New Initiatives to Boost Maritime Research and Development, Productivity and Manpower Development

9 April 2013

New Initiatives to Boost Maritime Research and Development,
Productivity and Manpower Development

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will be rolling out new initiatives to drive maritime research and development (R&D), productivity improvements, and manpower development to further strengthen Singapore's maritime sector.

The new initiatives were announced this morning by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, at the opening of the Sea Asia Exhibition and Conference, held in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week 2013.

"Maritime is an important part of Singapore and contributes some 7% of Singapore's GDP. MPA is committed to working in partnership with the industry and institutes of higher learning (IHLs) in developing Maritime Singapore and are pleased to work with the industry and IHLs on the new initiatives and investments in maritime R&D, productivity and manpower development," said Mr Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive of MPA.

Investing in Maritime R&D

To continue developing Singapore's maritime R&D capabilities, MPA will be extending the validity of the Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund by five years and topping up the Fund by a further S$50 million. The MINT Fund was established in 2003 with S$100 million to fund and support R&D and test-bedding of maritime technologies by universities, research institutes and companies in Singapore over a period of ten years.

Raising Productivity

To support our maritime industry's productivity efforts and help raise productivity in the sector, MPA will be introducing a new S$25 million Productivity Programme under the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF). The new Productivity Programme will support the maritime industry's effort to raise productivity by providing co-funding for initiatives like business process re-engineering, automation and adoption of other productivity tools or practices.

An example of a project under this new Productivity Programme is the study on how to improve productivity in Singapore's harbour craft sector. MPA, together with industry players, will embark on a review of the harbour craft market structure, including identifying opportunities for productivity improvements, such as re-defining the business model to enhance efficiency, re-designing jobs as well as putting in place manpower development plans and more efficient designs for harbour craft.

Enhancing Manpower Development

Quality manpower is critical to the growth of the maritime industry. MPA continues to work closely with various IHLs to enhance manpower development and promote maritime careers.

MPA will be setting aside S$2 million from the Manpower Development Programme under the MCF for a new Global Internship Award over the next five years. The award offers high-achieving local undergraduates from the three local universities - National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU) - a fully-sponsored maritime-focused internship, comprising both local and overseas components. Through this exposure with international maritime companies, students will gain a deeper appreciation of the global nature of shipping and the importance of shipping.

MPA also works in partnership with IHLs on maritime education and is pleased that the Singapore Management University (SMU) will be launching a new Maritime Economics Concentration under the School of Economics in August this year. Under this concentration, SMU undergraduates will benefit from a structured and rigorous programme, which includes maritime modules, internship opportunities, overseas industry study missions, site visits and talks by industry practitioners. This will help build up the shore-based talent pool for Maritime Singapore.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), MPA and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will jointly be establishing the ABS-MPA Maritime Technology Professorship Programme at SUTD. This programme aims to build up SUTD's capabilities in maritime education and R&D, which will help to strengthen the overall maritime education and R&D landscape in Singapore.

Besides the professorship at SUTD, MPA has, since 2003, established a Professorship in Maritime Business Economics at SMU, Professorships in Maritime Law and Maritime Economics at NUS and a Professorship in Shipping Management at NTU to engage visiting professors to teach maritime modules and share their expertise.

End of Release.

About Singapore Maritime Week (7 - 12 April 2013)
Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) is the leading maritime event in Singapore. Driven by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), SMW gathers the international maritime community in Singapore for a week of conferences, dialogues, exhibitions and social events in celebration of all things maritime. The range of activities and events organised by MPA, the industry, and research and educational institutions, as well as the cosmopolitan profile of participants, reflect the vibrancy and diversity of Singapore as a major international maritime centre.

SMW has grown in size and significance since the inaugural event in 2006, and is attracting more participants and event organisers from around the world. Participants can experience something new every year, as activities are added to the line-up, and as eminent speakers share their insights and participate in dialogues on topical maritime issues. This dynamism and the good range of issues discussed during SMW are major draws for maritime decision-makers, as are the many business networking platforms. This is why Singapore Maritime Week is all about PEOPLE, IDEAS and OPPORTUNITIES for the maritime community.

For more information and the full calendar of events, please visit

About Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was established on 2 February 1996, with the mission to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre (IMC), and to advance and safeguard Singapore's strategic maritime interests. MPA is the driving force behind Singapore's port and maritime development, taking on the roles of Port Authority, Port Regulator, Port Planner, IMC Champion, and National Maritime Representative. MPA partners the industry and other agencies to enhance safety, security and environmental protection in our port waters, facilitate port operations and growth, expand the cluster of maritime ancillary services, and promote maritime R&D and manpower development.