Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s)
Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI), Bernhard Schulte, Dive Marine Services, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Everise Shipping Service (ESS), Gard, Hafnia, Jurong Port, K Line, Keppel Smit Towage
, Klaveness Asia, MMA Offshore, Nido Robotics, PSA Marine, PSA unboXed, Sembcorp Marine, Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers and Services (SASS), Tata NYK, Uniteam Marine, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Workplace Safety & Health Institute (WSHI)
Organiser(s) PIER71
Industry Type(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport, Sustainable Energy
Opportunities and Support Mentorship; market validation and customer discovery; grant funding and pilot projects with maritime corporates
Application Start Date 18 June 2021
Application End Date 10 August 2021
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

Smart Port Challenge 2021 offers 17 innovation opportunities that address 5 key focus areas: 

  1. Smart Port
  2. Smart Ship
  3. Crew Safety, Training and Wellbeing
  4. Smart Maritime Services and Logistics
  5. Green Technology

In addition to these innovation opportunities, start-ups may also submit proposals in an open category if you have a technology / solution that drives innovation in any of the 5 focus areas.

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Challenge Owner(s)
Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI), Workplace Safety & Health Institute (WSHI)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) and Workplace Safety & Health Institute (WSHI)

Workplace fall is one of the top injuries in the Marine and Offshore sector. The fall can occur on the ground level due to Slips, Trips and Falls (STF) or working at heights above ground level resulting in Falls from Height (FFH).

These risks could be due to factors such as poor situational awareness, slippery or uneven surfaces, structural obstruction or clutter. A slip or trip that doesn’t result in a fall, known as near-misses, are usually not reported. If these potentially hazardous areas are left unaddressed, they could result in a serious or fatal injury to other crew members.

What We Are Looking For

The Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute (WSHI), part of the Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHD) in the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), are looking for solutions to detect and prevent STF, FFH and near-misses, perform data analysis and generate actionable insights to allow for a safer work environment. Solutions should consider the limited internet connectivity and visibility in some areas, and not hinder the personnel’s comfort and movement. It should also be intrinsically safe for use in hazardous areas (risk of causing explosion), economically viable for large-scale implementation, and deployable at sea and onshore.

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Challenge Owner(s)
Hafnia, Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI), Workplace Safety & Health Institute (WSHI)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

Hafnia, Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI), and Workplace Safety & Health Institute (WSHI)

Workers and seafarers in the maritime industry are exposed to environments that could affect their physical and mental health and wellbeing, both onshore and at sea.

Onshore, workplaces such as ports and shipyards expose workers to physical risks such as noise, hazardous situations with heavy machinery, equipment or materials, adverse weather conditions and even confined spaces. Long hours and shift work often also add to fatigue and mental stress.

In addition to experiencing similar risks as those onshore, seafarers and marine crew that operate vessels such as tug boats, have limited access to timely medical help should an emergency arise. Seafarers sailing for long periods also lack access to good internet connectivity and people to talk to about their mental wellbeing.

What We Are Looking For

Hafnia is looking to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its seafarers through remote access to counselling support (via live text/voice/video chat) and resources.

The Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute (WSHI) are seeking solutions that can remotely monitor workers’ vital signs in order to alert supervisors of impending health and safety risks such as fatigue and mental stress, heat stress, potential heart and respiratory disease, as well as infections.

Solutions should be able to withstand harsh and rugged conditions, be intrinsically safe for use in hazardous (explosive) areas, economically viable for large-scale implementation, have minimal interference with daily operations of personnel, available in several common languages and deployable at sea and onshore.

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Challenge Owner(s)
Bernhard Schulte, Everise Shipping Service (ESS), Wilhelmsen Ships Service
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport, Sustainable Energy

Bernhard Schulte, Everise Shipping Service (ESS), and Wilhelmsen

Environmental sustainability is an industry-wide concern. Plastic is one of the biggest contributors to pollution, yet large quantities in the form of drinking water bottles, chemical pails and packaging of consumables are currently being used on-board vessels.

What We Are Looking For

Bernhard Schulte, Everise Shipping Service and Wilhelmsen Ships Service are looking for solutions to reduce the usage of plastic and its impact on our oceans.

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Challenge Owner(s)Dive Marine Services
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport, Sustainable Energy

Dive Marine Services

One way to reduce fuel consumption and impact on the environment is by keeping vessels in prime condition. Marine growth on the hull can increase underwater drag and reduce fuel efficiency, hence regular maintenance and cleaning is essential.

Underwater cleaning of curved surfaces, such as commercial vessels’ bulbous bow or propeller, can only be accomplished with human divers. This is a highly specialised field with limited availability of trained personnel, and comes with high costs and operational risks, and even regulatory restrictions in some locations. 

Current solutions using underwater remotely operated vehicles are limited to flat surfaces and are not adapted to handle curved surfaces.

What We Are Looking For

Dive Marine Services is looking for remotely operated and ultimately autonomous solutions to reduce the costs and risks associated with using human divers to clean these curved underwater surfaces.

Suitable start-ups will have access to testing facilities and guidance from Dive Marine Services.

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Challenge Owner(s)
Eastern Pacific Shipping, Nido Robotics
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

Eastern Pacific Shipping and Nido Robotics

The use of underwater robotics for inspection, maintenance or research is becoming more prevalent. However, most of such applications are done out at sea and require a stable internet connectivity for high resolution images or videos from the underwater assets to be transferred onshore for analysis. The current 4G LTE network is available in many areas but becomes less reliable once the user is away from the shore, making it difficult for real-time communication between the vessel and the onshore control centre.

What We Are Looking For

Eastern Pacific Shipping and Nido Robotics are looking for a solution that allows a stable, synchronous connection of at least 40Mbps, with a reach of about 10km away from shore, maintaining a speed of 40-50Mbps per connected device.

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Challenge Owner(s)Gard
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

Gard

Like car owners, shipowners are subject to claims from third parties. This could include damage to port facilities, other vessels, cargo, the environment or personnel-related injuries. Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Clubs provide insurance to shipowners against such liabilities and expenses.

Every time an incident happens, each P&I Club conducts its own data gathering, survey and analysis in order to assess and process the claims. Reports from past experiences involving groundings, collisions, cargo damage etc. can offer valuable insights for implementing measures to prevent reoccurrence of such losses. However, there is no consistent system for sharing post-incident data across the industry for the P&I Clubs. Each P&I Club relies on its own process for gathering and analysing data, which limits the data to the relative market share of the particular P&I Club.

What We Are Looking For

Gard is looking for a solution that offers a common and neutral platform to standardise the data collection process, and allow aggregate data to be shared by all stakeholders for better visibility and more effective approach towards loss prevention.

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Challenge Owner(s)Jurong Port
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Marine & Offshore

Jurong Port

As a multi-purpose port that handles general cargo, Jurong Port relies on ground staff to manually identify and count the cargoes as they are being unloaded from the vessels. These have to be tallied against the cargo manifest and stowage plan which were previously recorded in pen and paper. Over the past year, they have developed and implemented the digital tally system that helps to digitise the process.

There is one tally clerk for every cargo hold, and each vessel has an average of 2 to 5 cargo holds. Cargo such as steel differ in shapes and sizes. Even for a single commodity of steel, the diameter and length varies quite significantly, so it takes a trained eye to accurately identify and tally the quantity. This task is not only time-consuming, it is also laborious and potentially dangerous for the staff as they are exposed to suspended loads. While currently sighting it with the naked eye is still the best available method, human errors do occur during the tallying process.

What We Are Looking For

Jurong Port is looking for a solution to automate the process of identifying, tallying and feeding the data directly into their digital tally system with at least 85% accuracy. It should also automatically flag any discrepancies. Cameras have been installed at the wharf and hatch side for safety monitoring and could provide video footages to train the model if necessary.

While the solution should initially focus on steel cargo, its capability should be extendable to other general cargo including livestock. Jurong Port also envisions another application for their Lighter Terminal, where pallets containing ship supplies being lifted from the wharf to vessels are counted.

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Challenge Owner(s)K Line
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Marine & Offshore

K Line (KLPL)

For a large shipping company like “K” Line Pte Ltd (KLPL), the procurement process is lengthy and involves multiple stakeholders such as business units, procurement team, management and accounts.

Currently, it takes about 3-4 weeks to complete a procurement process. This highly manual process begins with a procurement request from the business units to the procurement person-in-charge (PIC). Relevant quotations are sourced, and management approval is obtained before a purchase order is issued, items are delivered, and the payment process is initiated.

In addition, procurement records are managed by individual departments in a decentralised manner. These are stored as spreadsheets or emails, making it tedious and time-consuming to track and locate them. Each department also maintains their own vendor records and rely on a basic invoice approval workflow using Microsoft SharePoint.

What We Are Looking For

KLPL is looking to centralise and streamline this procurement process for better visibility and efficiency. The solution, ideally a Software as a Service (SaaS), should be cost effective and support integration with their existing accounting system.

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Challenge Owner(s)Keppel Smit Towage
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

Keppel Smit Towage

Keppel Smit Towage owns, manages and operates a fleet of 24 tugs exclusively for harbour operations in Singapore. They are in the process of upgrading their Planned Maintenance System (PMS) to generate task lists for scheduled maintenance as determined by the equipment manufacturer. However, scheduled maintenance does not take into consideration the actual usage of the equipment and could lead to pre-mature replacement and cost inefficiencies.

What We Are Looking For

To optimise the use of these equipment, Keppel Smit Towage is looking for a solution to monitor their condition so that maintenance is only carried out when necessary. However, as the average age of their tugs is 15 years old, they are facing an obstacle in extracting and digitising the analogue signals from these equipment in order to perform data analytics for condition-based monitoring.

The solution should be able to extract analogue signals from the main engine and electrical generator, provide intelligence to guide maintenance activities for the tugs and improve asset availability for utilisation within a reasonable cost of implementation.

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Challenge Owner(s)MMA Offshore
Industry Types(s)
Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

MMA Offshore

When it comes to transportation of cargo by sea, most people think of containers. However, what about large machinery or equipment that do not fit into standard shipping containers? This is what is referred to as out-of-gauge cargo. In order to prevent damage or pose any danger to the vessel and its crew during transportation, these need to be secured to the deck, a process known as seafastening.

Seafastening is carried out at the yard and is affected by factors such as dimensions and weight of the cargo (which could be >1,000kg) and whether the vessel is transiting through sheltered or open waters (latter being more common). The design parameters and structural layout are calculated and developed in advance, taking into consideration the existing vessel deck structure. The equipment is then welded to the deck using steel plates. This could take up to 4 days during which the vessel has to remain in the yard. After an additional 2 days of cooling, the vessel needs to undergo a non-destructive test and be inspected by a surveyor from a classification society.

What We Are Looking For

MMA Offshore is looking for a solution that can reduce the time required for seafastening, in particular the process of welding and inspections. MMA Offshore will offer their vessels, yard access and engineering expertise and advice for suitable start-ups to conduct trials and testing.

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Challenge Owner(s)
PSA unboXed, PSA Marine
Industry Types(s)
Electronics, Healthcare & Biomedical, Sea Transport

PSA Marine, PSA unboXed

The health and well-being of our marine crew are key to safe and effective operations of our marine crafts operating within port limits. As these smaller marine crafts such as harbour tugs and launches may be manned by few crew members, it can be challenging for the crew to operate the vessel safely when health emergency arises. Additionally, it takes more time for medical help to reach them at sea.

Aside from physical health screening and consultations, PSA Marine and PSA unboXed like to seek continued visibility of our crew’s health conditions via the deployment of wearable technology to enable real-time health monitoring so that early or imminent signs of heart attack, stroke or related cardiovascular health conditions can be detected to trigger the necessary alerts to base operations supervisors.

What We Are Looking For

The intent is to establish feasible and practical options for early detection and intervention through real-time health monitoring so that the necessary contingency measures can be activated to transport the crew in concern back to the nearest shore facility for medical attention. Detection of other events, not limiting to falls, slips, man overboard and location tracking of crew are welcome as secondary functions.

These events shall also sync to a mobile application with an overall effective user interface for ease of monitoring and identification of the crew at risk.

Given the scale of monitoring, the solutions would have to be within the budget of US$200 to US$300 per device and equipped with reliable connectivity between vessel to shore.

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Challenge Owner(s)Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers and Services (SASS)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Sea Transport

Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers and Services

When ships call at a port, they obtain all necessary commodities from ship suppliers when berthing or at anchorage. A Boarding Officer assumes an overall responsibility for the delivery process from the time warehouse personnel have inspected and packed the goods, until the customer takes ownership onboard vessels. The Boarding Officer also handles various documents required by ship suppliers, inland revenue agency and customs. While onboard, he obtains the signatories required for completing the delivery and all other formalities required for tax reclaim and customs clearance purposes.

Very often, he is also required to handle missing items, defects and inaccurate orders. Where possible, he communicates with colleagues or other suppliers to resolve any pending issues before the vessel departs.

  1. Some of the documents and articles handled include
  2. Delivery order (and invoices sometimes)
  3. Ship Supply Note (for PSA) or Delivery Shipment Advice (for Jurong Port)
  4. Offland permit/note (only if items are to be off landed)
  5. Bonded permit
  6. Cash payments
  7. hysical items – Returned/rejected items or offlanded items

As ships move in and out of ports 24 hours a day, Boarding Officers are required to work irregular hours. With tight schedules and unanticipated events, work can be challenging. The current COVID-19 pandemic has also restricted them to working on shores.

What We Are Looking For

The Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers & Serivces (SASS) wants to transform the way Boarding Officers work by reducing the need for physical interaction. The solution should enable Boarding Officers to obtain digital signatures and validate their authenticity in compliance with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Singapore Customs. It should also allow them to remotely perform verification of delivered items with the crew, as well as communicate with them in real time to assist with any queries or concerns they may have.

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Challenge Owner(s)Sembcorp Marine
Industry Types(s)
Electronics, Marine & Offshore

Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard

When a ship docks for repairs at a yard, the atmospheric conditions in confined spaces such as cargo and ballast tanks must be continually monitored to ensure safety of workers accessing them.

This is currently a manual process conducted by a Confined Space Safety Assessor who stands outside each confined space with a gas detector to measure and record the atmospheric data. At an average of 3 minutes per space, it takes about an hour to complete this for every confined space onboard. The entire process is then repeated every 6 hours, for as long as the ship is docked for repairs. Safety hazards arise if any confined spaces are inadvertently missed or not properly monitored.

What We Are Looking For

Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard is seeking an automated solution that can be easily deployed and un-installed on vessels that enter the shipyard for repairs. It must be able to test for oxygen levels (within the range of 19.5 – 23.5% by volume), detect presence of flammable gas or vapour (less than 10% of its lower explosive limit) as well as concentration of toxic substances (e.g. carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide) every 6 hours. In addition to generating gas monitoring reports, the solution must also send alerts when thresholds are exceeded, withstand harsh weather conditions (for any outdoor installation) and consider limited wireless connectivity onboard vessels.

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Challenge Owner(s)Tata NYK
Industry Types(s)
Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport, Wholesale Trade

TATA NYK

There are currently more than 12,000 bulk carriers plying our seas, transporting large quantities of unpackaged cargo such as coal, cement, steel coils, iron ore and grains. These are stored in cargo holds that need to be cleaned according to the requirements from the cargo owners before the start of cargo loading.

The cargo hold cleaning is usually performed by the crew and is a tedious and time-consuming process using high pressure water jets and cleaning chemicals for the sides of the cargo holds as well as high reach areas. It is estimated to take about 4 days for 8 crew members or 768 manhours to clean a dirty bulk carrier with 7 cargo holds. At times, it could even be necessary to hire cherry pickers, or elevated work platforms, to go onboard at ports, adding costs and other safety issues.

What We Are Looking For

Tata NYK is looking for a more cost effective solution with a faster turnaround time, and reduced risk to the crew. As one of the largest shipping companies focusing on bulk shipping, Tata NYK would offer suitable start-ups access to their vessels to conduct trials as part of Smart Port Challenge.

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Challenge Owner(s)Klaveness Asia
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

Klaveness Asia

With the maritime industry’s shift from a more traditional industry to one which is data-smart, operators and ship management companies are putting more pressure on marine crew to provide daily updates on vessel performance. With sustainable and clean shipping becoming a priority, these data requirements now include bunker (fuel) consumption and emission levels during voyage.

Currently, ship masters and officers are already collecting and reporting data in various forms as requested by port authorities, bunker suppliers, charterers, owners, commercial managers, technical managers and more.  Some data such as bunker types and consumption, vessel speed, cargo type and volume are entered onto spreadsheets and sent via email. Others such as time and weather are available digitally via AIS and weather routing services.

Due to the multitude of documents to fill, many asking for repeated data in various formats, there is a high occurrence of human errors (e.g. entering wind speed in knots vs Beaufort scale, or keying in bunker consumption based on different bunker types). Shore-based employees with little or no seafaring experience have limited ability to interpret information sent by vessels and may not detect erroneous entries. This may lead to inaccurate insights that could hinder the effectiveness of commercial decisions.

While installing sensors on board would automatically enable data collection, lack of connectivity at sea and the high installation costs, deter such a solution.

What We Are Looking For

Klaveness Asia recognises a wider industry demand for a comprehensive solution to consolidate and automate multiple ship data for port clearance, and importantly, create useful insights to improve voyages. Klaveness will offer expertise as well as their voyage information to test the effectiveness of the solution.

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Challenge Owner(s)Wilhelmsen Ships Service
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Sea Transport

Wilhelmsen Ships Service

Cargo operations for the maritime industry are governed by regulations from local port authorities which cover tax regimes, requirements for equipment, entry and more. Delays or entry refusals caused by untimely and inaccurate information for port clearances have huge economic and environmental impact as ships spend more time out at sea.

Today, port regulatory information is unstructured, available in various formats such as word, excel or emails, across different platforms ranging from websites to unofficial channels, and in different languages. At times, input from a local ships agent may be required. This makes it difficult for shippers, charterers, operators and agents to be confident that they have a reliable and legitimate source, and that the information is accurately interpreted, especially for smaller ports.

What We Are Looking For

Wilhelmsen Ships Service is looking for a solution that centralises port regulatory information and acts as a single source across the industry. The selected start-up will have support from Wilhelmsen to develop and validate their proof-of-concept as part of Smart Port Challenge. It should minimally have a desktop version which can connect and act as an information provider to other systems such as voyage management systems and ships agency systems.

What We Are Looking For
Challenge Owner(s)Uniteam Marine
Industry Types(s)
Education Services, Sea Transport

Uniteam Marine

Officers onboard ships need to be competent in understanding and performing numerous tasks such as navigational watch, cargo operations, emergency situations, agency matters, air pollution (SoX/NoX) regulations etc.

Due to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) restrictions that limit training time onboard; smaller crew numbers; ship management systems that are unique to each shipowner; as well as complexity of, and increase in the number of regulatory standards* and rules**, Uniteam is looking for an innovative solution that provides effective training for onboard officers.

What We Are Looking For

Geared towards Gen Y and Z officers, the training solution should be technology-based, accessible anytime and anywhere, incorporate an element of
fun/gamification, customisable, and be fully interactive and engaging. It should:

  • Challenge officers by confronting them with increasingly complex real-life situations
  • Track their actions and responses based on accuracy of performing operational procedures (depending on each shipowner’s management system), as well as abilities to prioritise tasks and work under time pressure
  • Provide constructive feedback on their mistakes
  • Reward them for successful and timely reactions

* Examples of regulatory standards: International Ship and Port Security (ISPS), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), Ballast Water convention, emission standards, Maritime Labour Convention, charter
party stipulations, etc.

** Examples of rules: Port State Control, Flag State Control, etc.

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