SINGAPORE - The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to collaborate in research and development (R&D) in various fields relating to maritime technologies.
The MoU was signed by MPA Chief Executive, Mr Andrew Tan and Dr Raj Thampuran, Managing Director of A*STAR, at the inaugural Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC).
Under the five-year MoU, MPA will leverage the capabilities of all research institutes under A*STAR's Science and Engineering Research Council to promote multi-disciplinary R&D projects in maritime technologies between the Government, academia, and industry.
The MoU will, among others, cover R&D in the following areas:
· Development of next generation maritime communications technologies, which include satellite, terrestrial, and wireless modes of communication, particularly enhanced applications of TV white spaces technology to improve productivity and safety.
· Research into new robotic capabilities supporting the marine industry, which includes marine-grade robots and Autonomous Vehicles to enhance port and maritime operations for greater productivity and safety of both personnel and the port.
· Environment technology, which consists of applied research into marine sustainability, renewable energy, and the use of emission reduction technology in ports in terms of infrastructure, processes, equipment and vessels.
· Modelling, simulation and visualisation technologies to study and understand the requirements of the next generation port.
Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, "This MOU is a further extension of our strong partnership with A*STAR in the area of maritime R&D, with a focus on new technologies and systems that will enhance the competitive edge of our port and its operations given the increasingly complex demands and challenges. The MOU covers the latest communications systems and technology such as TV White Space, unmanned and autonomous platforms, simulation and modelling capabilities, as well development in environment technologies."
Dr Raj Thampuran, Managing Director of A*STAR, said, "This MoU signifies the deep partnership between A*STAR and MPA over the past decade. It serves as a framework to bring our partnership to a new level by delivering even more ideas and innovative technologies to the Maritime and Offshore industry."
The MoU builds on MPA's prior collaborations with A*STAR research institutes, such as the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) over the past decade.
These include infocomm technology projects such as "Speaker Verification via VHF Communication Channel to Authenticate Shipmaster with Pilotage Exemption", as well as projects on environmental sustainability such as "Multi-Functional Environmentally Benign Marine Coatings". These projects are co-funded by MPA under its Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund.
The signing ceremony also marked the start of the Smart Technology and Sustainable Port Development Seminar jointly organised by MPA, A*STAR, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological Institute (NTU), held in conjunction with the 10th Singapore Maritime Week.
The seminar covered research topics such as the application of intelligent video networks and automation systems for a future smart port, as well as futuristic concepts of floating mega structures and underwater cities. About 100 guests from thelocal and international maritime community attended the seminar.