Singapore Agreements to Advance Shipping’s Future


The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has signed five Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) in a strong demonstration of commitment to advance innovation and build technological capabilities with local and international partners today at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC).

The MoUs aim to catalyse research, innovation, as well as pilot adoption of emerging technologies and enhance information flow and connectivity within the maritime community.

They are a step forward to forge even closer collaborations with industry partners, technology developers and research institutions to build up technological capabilities within the maritime industry.

The first MoU, MPA-PSA MoU Extension of the MPA-PSA Port Technology Research and Development Programme (PTRDP), is being renewed to enhance collaboration in the research and test-bedding of new technologies for the future Tuas Terminal.

It is worth a combined US$21.5 million in commitment from both parties and aims to step up R&D and capability development in the areas of digitalisation, connected community systems, and automation and robotics.

The focus and technology areas in the enhanced programme will include the test-bedding and applications of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, emulation, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, blockchain, augmented reality and video analytics.

It will also build collaborative business platforms, optimise operations and develop smart port equipment and systems and automation.

The second MoU between MPA and Jurong Port (JP), Jurong Port Transformation – Developing Next Generation Multipurpose Port (NGMPP), has been expanded and extended for a second term of another five years to include innovation and productivity initiatives to enable customisation of equipment to suit operations in Jurong Port.

Both MPA and JP have each allocated a sum of $5.7 million to this joint programme.

It will explore data analytics and IoT through applications of data analytics for tracking of equipment, resources and utilities as well as environmental sustainability by collaborating with local institutes and enterprises

Safety and security will also be a focus through the use of video analytics, improved designs for safety equipment, and automating high risk operations.


Image: MPA CEO Andrew Tan signing the MPA-JP MOU with JP CEO, Ooi Boon Hwee  Observed by Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of Transport Josephine Teo, MPA Chairman Niam Chiang Meng and JP Chairman Ong Chee Keong 


To advance efforts in maritime technology R&D, MPA has signed a third MoU with Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics) called 'MPA-ST Electronics MoU on Maritime R&D and Innovation'.

Under the three-year MoU, MPA and ST Electronics will collaborate on R&D projects to enhance port and shipping operations, as well as develop technology standards with industry partners.

It will focus on vessel traffic management systems, port operations and resources, e-navigation, human elements, VHF data exchange systems (terrestrial- and space-based) and an open platform for co-innovation.

Another area covered will be ‘intelligent systems for shipping operations’, which covers smart data analytics and the real-time anomaly detection of critical machinery performance and predictive maintenance with condition-based monitoring of ship and machinery operations.

This includes a focus on image/data analytics on satellite imageries to detect anomalies, trends and patterns in shipping traffic.

Autonomous operations and robotics will also be studied with the testing of autonomous harbour-craft operations within Singapore’s port.

On top of the MoU signed between MPA and ST Electronics, two additional MoUs were signed with industry partners for the developments of smart ships to complement other collaborations with partners.

The first is the MPA-Lloyd’s Register (LR) MoU on Maritime Technologies R&D, which will examine big data and intelligent systems for real-time condition monitoring, unmanned systems and robotics for operations, maintenance and inspections.

It will also look at emerging areas such as 3D printing in metal additive manufacturing.

The final MoU signed today is a four-party collaboration between MPA, Alpha Ori, LR and NUS’ Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine (TCOMS), which aims to jointly establish a centre of innovation and conduct joint research in the areas of data analytics for smart shipping, robotics and unmanned systems in port and shipping, maintenance and inspections in hazardous zones, and maritime cybersecurity.

Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said: “These MoUs are in line with our efforts to take the maritime sector into its next stage of development, where data analytics, intelligent systems, and the Internet of Things will open up new opportunities for our port operators such as PSA and Jurong Port, and Singapore-based companies and research institutions to develop innovative solutions.

“We believe the time is ripe to leverage new technologies to ensure Maritime Singapore stays ahead of the curve as a world class port and international maritime centre.”

Technical Paper Update: PSA: Mega-Terminal Operations

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