The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has unveiled a new Smart Port Challenge 2017 (SPC 2017) to encourage innovation within the maritime industry.
The six-month challenge will help strengthen collaboration between organisations and start-ups in order to drive digital transformation in the maritime industry.
Almost 190 participants from the technology, start-up and the venture capital have already registered to take part in the challenge.
Technologies such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT), data analytics and machine learning have already enabled smarter ships, and major industry players are also currently building blockchain solutions to digitise, manage, and track shipping transactions, which could save billions of dollars for the sector.
These technologies, however, also need to help in tackling challenges such as asset utilisation, manpower training.
This challenge intends to identify and discuss these issues and help transform ideas into realistic solutions.
SPC 2017 will feature two separate categories for start-ups and non-start-ups. It will take a new approach with the involvement of industry partners, who will offer funding and test-bedding opportunities in partnership with the VCs.
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore chief executive Andrew Tan said: “Digital transformation has a key role to play in our competitiveness as a global maritime hub.
“SPC 2017 will bring together new and existing start-ups to research and develop innovative applications for IT solutions in the maritime sector, and is part of our wider industry transformation effort to develop an innovative maritime start-up ecosystem to take advantage of the growing applications of automation, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and data analytics in the maritime industry.
“We are also collaborating with ports such as the Port of Rotterdam which has embarked on similar port hackathons to develop innovative solutions for their port.
"Through such partnerships, we hope to encourage more solutions that are scalable and applicable across the entire port value chain.”
Both MPA and port operator PSA International’s corporate venture capital arm PSA unboXed will provide seed funding support of up to $50,000 for each selected start-up. This aid is expected to help in the development of prototypes that could be used for business operations.
Start-ups can also receive seed funding support from other venture capitals (VCs), while selected non start-ups will be eligible for MPA’s Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) funding for test-bedding or product development.
Image: Launch of Smart Port Challenge 2017 by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Photo: courtesy of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.