10th Singapore Maritime Institute Forum discusses approaches to navigate the future of port and shipping for a new era

Singapore, 22 October 2020 | For Immediate Release

Organised by the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), the tenth edition of the SMI Forum was streamed virtually over two sessions to more than 350 maritime professionals from around the world. The event was graced by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs.

2 Themed “Future of Port and Shipping”, this year’s SMI Forum shone a spotlight on the role of research, technology and innovation in future-proofing next generation ports and discussed automation and sustainability in future-ready shipping.

3 In his opening address, Mr Chee noted the three key forces that will drive change in the maritime industry, namely disruption, digitalisation and decarbonisation. He emphasised how experimentation and innovation are critical enablers in enabling future capabilities and solutions.

Launch of new maritime research initiatives

4 Mr Chee announced two new maritime research initiatives at the SMI Forum:

Universal mark-up programming language to standardise the development of digital twins of ports of the future

5 The first of the two initiatives is SINGAPort Studio, a suite of software solutions that is capable of using past knowledge and current technologies, to design, (re)configure and build digital twins that are able to perform simulation and optimisation studies. Developed by the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports (C4NGP) at the National University of Singapore, SINGAPort Studio can help with better and quicker decision making, for maritime and port related industries.

6 C4NGP has also developed PortML, a set of universal mark-up programming language standards to specify the configuration of ports and to accelerate the building of a port digital twin.

For more detailed information on PortML, please refer to Annex 1.

Roadmap for Smart and Autonomous Maritime Transport Systems prioritises research activities towards the next generation maritime transport system.

7 The second initiative is the Roadmap for Smart and Autonomous Maritime Transport Systems, developed by two leading maritime research institutes in Norway and Singapore – SINTEF Ocean and Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), with the inputs of MPA, SMI and the Research Council of Norway (RCN). This roadmap identifies key elements and the most important research challenges that will enable a transformative change in the maritime sector towards smart and autonomous ships and ports. It is developed to help prioritise and coordinate research activities towards next generation maritime transport systems.

8 As the national focal point for research and development, as well as technological innovation for smart and autonomous vessels, the Centre of Excellence for Autonomous and Remotely Operated Vessels (CEAOPS), hosted within TCOMS, partnered SINTEF Ocean to develop this roadmap through a series of fruitful workshops and online discussions in the past one year. Through this roadmap, SINTEF Ocean and CEAOPS@TCOMS seek to catalyse conversations with the stakeholders of the international maritime industry on coming together to co-create future systems and solutions and achieve the shared global vision for future autonomous shipping.

The Roadmap was unveiled at the SMI Forum by Mr Chee and Ambassador Anita Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway to Singapore.

For more information on the Roadmap, please refer to www.tcoms.sg.

9 Said Dr Sanjay Kuttan, Executive Director of SMI, “We are heartened to see the fruition of the R&D work by our Centres of Excellence, and how they can create value and opportunities to raise maritime productivity and innovations to the next level.

While the maritime industry is undergoing a period of exceptional uncertainties and unprecedented pace of change, SMI remains committed to keep the industry and academia connected through collaborative partnerships amongst stakeholders in the maritime innovation ecosystem. SMI will continue to drive research and development, deepen the research capabilities to support the industry on its transformational journey.”

Reappointment of SMI Board Chairman

10 Mr Chee also announced the reappointment of Mr Wong Weng Sun as the Chairman of SMI Board and Governing Council for a new term of two years commencing on 1 January 2021. Mr Wong was first appointed Chairman of SMI Board and Governing Council in 2016.

11 Under Mr Wong’s leadership, SMI launched the refreshed Singapore Maritime R&D Roadmap in 2019, outlining five strategic thrusts to sharpen Singapore’s competitive edge and capitalise on new opportunities for greater value creation and capture.

12 Mr Wong was also instrumental in the establishment of four maritime research centres of excellence, sited respectively at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Polytechnic and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS).

Inking of maritime collaborations

13 Witnessed by Mr Chee at the SMI Forum, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to renew its partnership in Maritime Research, Development and Innovation. MPA and ABS will work together on projects relating to decarbonisation, digital twin, predictive maintenance and other cutting-edge technologies critical to the Port and Ship of the Future.

Please refer to the MPA-ABS media release in Annex 2 for details.

14 ABS and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) have also signed a Master Research Collaboration Agreement at the SMI Forum. With this agreement, the partners aim to advance next generation solutions for the Marine & Offshore (M&O) and Maritime industries.

For further information, please refer to the ABS-TCOMS press release in Annex 3.

Annex 1: Factsheet on Port ML developed by the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports (C4NGP) at the National University of Singapore
Annex 2: MPA-ABS Joint Media Release on MoU in Maritime Research, Development and Innovation
Annex 3: TCOMS-ABS Joint Media Release on Master Research Collaboration Agreement on Next Generation Marine & Offshore and Maritime Solutions

**End of Release**

About the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI)

The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) is a joint effort by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Established in April 2011, the SMI develops strategies and programmes to achieve its mission with key focus areas in sectors such as port, shipping and maritime services. The SMI charts the maritime research strategy and promotes greater industry-academia R&D collaborations to be undertaken in Singapore.

As a whole-of-Government approach, the agencies work together in initiatives driven through the SMI. The formation of the SMI will strengthen Singapore’s research manpower and capabilities as a global maritime knowledge hub to enhance the overall positioning and competitiveness of the maritime industry.

For more information, please visit www.maritimeinstitute.sg.

For media clarification, please contact:
Jacqueline Goh (Ms)
Senior Manager, Outreach and Corporate Communications
Singapore Maritime Institute
DID: (65) 6270 2843
HP: (65) 9228 9032
Email: jacqueline@maritimeinstitute.sg