This year’s competition includes some serious funding in addition to a host of training programs to attract tech startups.

For those familiar with the Singapore Maritime sector, it is time for this year’s Smart Port Challenge (SPC) by Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71).

Now into its fourth edition, the SPC is a key initiative by PIER71 to bridge opportunities in the Singapore maritime sector with innovative solutions that can be reimagined to accelerate digital transformation within the industry.

Technology start-ups are invited to submit proposals based on any of the 17 innovation opportunities that have been curated in collaboration with 15 maritime corporates and other partners this year. Shortlisted start-ups will gain exclusive access to:

  • PIER71 Accelerate, a six-week market and business model validation program;
  • PIER71’s global network of partners; mentoring; workshops and masterclasses;
  • eligibility for grant applications of up to S$50,000 each; opportunity to win top three cash prizes of S$10,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively;
  • continued support beyond SPC.

To support Maritime Singapore’s long-term sustainability goals, an innovation opportunity focusing on maritime decarbonisation will be featured for the first time. Said Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA): “As the shipping industry grapples with (the pandemic), there are opportunities for greater digitalization, automation and adoption of new technology… the Smart Port Challenge (lets) start-ups join hands with the shipping companies to curate solutions to future-proof ourselves and build a more resilient maritime community; with the added venture capital funding steering more resources towards this important effort.”

The addition of venture capital funding partners includes Bernhard Schulte INNOPORT, PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH), Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), PSA unboXed and TNB Aura. This initiative will offer PIER 71 start-ups access to the partners’ investment pool and expert knowledge.

To date, over 400 technology start-ups from Singapore, China, Japan, Denmark, Netherlands to the United States have participated in SPC, with 32 of them receiving grant funding of over S$1.5 million in total to develop and test-bed their solutions.

Pivoting supply chains with technology

According to Prof Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise): “PIER71 is part of our larger effort in developing deep-tech and industry-relevant programs. It is even more pertinent now in helping to address real-world problems that have been identified by our maritime corporates who are ready and able to adopt viable and innovative solutions… Start-ups have stepped up to meet challenges and opportunities presented by this newly-evolved environment. We look forward to seeing more innovative minds making positive impact with technology in the maritime industry and playing a key role in our recovery from COVID-19.”

 The closing date for submission of proposals via is 10 August 2020.