Singapore’s fifth Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2021 is now open for technology startups to submit their innovation proposals in five key areas: smart port, smart ship, crew safety and training and smart maritime services and logistics, and green technology.
Deadline for submission of proposals is on August 10, 2021.
“By bringing together problem statements and solutions for the maritime sector, SPC has become a key pillar of our efforts to develop a strong Marinetech (maritime technology) sector in Singapore,” said Chee Hong Tat, senior minister of state of the Ministry of Transport.
He pointed out that innovation in the area of Marinetech will be key for the shipping industry’s future growth.
“Maritime Singapore has remained resilient during the pandemic, we should ride on this momentum to build even stronger capabilities and position ourselves to grow further and be ready for the future. Singapore is well-placed to develop this sector as we have strengths in both maritime and technology,” Chee added.
The annual competition is organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, under Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @BLOCK71 (PIER71).
The SPC is a key initiative by PIER71 to bridge opportunities in the maritime sector with innovative solutions that can be reimagined to accelerate digital transformation within the industry.
New VC partners
This year, PIER71 has added three new organisations – IMC Ventures, Motion Ventures and MOL PLUS – to its network of venture capital partners, who have individually managed investment fund of S$30 million, and also will be able to offer maritime and entrepreneurial expertise.
Shortlisted start-ups will gain access to PIER71 Accelerate, a six-week market validation and customer discovery programme; PIER71’s global network of partners; mentoring; workshops and masterclasses; the opportunity to win top three cash prizes of S$10,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively; as well as continued entrepreneurial and technical support beyond SPC. Finalists are also eligible to apply for MPA’s MINT-STARTUP grant of up to S$50,000 to pilot their projects.
“PIER71 continues to attract start-ups and other key stakeholders that make the maritime innovation ecosystem as vibrant as it is today. As part of our larger effort in developing deep-tech and industry-relevant programmes, NUS sees this collaboration with MPA as an important driver in bridging innovation solutions with the wider industry needs,” said Professor Freddy Boey, NUS deputy president for innovation and enterprise.
He added: “In the coming months the PIER71 programme will be further enhanced with activities in the areas of technology commercialisation, internationalisation and talent development.”
To date, SPC has supported close to 60 start-ups through PIER71 Accelerate. Seven start-ups from last year’s SPC have been awarded with MPA’s start-up grant for prototype development and test-bedding, bringing the total grant funding disbursed to past PIER71 start-ups to about S$2 million.
Over the next 12 months, these start-ups will collaborate with PIER71’s maritime corporate partners on pilot projects that focus on the use of autonomous robotics, vision analytics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, among others.