MPA launches Smart Port Challenge

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) launched the first Smart Port Challenge yesterday in its push for innovation within the maritime sector.

Open to start-ups and others, the six-month programme aims to identify challenges related to technologies such as the Internet of Things, data analytics, machine learning and block chain - and to translate ideas into commercial solutions.

Both MPA and PSA's corporate venture capital arm PSA unboXed will offer seed funding of up to $50,000 for each selected start-up to develop full prototypes of their solutions that can be implemented for business operations.

Start-ups can also receive seed funding support from other venture capitalists (VCs), while shortlisted non-start-ups will be eligible for MPA's Maritime Innovation and Technology funding for test-bedding or product development.

The Smart Port Challenge will help boost collaboration between organisations and start-ups to drive digital transformation in the maritime industry, said the MPA.

Nearly 190 participants from the technology, start-up and the VC community are taking part. MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said: "The scope for digitisation in the maritime industry is immense. For Maritime Singapore to stay ahead of the competition, we must continue to innovate and invest in our future capabilities."

He said the MPA is expanding its collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam this year to explore ways to improve port-to-port linkages that will facilitate faster port clearances and just-in-time vessel arrivals.

It is also looking into partnering other government agencies, such as Spring and JTC, to use their start-up support mechanisms.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2017, with the headline 'MPA launches Smart Port Challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe