Welcome Address by Mr SS Teo Chairman of the Singapore Maritime Institute at the SMI Forum 2016


Guest-of-Honour Mr Lucien Wong, Chairman of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA),
Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) Board Members,
and Governing Council Members,
Distinguished guests,
Friends, Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning,

1. I am delighted to see this gathering of leaders and professionals from the industry and academia once again at our annual Forum.

SMI into its Second 5-year Phase

2. The last Forum in 2015 was a significant milestone marking the fifth (5th) year, since the formation of SMI in April 2011.

3. The mission of SMI is to enhance Singapore’s position as a global maritime knowledge hub, through world-class R&D. While SMI moves into its second 5-year phase from 2016, her mission has not changed but with an even stronger focus on deepening knowledge and capability, to better support the maritime industry in Singapore.

R&D Roadmaps – Cornerstone of SMI Initiatives

4. Three (3) years ago, SMI embarked on a R&D Roadmap exercise, in close consultation with more than 50 companies in the maritime and offshore industry.

5. The R&D Roadmaps were refined and endorsed in 2013, by the SMI International Advisory Panel (IAP) comprising distinguished local and international members from Europe, US and Asia. The two (2) Roadmaps were shared with the industry at our Forum in 2013.

6. I am glad to hear that some companies have made close references to the Roadmaps, when planning their research activities in Singapore.

7. Centred on the key focus areas in the Roadmaps, SMI received more than 300 proposals in 7 grant calls and funded 84 projects over the last four (4) years. More than 280 public sector researchers were involved which translated into 83 industry collaborations.

8. SMI has also supported new capability building through the Maritime Research Fellowship Programme, which allows IHLs to bring in industry experts to develop new knowledge, in areas such as Dynamic Positioning (DP) System, an area of high interest to the shipyards and also Arctic Governance knowledge which Singapore has a strategic interest.

9. Last year, I announced that a researcher’s database on SMI website was launched and it was the first one in Singapore for maritime and offshore domain.

10. It now houses 138 researchers’ details. Since its launch in June 2015, more than 10,000 users have visited the SMI website.

Key Highlights of SMI Activities in 2016

11. I would also take this opportunity to share some highlights of SMI’s activities in 2016.

R&D Roadmap Refresh Exercise

12. Technology advances and the Roadmap should always be a dynamic document.

13. This year, SMI started a Maritime Roadmap refresh exercise, in response to emerging technologies and impending regulations in the maritime industry. SMI is consulting more than 30 companies that comprises ship owners, operators and managers, equipment manufacturers, shipyards, classification societies and associations. Preliminary findings will be shared later at this Forum.

14. SMI will present the refreshed Roadmap to a newly constituted IAP, which plans to convene in first half of 2017. The Roadmap will then be released with inputs and refinement from this distinguished panel.

15. To ride upon the knowledge and expertise developed in the first five (5) years, SMI has also identified individual IHLs to deepen their capabilities, and will establish Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in these institutes, which serve as focal points of contact for industry collaborations.

16. These CoEs will have a vision to create competitive advantage for Singapore, in areas such as navigational safety in congested waterways, emission reduction to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

17. SMI is working with the IHLs on four (4) CoE proposals. More details will be announced when the review process is completed.

International Collaborations

18. Last year, a Joint Grant Call for Maritime Research between Singapore and Norway was launched. I am pleased to announce that three (3) projects have been approved.

19. SMI is also organising a joint workshop in Singapore this month with the University of Turku to explore possible collaboration between Singapore and Finland on ‘Smart Technologies’ for the maritime industry.

SMI Research Showcase & Awards 2016

20. To create greater visibility of SMI funded projects, SMI organised 3 Research Showcases and featured over 25 research projects over the last two (2) years. The Top Projects of the April 2016 edition of the SMI Research Showcase will be presenting their research work later this morning.

21. SMI will be presenting the inaugural Awards to reward researchers with significant research impact to the industry. The recipients of the Awards will also be announced later at this Forum.

Conclusion – Panel Discussion on Disruptive Technologies

22. Technology disrupts the way we live, and the way we operate our business. While the shipping industry is facing great uncertainty, we must not give up, but continue to innovate and improve our operational efficiency.

23. Today, we have Mr Wong Weng Sun, President & CEO at Sembcorp Marine, Mr Oh Bee Lock, Head of Group Technology at PSA International, and Professor Tan Sze Wee, Executive Director (Science and Engineering Research Council) at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). They will be sharing their perspectives in a panel discussion, on disruptive technologies for the maritime industry. The session will be moderated by SMI’s Executive Director Mr Heng Chiang Gnee.

24. I thank all distinguished panellists in advance for your valuable time and contribution.

25. I would also like to express my appreciation to SMI Governing Council Members for their continuous support and contributions towards SMI. Let me also take this opportunity to inform all our friends that my 6-year term as Chairman of SMI ends in December this year, and I will be handing over the Chairmanship to Mr Wong Weng Sun with effect from 1 January 2017. I enjoyed very much working with Heng Chiang Gnee and his team. I thank MPA, A*STAR and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) for their guidance and support in the past six (6) years.

26. Thank you all for joining us today and I wish all of you a good and productive session ahead.