Singapore supports 11 projects to drive maritime innovation

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has awarded a total of S$1.625 million to eleven joint industry projects in the areas of maritime digitalisation and additive manufacturing for ship and marine parts.

“As the world’s busiest transhipment hub, Singapore must embrace technologies to ensure operations remain efficient,” Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs, said at the Smart Port Challenge 2020 Finals on 17 November.

“We believe that solutions that work in our busy waters are likely to work in other parts of the world. Hence, we proactively partner the industry and provide an environment that is needed to grow an innovative maritime ecosystem.”

As informed, five of these projects will address operational resilience and productivity needs. Scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2021, these projects will help transform the way operations are carried out in a post-COVID new normal. They will also strengthen the resilience in the way these operations are carried out. 

Another six projects will look at using additive manufacturing for Singapore to become a hub for just-in-time provision of marine parts. The consortiums behind these projects aim to deepen additive manufacturing capabilities in Singapore and trial the use of at least 26 3D-printed parts onboard Singapore-registered vessels to test the viability of these parts.

These projects are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022 and bring about greater efficiency and cost savings for the industry, according to the MPA.

MPA had launched joint calls for proposals in these two areas with the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) earlier this year and received 40 proposals from the maritime industry.

The selected projects have been co-funded by MPA’s Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund, which aims to support maritime companies to digitalise and trial technologies that can help to develop Singapore as a centre of excellence for maritime R&D and technology solutions.

“The varied JIP projects by SSA members’ reflect the increasing focus on digitalisation and sustainability to meet long-term business competitiveness,” Michael Phoon, SSA Executive Director, noted.

“We are very encouraged that from identifying some 100 ship parts in Phase 1, we will be trialling the use of at least 26 3D printed parts onboard Singapore-registered vessels in Phase 2. We look forward to the wider adoption and acceptance of such transformation technologies by the global maritime community.”

“The MPA-NAMIC-SSA Joint Industry Programme has provided a platform for multiple industry cluster teams – comprising of 3D printing service providers, public-sector research performers, classification societies, and major ship companies – to accelerate the deployment of certified and field-trialled 3D printed maritime parts,” Ho Chaw Sing, NAMIC Managing Director, explained.

“This accelerated approach deepens the industry engagement, harnessing the collective resources and innovative capabilities to develop Singapore into a global AM hub for the maritime industry.”

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