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PSA and SUTD developing talent for Singapore’s Smart Port

Young talents in data science, infocomm and engineering who want to brave the seas of Singapore’s future have much to look forward to.

PSA Corporation Limited (PSA) and Singapore University of Technology (SUTD) have signed an MoU to develop the local talent pool, supporting the future growth of the port industry. Plans are on the way to build a future port in Tuas.

Futuristic Tuas Port

Building talent for the next generation is a stepping stone to realising the plans for Tuas Port. To be rolled out in four phases, the Port will house all of Singapore’s port operations. Tuas Port is expected to be in operation in three years’ time. It has been said that its full completion will be in 2040. By then, the Tuas Port’s immense capacity will be able to handle up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo annually.

Tuas Port will harness big data, and leverage automation technologies and smart systems to raise terminal productivity and service quality.

How to Groom Future Talent

On PSA’s part, the organisation will contribute its knowledge on ports, formulating content for SUTD’s curriculum. The content will help build the competencies required to manage the complex ecosystems which will operate in Tuas Port. Through the course, SUTD’s students will have the necessary exposure and advance their knowledge in smart technologies and systems used in port operations.

Secondly, PSA will collaborate with SUTD to develop a pipeline of talent supporting PSA’s extensive network of ICT infrastructure. The ICT infrastructure is an enabler of port operations.

To this end, PSA has pledged to provide internship opportunities to SUTD students. During the internship period, SUTD students have the opportunity to learn and apply engineering principles, infocommunication and security, and data science knowledge to modern port operations and equipment.

Mr Ong Kim Pong, Regional CEO Southeast Asia, PSA International, said, “PSA has adapted quickly to embark on a journey of embracing evolving technologies including digitalisation, complex designs, and total system thinking efforts that are motivating the rapid changes in the maritime industry. Jobs are being redesigned, and we are building the competencies needed to reinforce our digital readiness.”

“PSA values SUTD’s strength in combining design thinking and technology, and nurturing technically-grounded innovators. This timely partnership allows both parties to capitalise on each other’s strengths and PSA is pleased to provide SUTD students with opportunities for practical industry experience and the chance to pursue exciting careers in PSA,” added Mr Ong.

Valuing the partnership’s impact on education and the future of work is Professor Chow Tow Tong, SUTD President. He said, “SUTD’s strategic partnership with PSA will not only offer our student valuable hands-on experience in the actual global port environment, but also encourage the free flow of information, ideas and innovation between both organisations. Together, we look forward to forging new frontiers for the maritime sector and innovate new processes that are applicable to the industry’s needs.”

The volume of container throughput in Singapore has risen considerably over the years. In 2017, it was 33.7 million TEUs. This is compared to 30.9 million in 2016.

As a futuristic port, there is talk between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and PSA to explore the use of drones and robots for inspection, repairs and the distribution of spare parts.

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