MPA, PSA Singapore Extend MOU on Port Technology R&D

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PSA Singapore to extend the MPA-PSA Port Technology Research and Development Programme (PTRDP) for a period of three years. 

First signed in 2011, the renewed MOU enhances the collaboration in research and test-bedding of new technologies for the future Tuas Terminal and aims to step up R&D and capability development in the areas of digitalization, connected community systems, as well as automation and robotics. The duo will provide a sum of USD 30 million to further boost the PTRDP, according to MPA.

Including the MOU with PSA Singapore, MPA inked a total of five MOUs with industry partners at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC) on April 27. These MOUs aim to catalyze research, innovation, as well as pilot adoption of emerging technologies and enhance information flow and connectivity within the maritime community.

The second of the five MOUs was signed with Jurong Port (JP), with both parties allocating a sum of USD 8 million to this program.

Under the Maritime Green Port and Productivity Solutions (GPPS) agreement signed in 2011, JP-MPA and other technology providers collaborated to research and testbed potential new concepts for the application of port technology, including port equipment mechanization and automation, port optimization and green port technologies.

The MOU has been now expanded to include innovation and productivity initiatives enabling customization of equipment to suit operations in Jurong Port, data analytics and IoT, environmental sustainability and safety and security.

With the focus on transformation, the MPA-JP MOU has been renamed to “Jurong Port Transformation – Developing Next Generation Multipurpose Port (NGMPP)” and extended for a second term of another five years.

According to MPA, existing collaborations between MPA and local terminal operators have already resulted in several innovation projects such as PSA’s development of cost-effective automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and automated wharf and yard operations, as well as Jurong Port’s projects relating to both cement and general cargo terminals, which are expected to increase manpower productivity.

To advance efforts in maritime technology R&D, MPA also signed an MOU with Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics). The focus areas of this MOU include vessel traffic management systems, intelligent systems for shipping operations and autonomous operations and robotics.

Furthermore, MPA signed two additional MOUs with industry partners which are related to the developments of smart ships.

The first was the MPA-Lloyd’s Register (LR) MOU on Maritime Technologies R&D. The MOU will build upon existing collaborations and extend into Big Data and intelligent systems for real-time condition monitoring, unmanned systems & robotics for operations, maintenance and inspections and emerging areas such as 3D printing.

The final MOU signed was a four-party collaboration between MPA, Alpha Ori, LR and NUS’ Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine (TCOMS). Withing this MOU, the parties agreed to jointly establish a center of innovation and conduct joint research in the areas of data analytics for smart shipping, use of robotics and unmanned systems in port and shipping for operations, maintenance and inspections in hazardous zones, and maritime cyber security.

“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,” Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, commented.

“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,” he added.