NUS Enterprise and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly execute the Maritime Technology Acceleration Programme (MTAP) to encourage innovation and experimentation in the maritime industry and explore new areas of growth by working with technology start-ups.
The three-year MOU was signed on 12 January during the launch of the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map by Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health Lam Pin Min, which aims to drive Singapore’s vision to be a global maritime hub for connectivity, innovation and talent.
The MTAP will include a residency partnership at BLOCK71 Singapore, an initiative by NUS Enterprise, as well as ecosystem building activities to raise awareness among start-up communities of the opportunities in the maritime and port industry and enhance collaboration with maritime firms.
There will also be an annual Smart Port Challenge to attract global start-ups to tackle industry challenges in the port, shipping and maritime logistics domain. Shortlisted start-ups will spend 10 weeks developing their prototypes while receiving mentorship and training opportunities, before pitching their solutions to a judging panel. Successful start-ups will be given grants to carry out proof-of-concept or product development projects with industry partners. The competition is expected to be launched in April 2018 during Singapore Maritime Week.
“The maritime industry has historically been of strategic importance to Singapore’s growth. We are excited to help bridge start-ups with this flagship industry to generate entrepreneurial interest and accelerate start-up development, as well as provide a platform for corporates in the industry to engage with start-ups,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise.