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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), today announced the launch of Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2022 under Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71TM) during a hybrid event held at the Singapore Maritime Gallery.

MPA has awarded 11 start-ups (see Annex A for details) a Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT)-STARTUP grant for prototype development and test-bedding. This brings the total number of grant recipients to 50, and the total funding disbursed since 2017 to over S$2.45 million. These 11 start-ups are collaborating with maritime corporate partners from PIER71TM on pilot projects that focus on the use of smart sensors, vision and data analytics, artificial intelligence and wearables amongst others.

For SPC 2022, 16 maritime companies have identified challenge statements across 15 areas for innovation under the areas of (1) Smart Port; (2) Smart Ship; (3) Crew Safety, Training and Wellbeing; (4) Smart Maritime Services and Logistics; and (5) Green Technology. Technology start-ups – both based in Singapore or abroad – are invited to submit proposals on solutions to any of the challenge statements spanning across the 15 areas or in other areas related to the maritime sector in an Open Category. The closing date for submission of proposals is 8 July 2022.

Shortlisted start-ups will be mentored under the PIER71TM Accelerate programme and may be eligible for a MINT-STARTUP grant of up to S$50,000. They will also enjoy continued entrepreneurial and technical support beyond SPC through PIER71TM’s global network of partners. The top three winners for SPC 2022 will be announced at the Grand Final in November 2022 and will win cash prizes of S$10,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively.

Mr Kenneth Lim, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry), MPA, said, “Going into its sixth year, the Smart Port Challenge continues to play a vital role in developing a strong MarineTech sector. By collaborating closely with global start-ups, we keep abreast of the industry’s challenge and opportunities, co-create innovative and pragmatic solutions, and ensure that the maritime sector remains future-ready as a vibrant and dynamic international maritime centre”.

Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said, “Smart Port Challenge and the PIER71TM Accelerate programme have been the gateway into the maritime ecosystem for many innovative start-ups. The cohesiveness of this ecosystem stems from the support of industry partners and is made stronger through the synergies between some of these start-ups.”

Founded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), through its entrepreneurial arm NUS Enterprise, PIER71TM (Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined at BLOCK71) aims to grow Singapore’s maritime innovation ecosystem. PIER71TM boosts innovation in the maritime and maritime-related industries by attracting talents, creating opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, attracting investments into start-ups and accelerating ventures. PIER71TM designs and delivers programmes to uncover opportunities within the industry and supports entrepreneurs from ideation to acceleration of their ventures. PIER71TM provides access to various markets, demand drivers, technology solution providers, investors and more. PIER71TM also represents a budding and increasingly vibrant ecosystem of stakeholders who are keen to digitalise and create the next wave of maritime innovation.

MPA was established on 2 February 1996, with the mission to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre, and to advance and safeguard Singapore’s strategic maritime interests. MPA is the driving force behind Singapore’s port and maritime development, taking on the roles of Port Authority, Port Regulator, Port Planner, IMC Champion, and National Maritime Representative. MPA partners the industry and other agencies to enhance safety, security and environmental protection in our port waters, facilitate port operations and growth, expand the cluster of maritime ancillary services, and promote maritime R&D and manpower development.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, with more than 40,000 students from 100 countries enriching our vibrant and diverse campus community. We have also established our NUS Overseas Colleges programme in more than 15 cities around the world.

Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 30 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy; environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases; active ageing; advanced materials; risk management and resilience of financial systems; Asian studies; and Smart Nation capabilities such as artificial intelligence, data science, operations research and cybersecurity.

NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS, plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement theUniversity’s academic programmes and act as a unique bridge to industry well beyondSingapore’s shores.