 190 participants from the technology, start-up and the VC community are participating in the programme.

“The scope for digitisation in the maritime industry is immense. For Maritime Singapore to stay ahead of the competition, we must continue to innovate and invest in our future capabilities,” said MPA chief executive Andrew Tan to Straits Times.

See: What does the Future hold for Maritime HR?

“The Smart Port Challenge 2017 is part of our wider industry transformation effort to develop an innovative maritime start-up ecosystem to take advantage of the growing applications of automation, Information and Communication Technology and data analytics in the maritime industry.”

The MPA further has already started discussions with PSA, ST Electronics and DNV-GL to develop and test-bed smart and autonomous harbour craft for example. It is also working with the Singapore Customs to promote the development of innovative digital services, such as the electronic bill of lading and sea freight e-commerce, on the upcoming National Trade Platform – a single, open platform where importers and exporters would have access to all government-related and commercial trade services.

MPA is also looking at partnering with other Government agencies such as Spring and JTC to leverage on their existing start-up support mechanisms such as the startup@SG scheme and network to grow maritime technology startups, while attracting more VCs to invest into the maritime innovation ecosystem.

Also read: 6 Ways Technology is Transforming Maritime Education and Training

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