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MPA Singapore plans to launch Maritime Transformation Programme and set up one-stop data repository

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has unveiled four broad strategies to drive Singapore’s next phase of growth as a Global Maritime Hub for Connectivity, Innovation and Talent.

MPA will take steps to strengthen the connectivity and inter-linkages of Singapore’s maritime cluster, build a vibrant innovation ecosystem and develop a future-ready and skilled maritime workforce. MPA will also enhance and top up the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF [1]) by S$100 million in support of the vision.

Capturing physical and non-physical flows

To boost physical connectivity, MPA will continue to work with PSA International Pte Ltd (PSA) to invest in port capacity and infrastructure to meet the industry’s long-term needs. Pasir Panjang Terminal Phases 3 and 4 will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2018 , bringing the total port capacity to 50 million twenty-foot equivalent units.

In addition, reclamation works for the first phase of Tuas Terminal are also progressing well.

Concurrently, PSA is testing out its new automated terminal operation systems involving automated guided vehicles, yard and quay cranes, with the view of deploying such systems at the future Tuas Terminal.

To boost non-physical connectivity, MPA will continue to expand the range of available maritime services to increase Singapore’s attractiveness as a maritime hub.

MPA is encouraging existing players to set up new business activities and it will also promote the growth of non-traditional players such as maritime technology enterprises like Alpha Ori and Metcore. Alpha Ori is a B2B Technology company operating in IoT (Internet of Things), ShipERP (Enterprise Resource planning) and Big DATA science, while Metcore is a maritime measurement consultancy, specialising in Mass Flow Metering (MFM) and also offering inspection services.

To encourage expertise and resource sharing between maritime companies MPA will co-fund the cost of shared workspaces and services. In the longer term, MPA, PSA and other government agencies will experiment with concepts such as inter-modal (the movement of cargo from origin to destination by several modes of transport where each mode has a different transport provider or entity responsible) logistics and explore the setting up of a port and logistics cluster at Tuas, which could spur the development of more efficient systems for supply chain management.

Leveraging digitalisation and automation

MPA will launch the Maritime Transformation Programme (MTP) and set up the Singapore Maritime Data Hub (SG-MDH) to build an enabling ecosystem that fosters innovation and R&D in the maritime sector.

The MTP will be rolled out over the next few months to build new capabilities and capture new growth areas for the maritime industry. In collaboration with National Research Foundation (NRF), institutes of higher learning (IHLs), research institutes and industry, the MTP will deepen Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities in four focus areas:

  • Efficient and intelligent world class next generation port;
  • Smart autonomous vessel and maritime operations;
  • Strategic sea space and maritime traffic management; and
  • Effective maritime safety and security.

Funding will be provided to industry partners to co-contribute to develop new industry capabilities and technologies that have high potential for industry application.

The SG-MDH will be established as a one-stop data repository with a centralised application programming interface gateway and data management capabilities. SG-MDH is expected to enable the development and test-bedding of innovative digital apps and services for the maritime industry.

The data repository will also serve as a collaborative platform for technology companies, startups and maritime stakeholders to co-develop innovative data-driven maritime solutions, support projects under the MPA Living Lab and enhance connectivity among key stakeholders in the maritime logistics ecosystem.

The SG-MDH will provide access to MPA’s port and ship-related data such as vessel information, vessel arrival and departure time and vessel position and movement by the third quarter of 2018.

MPA will work with stakeholders such as classification societies and maritime companies to make their public data available via the SG-MDH, and will also look to integrate the SG-MDH with the National Trade Platform and other industry-wide and government systems.

Skill development

MPA will continue to invest in the development of the maritime workforce. MPA will roll out a new Global Talent Programme (GTP) by 2019 to groom a pipeline of local maritime talent for future leadership and management positions.

MPA will also co-fund 70 per cent of eligible expenses incurred by companies which are prepared to commit to training local talent through structured rotations and overseas attachments. MPA aims to partner up to 20 maritime companies with a strong focus on human capital development under GTP over the next seven years.

Additional S$100 million for Maritime Cluster Fund

There are three key components under MCF. The MCF-Manpower Development co-funds maritime companies in the development of manpower, training initiatives and capabilities.  The MCF-Business Development supports eligible expenses incurred in the initial development of new maritime companies and organisations setting up in Singapore, or existing maritime companies and organisations expanding into new lines of maritime businesses.  The MCF-Productivity supports initiatives by the maritime industry that will lead to productivity gains.

To catalyse innovative concepts and forge collaborations amongst maritime players, MCF will now be used to co-fund proofs of concept relating to the conceptualisation of new products or services.

MPA will top up the MCF by $100 million to implement its plans under the Next Generation Port 2030, the International Maritime Centre 2030 and the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map. The MCF is expected to support about 30 new projects, and benefit around 5,000 people annually.

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