Twelve start-ups from PIER71’s Smart Port Challenge awarded S$600,000 to bring innovative solutions to maritime market
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), today announced that 12 start-ups from Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71)’s Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2019 have each been awarded S$50,000 in grant funding from MPA. The funding will enable the start-ups to conduct prototype development and test-bed their near market-ready solutions.
Over the next 12 months, the start-ups will be working on pilot projects in collaboration with PIER71’s maritime corporate partners, who will provide subject matter expertise, test data, as well as a platform to test-bed their solutions. Their grant applications were assessed based on the viability of their solutions in addressing maritime challenges. Focusing on technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality (V/AR), blockchain, robotics and wearables, these start-ups are:
• ASA Development
• KoiReader Technologies
• Newton Services Research (local entity of Delvify)
• Performance Rotors
• Tropical Renewable Energy Engineering (TREE)
Upon the successful completion of the projects, the maritime corporates will be adopting the final products/solutions. Mr. Ron Fong, Regional IT Manager of Teekay said, “The use of Kanda’s VR solution to simulate a safety procedure known as Lock Out Tag Out, will allow our crew to undergo training in a virtual tanker which is
essentially a digital twin of the one they work on, without endangering their lives or damaging any equipment. We’re also working with Cerekon to explore a remote support system, that will enable our onboard engineers to use voice-activated head-mounted wearables to safely and more efficiently conduct equipment maintenance.”
Ms. Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “Although the global COVID-19 situation has caused widespread disruption, we push ahead with innovation in the maritime sector. Singapore continues to support the use of emerging technologies to transform the maritime industry, uplift the way companies do their business and strengthen our resilience as a maritime nation. These grants represent MPA’s commitment to supporting innovation as part of Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map, and we are heartened by the results we’ve seen to date from previous grant recipients.”
Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said, “Start-ups addressing innovation opportunities created through Smart Port Challenge are bringing solutions to real problems faced by the maritime industry. By leveraging the extensive pool of talent from the university, the global network of resources from NUS Enterprise, as well as industry partnerships through MPA, PIER71 is playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between innovation and market needs.”
Eight out of 13 of the previous grant recipients from Smart Port Challenge 2018 have completed their pilot projects, with the remaining five nearing completion.
Ship Supplies Direct, a start-up focusing on improving marine logistics and supply chain, has reported up to 30% reduction in delivery costs and up to three hours less waiting time per delivery through their pilot project with PSA International. Aeras Medical, a start-up with experience in the healthcare industry, also completed a three-month onboard trial with OMC Shipping. Their vital signs monitoring solution was used to monitor and manage crew health remotely, and achieved high adherence rate among the crew.
Founded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), through its entrepreneurial arm NUS Enterprise, PIER71 (Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined at BLOCK71) aims to grow Singapore’s maritime innovation ecosystem. PIER71 boosts innovation in the maritime and maritime-related industries by attracting talents, creating opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, attracting investments into start-ups and accelerating ventures.
PIER71 designs and delivers programmes to uncover opportunities within the industry and supports entrepreneurs from ideation to acceleration of their ventures.
PIER71 provides access to various markets, demand drivers, technology solution providers, investors and more. PIER71 also represents a budding and increasingly vibrant ecosystem of stakeholders who are keen to digitalise and create the next wave of maritime innovation.
About the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)
MPA was established on 2 February 1996, with the mission to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre, and to advance and safeguard Singapore’s strategic maritime interests. MPA is the driving force behind Singapore’s port and maritime development, taking on the roles of Port Authority, Port Regulator, Port Planner, IMC Champion, and National Maritime Representative. MPA partners the industry and other agencies to enhance safety, security and environmental protection in our port waters, facilitate port operations and growth, expand the cluster of maritime ancillary services, and promote maritime R&D and manpower development.
About National University of Singapore (NUS)
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, as well as 12 NUS Overseas Colleges across the world. Close to 40,000 students from 100 countries enrich our vibrant and diverse campus community. Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 29 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; as well as risk management and resilience of financial systems. Our latest research focus is on the use of data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore's Smart Nation initiative.
About NUS Enterprise
NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS, plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement the University’s academic programmes and acts as a unique bridge to industry well beyond Singapore’s shores.