University of Turku and Singapore Maritime Institute to collaborate on maritime research for the next 5 years

The University of Turku (UTU), Finland, and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) will co-operate to jointly promote and develop maritime research and development (R&D) activities. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by UTU Vice-Rector, Professor Kalle-Antti Suominen, and SMI Executive Director, Mr Heng Chiang Gnee, today.

UTU and SMI will be exploring the exchange of academic research information and also co-organise R&D events to facilitate closer maritime research co-operation between the two institutions.

“SMI is pleased to partner UTU, an established research institution from Finland. Finland is known for their education system and information & communications technology (ICT). One of the research areas of priority under this MoU is to explore smart technologies and research for an autonomous maritime sector.” said Mr Heng.

The MoU was signed during the conclusion of UTU’s three-day visit to Singapore led by Professor Suominen. The Finnish delegation made site visits to research facilities situated within the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) on the first day before participating in a joint workshop on maritime R&D chaired by Professor Suominen and Mr Heng on the following day.

Three (3) major topics of research interest discussed during the joint workshop were “Maritime Smart Technologies”, “Autonomous Shipping and Systems”, and “Safe & Sustainable Shipping”. The workshop discussions culminated in a close-door meeting between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), UTU and SMI on the third day of visit before the MoU was formally signed.

“We have high expectations for the collaboration with the Singapore institutions. Our strength is in the ability to build multidisciplinary research teams for solving problems or creating new innovations”, said Professor Suominen.

Under the MoU, UTU and SMI will explore joint maritime research activities over the next five (5) years to foster bilateral maritime R&D collaboration between academic research entities from Finland and Singapore.

**End of Release**

About University of Turku (UTU)

The University of Turku is a multidisciplinary higher education and research university in South-West Finland. Turku is the oldest city in Finland, first mentioned in writing in 1229. The University was established in 1920 and currently it is a community of 20 000 students and 3 300 staff members. South-West Finland is a major port and ship-building region on the Baltic sea, and the University of Turku plays the leading academic role in this region. With seven faculties including natural sciences, law and business, its profile builds on interdisciplinary research. The strategic theme “Sea and maritime studies” covers environmental research, cultural aspects of sea and coast, and especially ship-building, logistics and port operations.

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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.

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Jason Lin (Mr)
Singapore Maritime Institute
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