Singapore tech drive delivers port solutions

The event took place at the end of November at the city-state’s Shaw Foundation Alumni House Photo: DavidRockDesign/Pixabay/CC0 Creative Commons The event took place at the end of November at the city-state’s Shaw Foundation Alumni House Photo: DavidRockDesign/Pixabay/CC0 Creative Commons

A ship supplies distribution platform that will provide a holistic overview of port-related activities, an online logistics system and an omnichannel customer engagement product were just some of the innovations offered at the PIER71 Smart Port Challenge Singapore Pitch Day.

The event, which took place at the end of November, saw 17 finalist start-ups with innovative technologies pitch their solutions to an audience of 250 at an event attended by Lam Pin Min, a Senior Minister of State in Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health.

Ocean Freight Exchange was named winner of the 2018 Smart Port Challenge (SPC), which was organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA Singapore), NUS Enterprise and TNB Ventures. The service offered by Ocean Freight Exchange is a web-based scheduler system that takes in all relevant data to create an optimal schedule for a fleet of bunker tankers.

The first runner-up was SkyLab, whose data transport accelerator platform STATM can overcome satellite communications limitations while at sea by providing real-time monitoring and management of equipment, plant, systems, crew health and communication.

The second-runner up was the startup Claritecs. The company has developed BunkerMaestro, a software as a service platform — based on artificial intelligence algorithms and maritime expertise — that claims to deliver scheduling clarity for decision-makers in shipping operations.

Ocean Freight Exchange, SkyLab and Claritecs were awarded cash prizes of S$10,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively and will partner with maritime firms on their winning projects.

Future collaboration

Beyond the competition, MPA Singapore and NUS Enterprise will keep providing resources — offering access to maritime expertise, international markets, financing and innovative technologies — to support the 17 SPC startup finalists in work with maritime companies to progress into a prototype development phase.

MPA Singapore will offer grants of up to S$50,000 for test-bedding and developing prototypes, and SPC start-ups establishing partnerships, and receiving letters of intent from a maritime firm, will be eligible.

Additionally, Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined at BLOCK71 (PIER71), under which the SPC is an initiative, has set up partnerships with several organisations — including PortXL, Rainmaking and InnoSpace — to help SPC startups break into global markets.

PIER71 has also signed deals with Singapore Telecommunications Limited, MarineTraffic, Terra Weather, AdNovum and Panasonic R&D Center Singapore to give SPC startups free access to their technologies for prototype development.

Finally, maritime veterans, technology entrepreneurs and domain experts will serve as a mentor pool to guide SPC startups as they bring their innovations to market.

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