The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, concluded the 2018 Smart Port Challenge (SPC) on Wednesday (28 November) with three winners.
The first, second and third place winners of the 2018 SPC were Ocean Freight Exchange, SkyLab, and Claritecs, and they received cash prizes of S$10,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively.
A total of 122 proposals were received in response to 20 challenge statements identified by maritime companies in the areas of port operations, shipping and maritime services.
Seventeen start-ups with innovative technologies were shortlisted by MPA, NUS Enterprise and maritime companies involved. These start-ups went through PIER71 Accelerate, an eight-week market and business model validation programme where they learnt about the maritime sector, focusing on areas such as customer discovery, competitive analysis and prototype development.
“The Smart Port Challenge, along with other initiatives under PIER71, brings together a global network of talent and expertise to create innovative solutions for the industry,” said Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health.
“This adds to the vibrancy of our maritime innovation ecosystem and supports our vision to be a global maritime hub for connectivity, innovation and talent.
“I am heartened to witness today the close collaboration between start-ups and maritime companies to develop innovative solutions, with technology as an enabler, for a smarter and more efficient maritime sector,” said Dr Lam.
The second edition of SPC brings together maritime companies with technology start-ups and innovators to work on key issues faced by the maritime sector.
“MPA started the Smart Port Challenge in 2017 as part of our wider efforts to promote innovation and catalyse collaborations in the maritime sector,” said Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA.
“With the formation of PIER71 with NUS Enterprise this year, SPC returned stronger with a 45% increase in proposal submissions as compared with last year.
“We are pleased to see many innovative prototypes and will continue to provide opportunities for start-ups as we embrace new technologies, such as Virtual Reality, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, that are transforming the maritime sector.”
“Strengthening Singapore’s maritime innovation ecosystem will help to develop the talent, accelerate new ventures and attract investments into the sector,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.
“This will play a crucial role in bringing Singapore’s maritime industry into the digital age and create exciting opportunities for growth.”
Beyond SPC 2018, MPA and NUS Enterprise will continue to provide a range of resources to support the 17 SPC start-ups in working with maritime companies to progress into the prototype development phase. These resources offer access to funding, international markets, innovative technologies and maritime expertise.
MPA will provide grants of up to S$50,000 for test-bedding and developing prototypes. SPC start-ups that establish partnerships and receive letters of intent from a maritime company will be eligible for the funding.
Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 29 November 2018
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