MPA Smart Port Hackathon returns bigger for the second year

14 August 2015

MPA Smart Port Hackathon returns bigger for the second year
New student category to engage youth from Institutes of Higher Learning

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) officially announced the return of Smart Port Hackathon this evening, at the Kick-Off Night officiated by Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport. In its second year, Smart Port Hackathon 2015 will see a total of 200 participants from 40 teams, including participation in the new student category.

This year's event has grown in scale with more partners coming on board including multi-national companies DHL and IBM. The newly created Student category also gained much interest from Institutes of Higher Learning, with an expected participation of 100 students from 15 teams.

Supported by Singapore Polytechnic and the Urban Prototyping (UP) Singapore community, the maritime-themed hackathon was first launched in 2014, bringing together maritime professionals, data scientists, developers, designers and various other professionals, to develop innovative solutions to enhance productivity, efficiency and sustainability in the Port of Singapore. It saw 120 participants from 25 teams, producing 25 original maritime-related prototypes in 48 hours, in its inaugural run.

Some of the research projects conceived from the inaugural hackathon include using drones to help MPA port inspectors extend their inspection range, predictive analytics software to determine the arrival time of vessels in our port which will enhance effectiveness in berth planning and a software to monitor and track operational efficiencies and sustainability of Singapore-flagged vessels.

Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA said, "This year's Smart Port Hackathon is a much bigger event than 2014. With new industry partners and participating institutions, it seeks to develop useful applications and mobile solutions that would enhance the productivity, efficiency and sustainability of the Port of Singapore. The maritime sector is ripe for an information revolution and the smarter use of data and analytics can help companies better manage their costs and operations, particularly during the current market conditions."

While the overarching themes of the hackathon remains to be centred on productivity, efficiency and sustainability, this year's challenges go beyond the port and looks at the larger maritime eco-system. The three key challenges are:

(a)Maritime Services Value Chain - With a ship arriving or departing Singapore waters every three minutes, the fast turnover is only possible with key supporting maritime services, such as pilotage, towage, bunkering, supplies and provisions, ship inspections and repairs. Potential areas of improvements include changes or automation of processes as well as creation of new systems to maximise productivity.

(b)Maritime Logistics Supply Chain - Efficiency of Singapore's maritime logistic supply chain is also crucial to the port's success. This challenge looks into how one facilitates smooth movement of vessels in Singapore waters, enhancing the monitoring of port service levels, facilitating deployment of trucks and movement of containers as well as enhancing general cargo terminal operations.

(c)Cruise and Ferry Terminal Operations - Singapore is also home to the largest cruise homeport in Asia. Asia's cruise industry is also fast-growing and there is increasing demand on cruise and ferry services in Singapore. This challenge looks into ways to improve the operations of these passenger terminals to reduce or prevent capacity issues such as congestions.

A total of S$24,500 worth of prizes is up for grabs at this year's hackathon. Winners of both the open category and student category stand to walk away with S$5,000 as the top prize, S$3,000 for second place and S$2,000 for the third place. There are also special prizes this year- 'Best IBM BlueMix App', in which the winner for the open category will receive S$12,000 in IBM Cloud Credits and members of the winning team for the student category will each receive an Apple iPad, as well as the 'Best Data Analytics Prize', in which the winner from open category will receive S$1,500 from M1 and a 'Best Hack Prize', in which the winner will either get S$15,000 in M1 Cloud Server Credits or an Apple iPad for each team member.

Smart Port Hackathon 2015 is made possible with industry partners - APL, BH Global, DHL, Container Depot Association of Singapore, Jurong Port, PSA Corporation, Singapore Cruise Centre, Singapore Customs, Singapore Shipping Association, Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers & Services; and supporting partners - M1, IBM, Orbcomm, Sense Infosys, Singapore Polytechnic, Tableau, and Whispir.

Results will be announced at the end of the hackathon on Sunday.

Opening remarks by Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport

MPA Smart Port Hackathon returns bigger for the second year

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