4th SMI Forum addresses maritime R&D manpower in Singapore

Addressing the current landscape and challenges relating to research manpower development for the maritime and offshore industry in Singapore, nine (9) distinguished speakers from the industry, government agencies and academia shared their perspective towards this year,s theme on maritime R&D manpower development at the fourth annual SMI Forum.

Research manpower as a pillar towards a vibrant R&D landscape

Following the sharing of the R&D Roadmaps 2025 at last year,s SMI Forum, the Roadmaps had been made public on the SMI website in June this year. Besides providing the necessary clarity towards strategic R&D focuses for Singapore, the Roadmaps have also been referenced by companies towards their respective prioritisation of R&D resources in Singapore.

With a framework for maritime, marine and offshore R&D in Singapore up to 2025 in place, the industry and academia will be looking towards a sustainable development of research manpower as a pillar to support strategies for a vibrant R&D landscape in Singapore.

Mr S.S. Teo, Chairman of SMI,s Board and Governing Council, shared during his opening address that “research manpower development is another major step taken by SMI to create a vibrant R&D ecosystem for the maritime and offshore sectors”.

Industry and academia,s perspective towards R&D manpower capital

The SMI Forum 2014 featured a total of nine (9) presentations by distinguished leaders from the industry, government agencies and academia. Sharing beyond their perspectives and challenges towards the theme, fruitful discussion were also initiated during the respective panel Q&A sessions.

Mr Tan Puay Hin, Regional Chief Executive Officer (Southeast Asia) of PSA International opened the Industry Track with “Mega-port Singapore: Shaping our Future through R&D” before Mr Shaj U. Thayil, Head of Global followed with APL,s perspective for the shipping sector on “Opportunities for Development towards a World-Class Maritime R&D Hub”.

Mr Derek Novak, President/COO (Pacific Division) of ABS also graced the event with “Applied Research Activities in Singapore and the Next Generation of Researchers” before Mr Ng Sing Chan, President of ST Marine, delivered his presentation on “Aligning Research with Technology and Engineering”. Mr Neil Glenn, Managing Director of Swire Pacific Offshore, presented his take on “People at the heart of Offshore Marine – Challenges and Opportunities” before Executive Director of SMI, Mr Heng Chiang Gnee, moderated a panel discussion for the Industry Track.

The second half of the event saw a series of presentation from the academia and government agencies on their initiatives and efforts to attract and groom research talent. Dr Tan Geok Leng, Executive Director of the Science and Engineering Research Council at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) gave an overview of A*STAR,s efforts towards building R&D capabilities.

Prof Chan Eng Soon, Vice Provost (Special Duties) at the National University of Singapore and Prof Chan Siew Hwa, Co-Director of the Energy Research Institute @ Nanyang Technological University, also shared both universities, strategies and efforts towards education and research to support the industry respectively.

The Principal & CEO of the Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Tan Choon Shian, ended the Academia Track with the polytechnics, perspective towards manpower and technology development before Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director at the Singapore Economic Development Board, moderated a panel discussion for the Academia Track.

SMI Technical Advisory Panel (TAP)

With the increase in the level of R&D programmes, SMI announced the formation of the SMI Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) that comprises of technology leaders from the industry and recognized academic experts. The Panel, to be chaired by SMI,s Executive Director Mr Heng Chiang Gnee, will be reviewing R&D proposals received by SMI to enhance assurance on high industry relevance and scientific merits of the eventual projects awarded.

S$4 million R&D Programme on Maritime Sustainability

Following a series of R&D workshop and focus group sessions, SMI will be launching an R&D thematic grant call on Maritime Sustainability that is valued at S$4 million.

Four (4) industry relevant research themes will be covered by the R&D grant call, which focuses on Ballast Water Management, Exhaust Emission Control, Ship Noise & Vibration, and Port Sustainability. The grant call will be launched later this year and details will be released nearing the launch.

The two initiatives were announced by Mr S.S. Teo, Chairman of SMI,s Board and Governing Council, during his opening address at the SMI Forum 2014. Mr Teo also shared that “These initiatives are indeed exciting developments not only for SMI, but Maritime Singapore as well. I hope these initiatives further facilitate collaborations between SMI, the industry players and our partners in academia”.

I also like to thank all stakeholders for their help and funding. The total funding committed till date is approximately S$ 33 million in support of 20 projects since SMI,s inception. SMI will also set aside significant funding to support R&D activities as per the R&D Roadmap,” Mr Teo added.

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 Jan 2011, the mission of the SMI is to make a difference through world-class R&D, training & education and thought leadership in policy formulation for the maritime industry. The SMI aims to develop and pursue strategies and programmes in order to further enhance the development of the maritime industry. Key focus areas of the SMI include sectors such as shipping, port and maritime services as well as offshore and marine engineering.

SMI will partner with both the Institutes of Higher Learning and the Research Institutions under A*STAR to work closely with the industry to develop and grow the industry through knowledge and innovation. SMI will work towards attracting renowned academics and researchers to base in Singapore and groom the next generation of local maritime talent to meet the needs of the industry.

For more information, please visit www.maritimeinstitute.sg

For media clarification, please contact:

Jason Lin (Mr)
Singapore Maritime Institute
DID: (65) 6270-2824
Fax: (65) 6270-2885
Email: jason@maritimeinstitute.sg