Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and NUE Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, has officially launched Asia’s first dedicated maritime accelerator programme – Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ Block 71 (PIER71).
PIER71 is an industry-wide acceleration programme that supports innovation and encourages the maritime industry to venture into new growth areas through collaboration with technology start-ups.
According to MPA, the programme provides a platform for foreign and local companies, start-ups, venture capitalists, and mentors to exchange knowledge and form organic partnerships and will contribute to building a vibrant maritime entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, as envisioned by the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map, and sharpen Singapore’s competitive edge.
To provide start-ups with more opportunities and access to resources such as mentors and networks, NUS Enterprise also extended its support to PIER71’s start-ups by signing four new MOUs with start-up hubs Innospace and Rainmaking Innovation, as well as maritime companies Wärtsilä and Wilhelmsen.
“The launch of PIER71, in collaboration with NUS Enterprise, is part of the MPA’s broader innovation strategy under the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM). PIER71 will catalyse collaborations between the maritime companies, technology start-ups and adjacent sectors to position Singapore’s maritime industry for the next wave of growth enabled by digital technologies. Together with the setup of MPA, PSA and Jurong Port Living Labs for the test-bedding of new technologies and new concept of operations, we hope to position Singapore as a vibrant and innovative maritime hub,” said Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA.
The launch of PIER71 also kicks start of Singapore’s Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2018, a six-month programme that aims to catalyse digital transformation in the maritime industry by bringing together maritime and technology players to work on identified problem statements.
The number of maritime companies participating and contributing innovation opportunities in SPC 2018 has increased to 17 this year from 12 in last year and PIER71 expects a total of about 200 participants.