Dr. Lam Pin Min, senior minister of state, Singapore Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health, says that the government is committed to helping the local maritime industry to transform through technology.
He made this remark during his opening address at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference, held during the Singapore Maritime Week 2019.
“We will do more to support research and technology development in the maritime industry. Since 2015, MPA has co-funded maritime technology research projects from more than 80 companies through the Maritime Innovation & Technology (MINT) Fund. MPA will be inviting more project proposals in June this year.
“Looking further ahead, the Singapore Government is setting the strategic direction for research and technology in the maritime industry for the next 10 years. The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), in collaboration with MPA, has refreshed the R&D roadmap for the maritime sector till 2030.
“The roadmap outlines the key areas of focus for R&D such as next-generation port, strategic sea space management and sustainable maritime environment, which the industry can use as a guide to align their efforts,” says Dr. Lam.
Dr. Lam also added that the government will be setting aside S$3.7 million for the next three years, to help ship agency and harbor craft SMEs adopt solutions in the Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan (IDP). The government will also roll out the IDPs for other maritime sectors in the coming years.
Technology is a key enabler of transformation and more companies are coming onboard to leverage on it as an impetus for growth moving ahead, and to raise productivity and efficiency through greater automation, intelligent systems and digitalization.
There are now more companies partnering government agencies for technology development projects to tap into business opportunities, and also investing in R&D to raise competitiveness. Also, there are currently more maritime startups offering innovative solutions to the industry.
One of the major government’s initiatives to help SMEs is the Sea Transport IDP. It works as a guide for local SMEs in the Sea Transport industry to digitalize their businesses, plug skills gaps and participate in industry pilot projects.
SMEs in the Sea Transport industry can tap on pre-approved solutions to streamline business processes, enhance productivity and efficiency, as well as connect with the ecosystem for integrated insights that can maximize business value and improve profits.
The Sea Transport IDP is a step-by-step guide on the digital solutions that SMEs can use at each stage of their growth.
Economic decline, along with a restrictive lockdown, left the freight sector in a vulnerable situation.