Winning PIER71 start-ups to receive $50,000 grant from MPA

Kanda's virtual reality system is to be used by Teekay for tanker crew training

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), have announced the 12 start-ups to be granted SGD$50,000 in MPA funding following the conclusion of the PIER71 Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2019.

The funding will be used to support the firms in conducting prototype development and test-bed trials of their technologies. Over the next 12 months, the start-ups will work on pilot projects in collaboration with PIER71’s maritime corporate partners, who will provide subject matter expertise, test data, as well as a platform to test-bed the systems.

The grant applications were assessed by MPA based on the viability of the products in addressing real world maritime challenges. Focusing on technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality (V/AR), blockchain, robotics and wearables, the chosen start-ups are:

  • ASA Development
  • C-LOG
  • Cerekon
  • Dravam
  • Kanda
  • KoiReader Technologies
  • Marified
  • Megapixel
  • Newton Services Research (local entity of Delvify)
  • Performance Rotors
  • Tropical Renewable Energy Engineering (TREE)

Upon successful completion of the programme, PIER71’s corporate partners will have the opportunity to implement the products developed by the start-up companies, including shipping companies like Teekay, which has already been impressed by the capabilities of some of the grant winners.

“The use of Kanda’s VR solution to simulate a safety procedure known as ‘Lock Out Tag Out’ will allow our crew to undergo training in a virtual tanker, which is essentially a digital twin of the one they work on, without endangering their lives or damaging any equipment,” explained Ron Fong, Regional IT Manager of Teekay.

“We’re also working with Cerekon to explore a remote support system, that will enable our onboard engineers to use voice-activated head-mounted wearables to safely and more efficiently conduct equipment maintenance.”

Eight out of the 13 grant recipients from the previous year’s Smart Port Challenge in 2018 have now completed their pilot projects, with the remaining five nearing completion, MPA says.

Examples include Ship Supplies Direct, a start-up focused on marine logistics and supply chain, which has been pursuing a pilot project with PSA International, and Aeras Medical, a healthcare start-up, which completed a three-month onboard trial with OMC Shipping remotely monitoring crew health.

“Although the global COVID-19 situation has caused widespread disruption, we push ahead with innovation in the maritime sector,” said Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA.

“Singapore continues to support the use of emerging technologies to transform the maritime industry, uplift the way companies do their business and strengthen our resilience as a maritime nation. These grants represent MPA’s commitment to supporting innovation as part of Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map, and we are heartened by the results we’ve seen to date from previous grant recipients.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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