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Singapore: PIER71 maritime innovation initiative launched

06 Jun 2018

Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ Block71, or PIER71, was officially launched today by Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health on Wednesday.

The Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2018, a six-month programme that aims to catalyse digital transformation in the maritime industry, was held in conjunction with the launch of PIER71.

Both the launch of PIER71 and SPC were organised as part of Innovfest unbound 2018.

PIER71 is an industry-wide acceleration programme that supports innovation and encourages the maritime industry to venture into new growth areas through collaboration with technology start-ups.

Set up by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, PIER71 provides a platform for foreign and local companies, start-ups, venture capitalists, and mentors to exchange knowledge and form organic partnerships.

“The launch of PIER71, in collaboration with NUS Enterprise, is part of the MPA’s broader innovation strategy under the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM),” says Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA.

“PIER71 will catalyse collaborations between the maritime companies, technology start-ups and adjacent sectors to position Singapore’s maritime industry for the next wave of growth enabled by digital technologies.

“Together with the setup of MPA, PSA and Jurong Port Living Labs for the test-bedding of new technologies and new concept of operations, we hope to position Singapore as a vibrant and innovative maritime hub.”

Last year’s inaugural SPC saw 12 maritime companies participating. Seven start-ups – Brightree, Glee Trees, MyBot, SG Smart Tech, Simplus, Trabble and Xjera Labs – received grant support totalling $311,598 for test-bedding and developing prototypes with the Singapore Shipping Association, Jurong Port, BatamFast and Kanlian.

The number of maritime companies participating and contributing innovation opportunities in SPC 2018 has increased to 17 this year and PIER71 expects a total of about 200 participants.

Besides cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 for the top three proposals, selected finalists also stand a chance to be invited to join PIER71 ACCELERATE, a customised curriculum on building viable maritime tech start-ups, and receive a further grant of up to $50,000 from MPA to develop prototypes with maritime companies.

These innovation opportunities will be released on 6 June during Innovfest unbound, and the closing date for proposals is 6 August 2018. All local and foreign start-ups are encouraged to participate in SPC 2018.

Sinanju and PCL jointly presented a challenge statement to entrepreneurial IT teams at Smart Port Challenge 2018 as part of the innovation opportunities available for the bunkering sector.

Related: Singapore: IT firms to tackle bunker operations optimisation

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 6 June, 2018

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