Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health made the opening remarks at the Singapore Maritime Foundation Reception yesterday (13 January 2020), where he detailed some of the reasons behind Maritime Singapore’s success which included partnerships, connectivity, innovation and talent.
The Minister said that “on the innovation front, together, we are building a vibrant and thriving innovation ecosystem that is vital to the maritime industry.”
He said that in 2019 MPA launched the Maritime Innovation Lab with 18 participating organisations as a test-bed to develop cutting edge capabilities and solutions. One of these projects is IntelliTug, a collaboration between Wartsila, PSA Marine and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore (TCOMS), focusing on developing autonomous tugboats to increase productivity and navigational safety in the port.
Digital solutions to save time and costs at the Port of Singapore
In regards to connectivity, the government launched the Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan for the shipping agency and harbourcraft sectors. The plan will help SMEs in these sectors enhance service levels and create new value-add by adopting digital solutions. It will also help prepare the industry’s workforce with the necessary skills to adopt digital solutions.
The Minister also spoke of the launch of the first phase of digitalPort@SGTM. He remarked that several companies present at the reception had played a significant role in its launch by providing valuable feedback during the pilot last year.
digitalPort@SGTM is now able to provide all ships calling at the Port of Singapore with one-stop port clearance. This simplifies a process that would otherwise require ships to make separate applications with three different Singapore public agencies for port clearance. This has saved shipping lines valuable time and reduced their costs.
Recruiting talent to the Maritime Sector
To help build talent in this sector the government awarded 43 MaritimeONE and 17 Tripartite Maritime Scholarships. They also gave a total of 47 awards in 2019 under the MPA Global Internship Awards programme.
The Minister said that the “The programme provides high-achieving students with an opportunity to experience the global nature of shipping by interning at maritime companies in Singapore and abroad.”
This programme is now in its sixth run, with the number of recipients last year doubling what was awarded during the pilot run of the programme in 2013 and 2014.
Preparing for Disruptive Technologies in Maritime Sector
Dr Lam Pin Min said that in order to better prepare seafarers for disruptive technologies, the government has established the Industry Collaboration Training Committee for the Seafaring Sector. The work of this committee will complement the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map.
He concluded that Maritime Singapore’s continued success depends on collective leadership and commitment. He stated that he was “confident that partnership between the Government, industry and unions will set Maritime Singapore apart from other maritime capitals.”