February 26, 2024

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Singapore Maritime Institute Provides Funds to Support the Sector’s Digitalisiation

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Chee Hong Tat, announced that the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) will be awarding funding to several organisations. The funds will support research and development projects as well as initiatives based on artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. As per a government statement, Tat made the announcement at the 12th edition of the SMI Forum, themed “Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence: Sparking the Maritime Sector”.

Funding for MESD CoE (Phase two)

SMI will be awarding funding of SG$12 million (US$8.5 million) to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to support the Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development (MESD) Centre of Excellence (CoE). With the funding, MESD will strengthen efforts to deepen research for 14 maritime decarbonisation research and developments (R&D) projects that were developed in Phase One for industry deployment in Phase Two.

The MESD will initiate joint projects on 16 R&D areas which it has identified with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and industry partners. These projects include trials on alternative fuels and energy sources, as well as associated adoption pathways, the statement explained.

Funding for CoE in C4NGP (Phase two)

SMI announced it would provide an SG$10 million (US$7.1 million) fund over the next five-year period to the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports (C4NGP), which is part of the College of Design and Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). C4NGP will translate the Centre’s advanced digital twinning technologies for adoption by the local port and the maritime industry, the statement wrote.

In its next phase, the C4NGP aims to create and share new knowledge with local and international industry partners via its digital twin software packages. Other scheduled R&D projects include Tuas Port’s digital twin, advanced port operation planning systems, performance analysis of future automation systems, and a digital twin for haulier services in the country.

Funding for the Maritime AI Research Programme

SMI will be working on AI research programmes, maritime use cases, and working with AI institutions to deploy AI applications in the maritime sector. SMI is giving SG$4.78 million (US$3.4 million) to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Institute of High-Performance Computing (IHPC) to lead the Maritime AI Research Programme.

According to the statement, IHPC will use the funding to launch the first phase of the programme. It will co-develop the technologies in collaboration with other research institutes, industry partners, and relevant public sector agencies in the maritime ecosystem.

Funding for MariOT System

SMI has awarded SG$4.77 million to iTrust, Centre for Research in Cyber Security at the Singapore University of Technology and Design to develop a Maritime Testbed of Shipboard Operational Technology (MariOT) system. It will be the world’s first industrial-grade cyber-physical platform equipped with essential shipboard operational technology systems, which will offer a safe and realistic testing environment for cybersecurity technologies without disrupting vessel operations. The hybrid platform will be used to design and validate new cybersecurity technologies for deployment onboard ships.

Funding to Foster R&D Talent

SMI will contribute SG$500,000 (US$355,926) to an endowment fund for additional distributable income towards the MPA Endowed Chair Professorship in Maritime Management. The Endowed Chair Professorship will appoint a full-time Endowed Chair Professor to enhance maritime education and drive the development quality of academic modules through longer-term strategic plans for the Maritime Studies programmes.

The move will enhance the quality of discourse, attract collaborations with international scholars and industry, and add greater intellectual and creative vibrancy to attract prospective students to pursue a course of study and meaningful career in maritime.


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