Singapore Polytechnic and Singapore Maritime Institute launch S$14m research centre to boost maritime safety

Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) have launched a S$14 million research centre to contribute to raising maritime safety and safety standards.

The new Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety will focus its efforts on two key areas, namely maritime navigation and operations on-board vessels. It will collaborate with the industry and research community to develop new technological solutions and training systems to help reduce the occurrences of maritime incidents. The evolving technological landscape, such as the rising interest in artificial intelligence and autonomous shipping, also fuel the need for relevant studies and research to be conducted to ensure safe operations at sea.

The new centre will be operational by fourth quarter of this year. It will work closely with maritime and technology companies, institutes of higher learning and research institutes to ensure that the research and development efforts are aligned with industry needs. Over the next five years, the centre aims to develop the Next Generation Navigation Simulator (NGNS) in collaboration with industry and research partners. This will be the first-of-its-kind in Singapore.

The NGNS is slated to provide the ability to perform modelling and simulation of a complex port environment, as well as new vessel designs and operational concepts. At the same time, it can also function as an innovative training system used to upgrade the current maritime workforce and developed to train the future workforce in new maritime operations, such as autonomous shipping.

SP and SMI signed an agreement today to set up the new Centre at the International Safety @ Sea Conference, witnessed by Guest of Honour Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health.

Mr Soh Wai Wah, Singapore Polytechnic’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are pleased to be able to contribute with our expert maritime knowledge and also our capabilities in various technological areas to support the maritime industry in the long term”.

This is the latest maritime research centre of excellence supported by SMI as part of its efforts to deepen research capabilities while developing a long-term pool of quality maritime researchers in Singapore.

Mr Toh Ah Cheong, Executive Director of SMI said, “The establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety will deepen and further leverage on Singapore Polytechnic’s knowledge in navigational safety to enhance capabilities and further raise awareness for safety within the maritime sector”.

“This latest initiative will further position Singapore as a standards bearer in the areas of safety, security and sustainability. It will also contribute towards Singapore’s development of the regulatory framework on autonomous vessels, which will include man-ship interface with varying levels of autonomy at the national and international levels”, said Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Executive Director of SMI Mr Toh Ah Cheong, said, “We are pleased to support the establishment of the MESD Centre of Excellence to further deepen NTU’s capability and collaboration with the industry in maritime energy research”.

About Singapore Polytechnic (SP)

Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 43 full-time courses for close to 17,000 students. SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.

The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready. SP has more than 200,000 graduates and among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government.

SP clinched the inaugural ASEAN People’s Award in 2015 for its contributions toward the region’s community-building efforts. SP is also the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President’s Social Service Award in 2011.

Follow SP on Facebook at and Twitter and Instagram at @singaporepoly.

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.

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Media Contact:
Jason Lin
Senior Manager, Singapore Maritime Institute
Tel: +65 6270 2824