The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the National University of Singapore's entrepreneurial arm, have awarded Claritecs, SkyLab and Ocean Freight Exchange the third, second and first-place prizes, respectively, in the Pier71 Smart Port Challenge (SPC).
First-place winner Ocean Freight Exchange provides a platform to optimise vessel chartering using deep-learning AI. Skylab is a provider of internet of things data logistics solutions. Claritecs’ offering is BunkerMAESTRO, an AI-enhanced software-as-a-service bunker tanker scheduling platform intended to provide bunker operators, terminals, ship agents and managers of receiving vessels with bunkering information oversight under one common platform. The platform uses machine learning and AI algorithms to optimally schedule bunker delivery jobs within a bunker operator’s fleet.
The SPC aims to connect maritime companies with technology startups and innovators to address key issues in Singapore’s maritime sector. It is one of several initiatives under the PIER71 programme aimed at developing a maritime entrepreneurial ecosystem in the port city-state.
122 proposals were received in response to 20 challenge statements identified in the areas of port operations, shipping and maritime services. 17 start-ups were shortlisted by MPA, NUS Enterprise and involved companies from the maritime sector to undergo an 8-week market and business model validation programme called Pier71 Accelerate.
Claritecs chief executive Wong Hong Lee said “Garnering the third place out of 122 entries globally for the PIER71 Smart Port Challenge provides solid validation to the BunkerMAESTRO concept, which we firmly believe will add value to Singapore’s US$25Bn bunker industry.”
“We expect BunkerMAESTRO to offer a 30% to 50% increase in work productivity; 15% to 30% increase in bunker tanker utilisation rate; and a 50% reduction in time spent for communication – allowing users to concentrate on addressing key issues and bringing in more revenue with the same amount of resources,” he added.
Letters of intent have been signed with nine Singapore-based bunker tanker operators and shipowners and about one-third of Singapore’s bunker tanker fleet will be involved as testbed candidates for BunkerMaestro in the first half of 2018.
As well as the S$10,000 (US$7000), $5,000 and $3,000 prizes for the first, second and third-place winners, the 17 SPC start-ups will benefit from continued support from MPA and NUS Enterprise including access to funding, international markets, innovative technologies and maritime expertise.
Claritecs now plans to apply for MPA’s S$50,000 post-programme prototype development grant. “We look forward to sharing our technologies with stakeholders in the bunker supply chain to add value to their operations,” said Mr Wong.