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Snapshot: Singapore Maritime Research & Development Roadmap 2030

Maritime Singapore plays a central role globally as a leading maritime nation. Even more so through a concerted Maritime R&D roadmap, the so-called 'Singapore R&D Roadmap 2030: Maritime Transformation', which was unveiled at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC) during Singapore Maritime Week 2019.


The roadmap represents an ambitious and well-defined vision for Singapore in its next phase of growth through the adoption of technology and innovation. The recommendations were closely co-developed by three national-level initiatives: The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), as well as the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM).




Three National-level Initiatives

The Roadmap 2030 is driven by three national initiatives below:


1. Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM): MPA, in partnership with the industry, unions, and other government agencies, lays out the IMT, a strategic blueprint for the sector to drive the industry to co-create maritime Singapore 2030 and beyond.


Key strategies

  • Strengthen connectivity and inter-linkages

  • Drive growth through productivity enhancements and innovation

  • Develop a future-ready maritime workforce


2. International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030: The IMC 2030 initiative was created with the vision of transforming maritime Singapore into a Global Maritime Hub for connectivity, innovation, and talent.


Key strategies

  • Expand and deepen the maritime cluster

  • Strengthen inter-linkages and network effects

  • Develop a vibrant maritime innovation ecosystem and promote digitalization

  • Develop a multi-skilled maritime workforce with a global mindset

  • Establish Singapore as an international maritime standard-bearer


3. Next Generation Port (NGP) 2030: The NGP 2030 initiative functions as a guideline of the overall master planning and development of the port of Singapore, involving the conceptualization, design, and implementation of Tuas terminal, Tuas maritime hub, and port operations.


Key strategies

  • Optimal and effective management of port waters

  • Improve security and safety

  • Enhance port users experience

  • Improve sustainability and environment protection


Five Key Thrusts


With the announcement of the Roadmap 2030, Singapore aims to optimize R&D efforts and resources for greater value co-creation within the maritime industry. It has mapped out the opportunity areas to expand and build new capabilities, to sharpen and sustain maritime Singapore's long-term competitiveness. The Roadmap is grounded under five key strategic research thrusts as follows:


Each of the five thrusts addressed in the Roadmap has highlighted eight areas of industry capability that would be key components to focus on to transform the maritime industry into an outstanding one. These include:

  • Digitalization

  • Planning and Optimization

  • Autonomous Operations

  • Maritime Safety

  • Port Security

  • Maritime Cybersecurity

  • Maritime Energy Efficiency

  • Marine Environment Management


Thrust 1: Efficient & intelligent world-class next generation port

The vision behind the first thrust is aspiring for Singapore to be the most efficient smart port globally. The rationale behind this vision is to differentiate Singapore's port and strengthen its value proposition as a global transshipment hub. Through the Next Generation Port 2030 initiative, Singapore has the opportunity to build a technologically advanced hub port at Tuas with a higher level of port connectivity, efficiency, and intelligence.


Thrust 2: Strategic sea space & maritime traffic management

The vision of the second thrust is aiming for Singapore to be the centre of excellence for sea traffic management to minimize vessel traffic disruptions to its port operations and facilitate incident management. This is crucial, especially with increasing vessel size and arrivals, increasing demand for ferry services, and the need to serve the dynamic traffic.


Thrust 3: Smart fleet operations & autonomous vessels

The vision of the third thrust is to work towards Singapore to be the leading hub for smart fleet operations and Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) technologies. The motive is to strengthen Singapore's position as the leading international maritime centre for shipping groups to grow their smart fleet operations. MPA has thus taken the lead to experiment with remote technologies for local habour craft operations to improve safety and productivity, and reception capabilities for oceangoing autonomous vessels.


Thrust 4: Effective maritime safety & security

The vision of the fourth thrust is striving for Singapore to be a safe and resilient hub port and international maritime centre. The idea is to increase the resiliency and reliability of Singapore's port operations and infrastructure to minimize unplanned downtime. MPA works actively with the maritime industry on safe practices and culture, emergency readiness exercises, and promoting navigational safety.


Thrust 5: Sustainable maritime environment & energy

The vision of the last thrust is seeking for Singapore to be the centre of excellence for future energy and environmental solutions. This is grounded in protecting Singapore's fundamental international interests and maintaining the country's reputation as a responsible, clean, and green hub port. In addition, it will secure Singapore's competitiveness and navigational freedom in international waterways.


The above thrusts deepen Singapore's maritime capabilities and strengthen the alignment of public and private sector research efforts. Together this will transform Singapore into a competitive leading maritime nation and enable positive change by developing and liberating a dynamic and innovative ecosystem. Specific external and internal drivers are linked to examine the strategic challenges and opportunities for each of the five thrusts. Besides, the desired maritime industry capabilities are also being mapped under each thrust against a realistic delivery timeline from now till 2030.



Contact the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore for more information about business opportunities and how Denmark seeks to inspire green transition in Southeast Asia:

Mark Edward Perry

Sector Expert at Royal Danish Embassy Singapore

Phone: +65 9088 5567

Email: markpe@um.dk

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