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Singapore Explores Plans to Develop Maritime Tech, Cybersecurity

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has said it will continue developing industry-wide capabilities by strengthening research and development, piloting maritime technologies (MarineTech), and developing maritime cybersecurity capabilities. This is expected to bolster the country’s resilience and capacity to deal with disruptions.

During the recent MarineTech Conference, MPA signed two memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with industry partners. The MarineTech Conference is held from 5 to 6 April and brings together global industry leaders and stakeholders to speak on key growth areas for investment, emerging technology trends, start-up showcases, and demand outlooks for maritime technology. Experts will also put forward a roadmap on developments in maritime cybersecurity, data analytics, and the latest applications for smart port and shipping automation.

At the conference, the Senior Minister of State for Transport, Chee Hong Tat, announced the launch of the Maritime Singapore Additive Manufacturing Landscape Report to provide a roadmap for companies to experiment with new practices in additive manufacturing. Titled ‘Charting the Way Forward’, the landscape report provides an overview of maritime additive manufacturing capabilities in Singapore and shares learning points from previous trials and adoption processes. This is the first joint publication developed by MPA together with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster and Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), according to an MPA press statement.

Further, at the event, SSA announced an MoU with MPA and seven industry partners. Under the agreement, a Maritime Cybersecurity Roundtable will be established where participants will recommend initiatives to improve maritime cybersecurity collaboration through information sharing, growing a leading talent pool for maritime cyber skills in Singapore, and facilitating greater awareness and access to maritime cyber solutions and talents. The first roundtable meeting will be held later this year.

At the event, the Sea Transport Industry Development Plan (IDP) was expanded to include all subsectors in Sea Transport, such as ship chandlers, shipbrokers, marine surveyors, ship management, and ship operators. The Sea Transport IDP for Ship Agency, Harbour Craft, and Bunkering was first launched by MPA in 2020 to encourage digital transformation by companies, through a step-by-step guide on digital solutions to adopt at each stage of their growth. It is a joint initiative with the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Enterprise Singapore, and SkillsFuture Singapore as part of the SME Go Digital Programme.

MPA will also extend funding support for the adoption of pre-approved digital solutions beyond 31 December 2022 to benefit-eligible maritime companies on an ongoing basis. With the expansion, more than 3,000 SMEs in the Sea Transport subsectors will be eligible to apply for co-funding.

Tat stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies by businesses and individuals and opened up new collaborations across geographies and sectors. This provides opportunities for MarineTech companies to start-up and scale-up. “With support from our tripartite partners and research institutions over the years, Singapore is now home to a thriving MarineTech ecosystem. We will build on this momentum to achieve our aspiration of becoming the Silicon Valley for MarineTech, focusing on digitalisation, innovation, and partnerships,” he said.

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