9th Singapore Maritime Institute Forum profiles the importance of R&D and technology in enabling a future-ready maritime industry

New Centre of Excellence established for research and development in Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships

Over 170 leaders from the maritime industry, including industry associations, business and technology leaders, institutes of higher learning (IHLs), research institutes and government agencies took part in the annual Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) Forum today. The event was graced by Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health.

Themed ‘Maritime Transformation: Risks, Challenges and Rewards’, the ninth edition of the SMI Forum aims to highlight the importance of R&D and technology in enabling a future-ready maritime industry. The maritime leaders discussed the essential elements of building a strong and vibrant maritime innovation ecosystem to enable the transformation of Maritime Singapore.

New research centre to lead the research and technological innovation required for the safe and efficient operations of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)

Executive Director of SMI, Dr Sanjay C. Kuttan, announced the establishment of the new Centre of Excellence for Autonomous & Remotely Operated Vessels (CEAOPS). With the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and SMI, CEAOPS is the first research initiative to be funded under the Maritime Transformation Programme (MTP). The MTP is one of the key vehicles to implement the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map.

The signing ceremony between SMI and TCOMS was witnessed by Dr Lam, along with Mr Frederick Chew, Chief Executive Officer of A*STAR and Mr Kenneth Lim, Senior Director (Innovation, Technology and Talent Development)/Chief Technology Officer, MPA.

Hosted within the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), CEAOPS will be the national focal point for research and development in MASS. It will drive research and technology innovation required for the safe and efficient operations of autonomously and remotely operated vessels, as well as vessels equipped with smart maritime systems and solutions, in complex operating environments.

Dr Sanjay C. Kuttan said, “The establishment of CEAOPS to further deepen Singapore’s capability in MASS related research, by co-creating solutions together with the local R&D community and industry players, is a critical and purposeful step towards making Maritime Singapore MASS future ready.”

Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “Digitalisation and new technologies will disrupt the future of the maritime industry and the evolution of MASS could potentially enhance global maritime trade more efficiently and safely in how we ship goods around the world. We are pleased to support the establishment of CEAOPS as it will enhance MPA’s efforts in establishing Singapore as a MASS Ready-Port and a leading technology cluster for MASS technologies.”

The CEO of TCOMS, Professor Chan Eng Soon, said “TCOMS is proud to be part of the MTP and co-developing innovative concepts centred on autonomous vessels with our industry partners from the marine and maritime sector. Capabilities to predict vessel performance in challenging operating conditions, such as those typically found in Singapore port waters and in the open seas, is one key technology area that we seek to address. This paves the way for safe and efficient MASS operations in the future.”

Role of R&D in pertinent developments in the maritime sector discussed at SMI Forum 2019

The keynote address at the SMI Forum 2019 was delivered by Mr Frederick Chew, Chief Executive Officer of A*STAR. Mr Chew shared insights on how R&D and the continued collaboration between various stakeholders in the maritime sector plays a crucial part in ensuring that Singapore maintains its status as a maritime hub.

As part of the efforts to profile the critical role of R&D excellence and acknowledge the invaluable contributions by the maritime research community in Singapore, the Forum featured maritime research project presentations by researchers from local IHLs.

Associate Professor Goh Puay Guan from NUS Business School presented the key findings on “The Impact of Disruptive Technologies on Maritime Trade and Maritime Industry”, a joint project with Nanyang Technological University. Associate Professor Dimitrios Konovessis, Engineering Cluster and Deputy Programme Director for the Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering Undergraduate Programmes at the Singapore Institute of Technology, shared on “Smart Ships – Paradigm Shift with IoT and Data Analytics”.

Three panel discussions were held during the Forum. Each panel brought together varied perspectives and insights from industry and academia experts to address a key area that impacts the future of the maritime industry, namely decarbonisation, next-generation communications and autonomous vessels.

The discussions focus on three of the strategic research thrusts outlined in the Singapore Maritime R&D Roadmap 2030. Titled ‘Singapore R&D Roadmap 2030: Maritime Transformation’, the refreshed roadmap was launched at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference 2019 on 10 April 2019. The R&D Roadmap can be downloaded at https://www.maritimeinstitute.sg/Roadmap2030.

Annex A – About the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) and the Centre of Excellence for Autonomous & Remotely Operated Vessels (CEAOPS)

Annex B – Keynote Address by Mr Frederick Chew, Chief Executive Officer of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Annex C – Welcome Address by Dr Sanjay C. Kuttan, Executive Director of Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI)

Media Contact:
Jacqueline Goh (Ms)
Singapore Maritime Institute
DID: (65) 6270 2843
HP: (65) 9228 9032
Email: jacqueline@maritimeinstitute.sg

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