Singapore Maritime Institute announces funding for R&D projects

The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) has announced plans to provide SGD$22 million in new funding to support further development projects at R&D Centres of Excellence in the port city, covering energy and sustainability initiatives as well as port modelling and simulation.

Over a five-year period, $12 million will be provided to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to support Phase Two development at the Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development (MESD) Centre of Excellence, with a further S$10 million to back Phase Two work at the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports (C4NGP).

The MESD Centre of Excellence 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 in its Phase Two work. These projects include trials on alternative fuels and energy sources, as well as associated adoption pathways.

The C4NGP, which is part of the College of Design and Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS), aims to adapt the Centre’s digital twin technologies for adoption by local ports and the maritime industry. In its next phase, the organisation aims to share knowledge with industry partners via its digital twin software packages.

Other R&D projects to be developed include Tuas Port’s digital twin, port operation planning systems, performance analysis of future automation systems, and a digital twin for haulier services in Singapore.

“SMI is pleased to support the Phase Two funding for MESD and C4NGP. The two centres of excellence form the repositories of deep expertise and knowledge in the respective areas of green shipping and next generation ports, and have made significant R&D achievements since their establishment,” said SMI Chairman, Wong Weng Sun.

“In the next phase, the Centres will focus efforts on translating their rich R&D capabilities for industry adoption. They will continue their role in supporting and building a strong and vibrant research and innovation ecosystem through maritime R&D excellence.”

In addition to supporting the Centres of Excellence, SMI notes that it will be working on AI research programmes, maritime use cases and collaborating with AI institutions to implement AI applications in maritime.

SMI has awarded S$4.78 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, with the funding being used to launch the first phase of a programme with a focus on maritime data excellence and AI modelling excellence.

IHPC will co-develop the technologies in collaboration with other institutes of higher learning, research institutes, industry partners, and relevant public sector agencies in the maritime ecosystem.

SMI has also awarded S$4.77 million to iTrust, the 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, in collaboration with class society ABS and Singapore Polytechnic’s Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety.

The MariOT cyber-physical platform will be equipped with shipboard operational technologies to offer a realistic testing environment for cybersecurity systems without disrupting actual vessel operations. The hybrid platform will be used to design and validate new technologies for deployment onboard ships, as well as to train maritime professionals.

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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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