Singapore’s academic institutions have embarked on partnerships that will enhance maritime technology and knowledge
Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) have partnered up to launch a S$14M (US$10M) research centre aimed at improving maritime safety standards.
The Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) is focused on the two key areas of maritime navigation and onboard operations. Through collaboration with the maritime industry and the research community, CEMS will seek to develop new technologies and training systems to reduce accidents and safety incidents.
One of CEMS’ first projects will be developing the Next Generation Navigation Simulator, which will provide the ability to perform modelling and simulation of a complex port environment, new vessel designs and operational concepts. It will also function as an innovative training system that will aid in upgrading the current maritime workforce and developing the future workforce in relevant technologies for new maritime operations, such as autonomous shipping. The project to develop the simulator, which will be the first of its kind in Singapore, will have an estimated duration of five years.
SP’s principal and chief executive officer Soh Wai Wah said “We are pleased to be able to contribute with our expert maritime knowledge and also our capabilities in various technological areas to support the maritime industry in the long term.”
SMI’s executive director Toh Ah Cheong said “The establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety will deepen and further leverage Singapore Polytechnic’s knowledge in navigational safety to enhance capabilities and further raise awareness for safety within the maritime sector.”
MPA’s outgoing chief executive Andrew Tan said “This latest initiative will further position Singapore as a standards bearer in the areas of safety, security and sustainability.
“It will also contribute towards Singapore’s development of the regulatory framework on autonomous vessels, which will include man-ship interface with varying levels of autonomy at the national and international levels.”
SMI has also collaborated on a research centre with the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Centre of Excellence in modelling and Simulation for Next-Generation Ports (C4NGP).
Part of NUS’ engineering faculty, the S$18M (US$13M) C4NGP was announced in June 2018, with a stated goal of helping Singapore’s maritime and port industries develop innovative capabilities and enhance global competitiveness.
Over the next five years, about 20 researchers at the centre will undertake projects in the areas of designing and building maritime systems, conducting navigational channel capacity studies, studying various port terminal systems and examining land transport-related systems. The centre will work with businesses to ensure its research and development efforts are aligned with the needs of industry and to improve their technical knowledge, efficiency and productivity.
C4NGP will be jointly led by associate Professor Chew Ek Peng and Associate Professor Lee Loo Hay from NUS’ Faculty of Engineering’s Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Management. A governing board chaired by NUS senior vice-president of graduate education and research translation Professor Freddy Boey will comprise representatives from key stakeholders including MPA, SMI and other industry partners.
Professor Boey said “This concerted effort will greatly enhance the long-term competitiveness of the maritime and port industries, and further strengthen Singapore's strong reputation as a global maritime hub."
In October 2018, C4NGP signed a memoranda of understanding with Jurong Port, Optimization Analytics Technology, PSA Marine, CEMS, Surbana Jurong, Softship Data Processing and ZPMC Southeast Asia to create digital twins of various port, land and sea systems.