AsiaTech

Singapore details winners of latest start-up competition

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), today announced that 12 start-ups from Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71)’s Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2019 have each been awarded S$50,000 ($35,000) in grant funding from MPA. The funding will enable the start-ups to conduct prototype development and test-bed their near market-ready solutions.

Over the next 12 months, the start-ups will be working on pilot projects in collaboration with PIER71’s maritime corporate partners, who will provide subject matter expertise, test data, as well as a platform to test-bed their solutions. Their grant applications were assessed based on the viability of their solutions in addressing maritime challenges. The start-ups are a diverse mix focusing on technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, robotics and wearables.

Upon the successful completion of the projects, the maritime corporates will be adopting the final products.

Ron Fong, regional IT manager at Teekay, commented: “The use of Kanda’s VR solution to simulate a safety procedure known as Lock Out Tag Out, will allow our crew to undergo training in a virtual tanker which is essentially a digital twin of the one they work on, without endangering their lives or damaging any equipment. We’re also working with Cerekon to explore a remote support system, that will enable our onboard engineers to use voice-activated head-mounted wearables to safely and more efficiently conduct equipment maintenance.”

Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA, said, “Although the global Covid-19 situation has caused widespread disruption, we push ahead with innovation in the maritime sector. Singapore continues to support the use of emerging technologies to transform the maritime industry, uplift the way companies do their business and strengthen our resilience as a maritime nation. These grants represent MPA’s commitment to supporting innovation as part of Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map, and we are heartened by the results we’ve seen to date from previous grant recipients.”

Eight out of 13 of the previous grant recipients from Smart Port Challenge 2018 have completed their pilot projects, with the remaining five nearing completion. Ship Supplies Direct, a start-up focusing on improving marine logistics and supply chain, has reported up to 30% reduction in delivery costs and up to three hours less waiting time per delivery through their pilot project with PSA International. Aeras Medical, a start-up with experience in the healthcare industry, also completed a three-month onboard trial with OMC Shipping. Their vital signs monitoring solution was used to monitor and manage crew health remotely, and achieved high adherence rates among the crew.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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