MPA awards funds to 11 maritime digitalisation projects

Singapore: Sunset panorama of Port of Singapore container cargo terminal, run by PSA, one of the busiest shipping terminals in the world. Keppel Harbour, Singapore, Malaysia.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has awarded a total of $1.21 million (S$1.625 million) to 11 joint industry projects in the areas of maritime digitalisation and additive manufacturing for ship and marine parts.

This was announced by Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs at the Smart Port Challenge 2020 Finals.

“As the world’s busiest transhipment hub, Singapore must embrace technologies to ensure operations remain efficient. We believe that solutions that work in our busy waters are likely to work in other parts of the world,” Hong Tat said.

“We proactively partner the industry and provide an environment that is needed to grow an innovative maritime ecosystem.”

Five of these projects will address operational resilience and productivity needs. Scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2021, these projects will help transform the way operations are carried out in a post-COVID new normal. The projects will also strengthen the resilience in the way these operations carried out. 

Another six projects will look at using additive manufacturing for Singapore to become a hub for just-in-time provision of marine parts. The consortiums behind these projects aim to deepen additive manufacturing capabilities in Singapore and trial the use of at least 26 3D-printed parts onboard Singapore-registered vessels to test the viability of these parts.

These projects are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022 and bring about greater efficiency and cost savings for the industry.

MPA had launched joint calls for proposals in these two areas with the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) earlier this year and received 40 proposals from the maritime industry. Proposals were evaluated based on their technological innovation and differentiation, impact to the industry, and strength of capability development.

Michael Phoon, SSA Executive Director said: “The varied JIP projects by SSA members’ reflect the increasing focus on digitalisation and sustainability to meet long-term business competitiveness.

We are very encouraged that from identifying some 100 ship parts in Phase 1, we will be trialling the use of at least 26 3D printed parts onboard Singapore-registered vessels in Phase 2. We look forward to the wider adoption and acceptance of such transformation technologies by the global maritime community.”

Ho Chaw Sing, NAMIC Managing Director, also commented: “The MPA-NAMIC-SSA Joint Industry Programme has provided a platform for multiple industry cluster teams – comprising of 3D printing service providers, public-sector research performers, classification societies, and major ship companies – to accelerate the deployment of certified and field-trialled 3D printed maritime parts.

“This accelerated approach deepens the industry engagement, harnessing the collective resources and innovative capabilities to develop Singapore into a global AM hub for the maritime industry, cementing Singapore’s position as a world-class global maritime centre and hub port.

“Together with our partners, NAMIC will continue to scale efforts in pull-through from research into business outcomes for value capture through the adoption of additive manufacturing technology and solutions.”

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