The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) enhanced their support for start-ups under the PIER71™ (Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71) initiative by signing a Partnership Agreement with the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) during the Smart Port Challenge 2022 (SPC) Grand Final.
Signed by Mr Teo Teng Seng, Chairman, Digital Transformation Committee, SSA, and Mr Ng Yi Han, Director (Innovation, Technology & Talent Department), MPA, and witnessed by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, the partnership agreement connects start-ups with SSA’s member companies to validate their solutions, gain test-bedding support, and leverage on networking opportunities with the maritime industry through the Start-Up Engagement Workgroup. This support channel will broaden the engagement efforts of PIER71™ by connecting start-ups with industry partners that have not participated in PIER71™’s programmes before.
The three winners of SPC 2022 were also announced by Mr Chee at the event. The first, second and third place winners are GotSurge, GreenCOP and Seadronix. These winners were selected following an evaluation by a panel of judges on their proposed solution, business model, market potential, impact to the maritime industry and overall team capability. The winning teams walked away with cash prizes of S$10,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively.
This year’s finalists have a strong focus on green technology, addressing the need for more sustainable energy and waste management. Solutions also include use of data and artificial intelligence to optimise safety and efficiency in vessel operations and supply chain management. The finalists have completed PIER71TM Accelerate, a six-week market validation and customer discovery programme and are now eligible to apply for a grant of up to S$50,000 from MPA to embark on pilot projects with maritime companies.
Mr Kenneth Lim, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry and Transformation), MPA, said, “Strong collaboration is essential to supporting digital and decarbonisation transformation efforts in the maritime industry. The partnership with SSA will strengthen SPC’s ability to accelerate the scalability and adoption of future-ready solutions, and create efficient and sustainable supply chains as a dynamic international maritime centre”.
Brian Koh, Director, Corporate Partnerships, NUS Enterprise, said, “Beyond Smart Port Challenge, start-ups that continue to maintain an active engagement within the PIER71™ ecosystem have the advantage of gaining further exposure and industry traction. It is through this tightly-knit community of innovative thinkers that synergies can be discovered and become the driving force for transformation and new ideas. NUS provides a pivotal platform to incubate and nurture promising start-ups through our corporate partnerships and global network, allowing them to uncover new opportunities.”
Mr Teo Teng Seng, Chairman, Digital Transformation Committee, SSA, said, “Increasingly, the maritime industry looks to start-ups to help them increase their productivity and gain a competitive edge. Our start-up engagement workgroup aims to extend the expertise and resources within SSA to PIER71™ to enhance the development of the maritime start-up ecosystem. We believe that close linkages and partnership with the industry will create a ripe environment for innovation and look forward to upcoming interactions between our members and the SPC start-ups.
“The Smart Port Challenge has connected GotSurge to potential partners and clients. In fact, the validation we received by participating in SPC allowed us to secure our first investor. With their financial support, together with the SPC prize money, we shall be accelerating the development of our suite of apps to efficiently manage the fast-moving nature of goods in the marine supplies sector. We are now finalizing the execution plan of our “Green Marine Supplies” supply-chain, including setting up a consolidation centre. This should be up and running by first half of 2023,” said Eric Chean, Managing Director, Got Surge.
Supply chain management in the maritime sector is still bogged down by paper-based documentation, deliveries coordinated by phone and multiple middlemen. GotSurge aims to change this through its one-stop digital logistics platform, where customers and suppliers benefit from end-to-end visibility of all deliveries from a single dashboard. This will result in greater efficiencies, reduced costs of up to 30% and an improved customer experience. https://www.gotsurge.co/
A recording of the SPC 2022 Grand Final, as well as information on the finalists, will be available at https://pier71.sg