Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s)
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI), Bernhard Schulte INNOPORT, Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BSO), Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, BP, Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services, Jurong Port, OMC Shipping, OSM Maritime
, Pacific Carriers, PSA unboXed, PSA Singapore, Shipowners' Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Torvald Klaveness, Wilhelmsen Ships Service
Organiser(s) PIER71
Industry Type(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Digital/ICT, Logistics, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport
Opportunities and Support Access to maritime innovation ecosystem, market validation with corporates, mentorship, grant eligibility, testbedding
Application Start Date 20 May 2022
Application End Date 8 July 2022
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

Smart Port Challenge 2022 offers 15 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 can also submit proposals in an open category addressing any of the 5 focus areas.

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Challenge Owner(s)American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)

Additive manufacturing (AM) holds potential for the maritime industry especially in built-to-order spare parts for vessels. By enabling on-demand layer-by-layer AM closer to the user, the use of AM can reduce lead times and transportation costs, overcoming the challenge of spare parts inventory management.

However, the maritime industry today is still not readily accepting the technology despite what its potential shows, due to various barriers for wider adoption. One of them is the uncertainty of the quality of AM built marine spare parts and their reliability for onboard installation and application.

In order to build confidence and assure the quality of AM built parts, multiple traditional industry practices are usually employed, including feedstock sampling, qualification tests, test specimens, non-destructive and destructive inspections etc. However, they are not optimized for new manufacturing processes such as AM, leading to unnecessary costs and lead times to end-users.

Currently, the fidelity of AM built parts depends largely on the track record of the service bureau with a certified facility, as well as the experience of the operator, which in itself is already a largely uncertain factor. The industry requires more efficient ways to ascertain the fidelity of AM built parts, repeatedly and consistently.

What We Are Looking For

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is looking at innovative technological solutions to ensure consistent and repeatable quality in the AM process so as to streamline AM qualification processes. These technologies may leverage the power of data to improve decision making during qualification.

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Challenge Owner(s)American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) 

Having a standardised repository of digital files reduces the complexity and duplication associated with silo digital storages by shipowners, printing/service bureaus and other stakeholders. Standardisation of digital files can help the industry achieve economies of scale and consistency in the accuracy of printed marine parts.

However, the quality of a marine part printed through additive manufacturing (AM) depends on several factors, starting from having an accurate 3D scanned digital file of the part, to ensuring that AM service bureaus following the correct practices in producing the AM parts.

Some of these factors currently still rely on human decision, for example, to determine if a 3D scanned data is a plane, curvature or point, its degree of angle etc. Technologies or tools leveraging the power of digitalisation provide potential to remove these variances.

There are still many challenges in implementing and driving adoption for a digital warehouse for industrial parts such as the ones required in the maritime industry.

What We Are Looking For

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is looking for an innovative solution that will increase the confidence in, and adoption of a digital warehouse so that marine parts can be printed efficiently on demand with assured quality. The solution should take into consideration the following:

  • Cybersecurity – prevention, recognition and alert on any unwanted alterations to digital files
  • Intellectual Property – transparency on the ownership of digital files, with clear terms of usage and/or amendments by other stakeholders
  • Usability – cost effective and accurate way of digitising and storing computer-aided design (CAD) data
  • Connectivity – wide access to printing/service bureaus and marine part files
  • Quality assurance – digital files produce the right final 3D printed parts independent of the AM facility/machine
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Challenge Owner(s)
Bernhard Schulte INNOPORT, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement
Industry Types(s)Circular Economy & Sustainability

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) and INNOPORT

Drinking water for seafarers is stored in dedicated drinking water tanks onboard vessels and gets regularly replenished by a fresh water generator. To prevent bacteria build-up over time, this water can only be kept for a certain period of time and the tanks need to be emptied, inspected and cleaned every 6-12 months. Mandatory testing to assess the quality of water for bacteria content and pH value ensures that it is safe for drinking. Though there is an option of supplying bottled water onboard regularly, this is not sustainable as it adds to environmental wastes. Another alternative is to supply water from shore to tank, which however may not be possible at many ports or trades.

The quality of drinking water onboard different vessels can differ significantly due to a number of factors:

(1) Different piping, storage and water distillation systems

(2) Rusting of pipes despite a good filtration system to prevent calcium build-up and chemical contamination

(3) Condition of fresh water generator

(4) Condition of tank

While vessels are equipped with a fresh water generator, the water generated is pure distilled water lacking minerals that are essential for the seafarers’ health. Even the introduction of a mineraliser and UV system does not provide sufficient effectiveness in filtering impurities, disinfecting and adding minerals for human consumption.

What We Are Looking For

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) and INNOPORT are looking for a sustainable solution that will provide drinking water that is equivalent in taste and mineral contents to that of bottled mineral water, onboard vessels to protect the health and wellbeing of seafarers.

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Challenge Owner(s)
Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BSO), Bernhard Schulte INNOPORT
Industry Types(s)
Circular Economy & Sustainability, Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore, Sea Transport

Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BSO) and INNOPORT

A vessel is subjected to three environmental forces – wind, currents and waves. The onboard Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) tries to counteract these forces to maintain the vessel’s position and heading, by using its propellers and thrusters. However, wind is currently the only known force via the wind sensors onboard, and the remaining two are unknown for the DPS.

As the only known environmental force is wind, the DPS has a station keeping error, which is known as the ‘Watchkeeping Circle’. The currents and waves pushes the vessel away from its pre-defined location, and causes it to “float” around the desired position. This circumference within which the vessel “floats” is the watchkeeping circle, which can be greatly reduced if wave is added as a known environmental force to the DPS.

The unknown forces for the DPS bring about several adverse implications in terms of fuel consumption and safety:

  • Returning the vessel to its desired position burns more fuel
  • Keeping the vessel’s position is crucial especially when transporting people via the gangway, which is unsafe or may even disconnect if the vessel moves away too much
  • Vessels have the tendency to stay in dynamic positioning mode with a higher engine energy output than needed, to be on the safe side

Furthermore, measuring waves is complex as they come in many patterns from various directions, making it difficult to be certain which wave will hit the ship and which side of the ship it will hit. The anticipated wave force might also vary when it finally reaches the ship since it might be reduced or amplified by another oncoming wave. In all, waves are continuously changing.

What We Are Looking For

Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BSO) and INNOPORT are looking for a solution that will provide the vessel’s DPS with more accurate intelligence and empower it to make better predictions and decisions to reduce fuel consumption, improve operational efficiency as well as crew safety.

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Challenge Owner(s)
BP, Shipowners' Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Sea Transport

BP Maritime Services and The Shipowners’ Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association

Each vessel and crew member requires multiple statutory certificates mandatory for the vessel’s operation and crew management. Currently most of these certificates are in physical form and hence have the potential to be lost or misplaced, leading to significant time, effort and cost to get a replacement, and potential downtime of the crew/vessel. It also adds to the paperwork handled by crew, in addition to their growing responsibilities onboard a vessel. This has implications for crew safety and welfare (mental overload on seafarers), as well as the turnaround time of vessels.

What We Are Looking For

BP Maritime Services and The Shipowners’ Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, are looking for a digital solution that can be readily adopted across the industry to ease the strain of managing physical statutory certificates, at least regionally if not globally.

Such a platform should be cyber-secure, ensuring maximum data protection and security to comply with PDPA / GDPR requirements. It should be easily utilised by crew and vessel, as well as regulatory bodies such as Flag States, Classification Societies, Certifying Authorities, Port Authorities, Immigrations, Customs, etc. It should also provide an efficient means for the verification of the authenticity of the certificates.

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Challenge Owner(s)Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Marine & Offshore

Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services 

Equipment and machinery, especially sea-based ones, are most often subject to failures, defects and unnecessary repairs. Depending on the extent of breakdown during voyage, the resulting delay on delivery schedule of cargo, can lead to financial losses in terms of penalties, as well as disruption to the rest of the supply chain.

To avoid having malfunctioning or broken equipment onboard, the common practice in the maritime industry is to perform:

(1) periodic or scheduled maintenance based on guidelines set by the manufacturers: this time-based monitoring system includes inspections, overhauls and component replacement without taking into consideration any defects, faulty parts or variations in working environments

(2) preventive maintenance which includes regular inspection, cleaning, lubrication and conditional analysis

(3) emergency maintenance which happens when there is an equipment breakdown needing immediate repair

To manage risks, spare parts are stored onboard.

What We Are Looking For

Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services is looking to use modern and advanced technologies to more effectively monitor and assess equipment conditions and predict maintenance requirements in order to optimise usage and reduce unplanned failures, overstocking of parts and other operational disruptions.

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Challenge Owner(s)Jurong Port
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Sea Transport

Jurong Port 

Jurong Port is a multipurpose port operator handling general, bulk and containerised cargo. Besides the main terminal, it also operates two Lighter Terminals. This is where ship supplies are loaded onto lighter boats for delivery to Mother Vessels waiting in Singapore’s anchorages.

Tracking of these lighter boats within the port waters is a challenge for the operators as they are not equipped with Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) or Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) due to regulatory and cost constraints. This lack of visibility on the lighter boats’ movements and activities makes scheduling difficult and often inaccurate. Late arrivals of lighter boats result in long wait times for delivery trucks and loading backlogs for terminal users.

What We Are Looking For

Jurong Port is looking for a cost-effective solution that can be adopted by lighter boat owners to provide real-time location visibility of their fleet. This data should be easily accessible by Jurong Port to allow them to improve scheduling, reduce congestion and improve overall productivity and operational efficiency at the Lighter Terminals so that the industry is able to better streamline its logistics chain.

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

Jurong Port

Besides having a main terminal for loading and unloading of multiple cargoes, Jurong Port also operates two Lighter Terminals for lighter boats to deliver ship supplies to ships calling at Singapore. These supplies are generally delivered in pallets by ship chandlers. In order to assign an appropriate crane for lifting the pallets onto the lighter boats, Jurong Port requires accurate information on the pallet count and volumetric weight.

With accuracy in pallet declarations, manual system updates at the port gantry and potential re-assignment of crane can be avoided; thereby increasing the efficiency of gate-in process which in turn, improves asset turnaround at the terminals for all users.

What We Are Looking For

Jurong Port is looking for a solution that will alleviate the inaccuracies declared by ship chandlers by automating the process of capturing the quantity and volumetric weight of pallets.

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Challenge Owner(s)Torvald Klaveness
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Sea Transport

Torvald Klaveness

Charterers base their selection of vessels on a number of factors that indicate their expected performance. However, there is an information barrier/asymmetry in getting access to data related to a vessel’s performance. Information such as fuel consumption, vessel speed, engine efficiency (measured by revolutions per minute or RPM) and impact of weather on the voyage course, is often made available to the charterers in the form of noon or post voyage reports only after they have committed to the charter. This lack of transparency could result in underperformance of the chartered vessels and expose charterers to unexpected risks and costs.

What We Are Looking For

Klaveness is looking for a solution that will provide charterers and operators with reliable vessel performance data to enable them to make more informed chartering decisions. This would ideally capitalise on information sharing through a network or charterers based on their past experience with chartered vessels.

Increasing transparency of vessel performance can serve as an incentive for shipowners to maintain and/or upgrade their fleet, and provide a more equitable compensation for vessels with higher efficiency and performance levels. The solution may even consider gamification, monetisation and even crowdsourcing.

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Challenge Owner(s)OMC Shipping
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics, Sea Transport

OMC Shipping

Measuring the weight of dry bulk cargo such as coal, iron ore, grains, cement etc., is currently done by reading the draught marks on the vessel’s hull before and after loading. The displacement of readings provides a calculation on the difference in the ship’s arrival and departure weight.

Known as a draught survey, this manual process is carried out by surveyors and the ship’s crew members via visual inspection of draught marks at 6 standard points on the hull – forward, midship and aft on both port and starboard sides. These marks are visually inspected to obtain a mean reading. This operation may have to carried out at least 3 times during the loading operation.

Due to inevitable wave and surface disturbances when vessels are lying at exposed berths or anchorages, discrepancy in readings do occur between cargo owners and shipowners’ representatives. These could result in claims by cargo owners, requiring costly and time-consuming intervention by insurance firms. In addition to discrepancies, the current process can be dangerous for the personnel taking the readings from a small boat alongside the vessel or from a ladder hanging off the vessel.

It is also of prime importance that readings are accurate to ensure that ships are not overloaded and denied entry to ports with draught restrictions or limits (height between the seabed and the waterline).

What We Are Looking For

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd. with a wide range of dry bulk carriers, tankers and container ships, OMC Shipping is looking for a solution that can eradicate or reduce variances caused by human intervention to within a 1cm margin of error. The solution will eventually need to be class society certified.

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Challenge Owner(s)
OSM Maritime, Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI)
Industry Types(s)Marine & Offshore

OSM Maritime and Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI)

Cargo hold cleaning for bulk carriers is required after cargo is discharged, and is often done at sea during voyage, or whilst the vessel is docked at the berth. As it involves thorough and intensive cleaning at heights using ladders and cleaning tools, this labour-intensive process also poses a high risk of serious injuries. Shore labour and equipment such as cherry pickers (mobile elevating work platforms) are sometimes used, however these are costly and only applicable when vessels are docked.

Any safety mishap or incident also has potential knock-on effects on other stakeholders in the supply chain such as ports and terminal operators.

What We Are Looking For

OSM Maritime renders services to over 700 vessels, including full technical management and crew management, and is looking for a solution that could facilitate cargo hold cleaning in a safe and efficient manner. The solution should be easily deployed by crew onboard vessels during voyage and allow for effective cleaning of cargo holds. This typically requires reaching heights of over 15m, and handling water jets with chemicals and cleaning solutions. The solution should also be adaptable to handle different standards of cleanliness requirements depending on the nature of the previous and subsequent cargo (e.g. normal clean / grain clean / hospital clean). In addition, as the cleaning is often done during voyage, the proposed solution would have to withstand the stability conditions of the vessel at sea.

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Challenge Owner(s)Pacific Carriers
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Sea Transport

Pacific Carriers

To stay competitive and agile, vessel operators are embarking on digitalisation journeys by introducing new technological solutions onboard. Typically, when companies implement a new solution, it involves the installation of cables which would take months. If the company wishes to trial another solution, another set of cables and electrical points must be installed. These result in inefficiency and prevent the company from being truly agile. The use of different platforms by each service provider also creates a bottleneck in the staging and transmission of data.

Moreover, in the absence of a common interface to receive and integrate inputs from multiple sources, the vessel operator would have to return to the respective service providers for customisation in order to integrate. This further limits the operator’s flexibility in trialling and exploring new solutions or alternatives.

What We Are Looking For

Pacific Carriers is looking for a cost-effective and efficient solution that facilitates the consolidation of wireless and cable inputs from multiple interface standards (e.g. Internet of Things, Operational Technology, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, Industrial Control System sensors) to facilitate the staging and transmission of various data. This will enable vessel operators to overcome infrastructural or connectivity limitations onboard, and provide them with the agility to try out new technologies.

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Challenge Owner(s)
PSA unboXed, PSA Singapore
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Logistics

PSA and PSA unboXed

Quay cranes are used at container terminals for loading and unloading of cargo at the berth. Over the years, the height of quay cranes has more than doubled, from a 25m Panamax crane to the latest 54m quay crane at Tuas Terminal. There is also an increased industry interest to explore the use of a 60m quay crane.

The main role of a quay crane operator is to manoeuvre and land the spreader onto a container, then secure it at four locking points known as corner castings.  From a height of 60m, it is nearly impossible for a human operator to land the spreader onto the container without any technology assistance.

What We Are Looking For

PSA and PSA unboXed are looking for a solution that will identify and detect the corner castings of a shipping container with an accuracy of 5cm, which is the maximum tolerable limit to accurately land a spreader twistlock pin into the corner castings of a container, from a height of at least 60m. The solution should provide the quay crane operators with visibility and guidance to move and stack the containers atop of each other on the vessel with a gap of no more than 10cm between the stacks of containers.

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Challenge Owner(s)
PSA Singapore, PSA unboXed
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Marine & Offshore

PSA and PSA unboXed

Quay cranes are used at container terminals for loading and unloading of cargo at the berth. Over the years, the height of quay cranes has more than doubled, from a 25m Panamax crane to the latest 54m quay crane at Tuas Terminal. There is also an increased industry interest to explore the use of a 60m quay crane.

From a height of 60m, human operators seated within the cabin of these quay cranes will need to rely on high-definition cameras and LiDAR sensors mounted on the headblock to assist them as they manoeuvre the spreader through the vessel.  These devices will need to transmit signals to the cabin through copper cables within the spreader cable terminated at the trolley. The high current passing through these cables generates electromagnetic interference, making the transmission of low voltage high speed signals challenging. Vibrations on the headblock and cabin can also introduce unnecessary noise, further reducing the signal voltage level integrity.  Fibre optic cable can be added into the spreader cable to manage this.  However it is not sustainable as the lifespan of fibre optic shortens over time.

What We Are Looking For

PSA and PSA unboXed are looking for an innovative solution to overcome the limitations of the current means for transmitting high speed data between the headblock and cabin of a quay crane. This solution can make use of the direct line-of-sight between the headblock and cabin to achieve high reliability in terms of speed and quality of the data, while taking into consideration any challenges posed by a full metallic environment (containers and ship structure) when the spreader is lowered into the vessel under deck.

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Challenge Owner(s)Wilhelmsen Ships Service
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Wholesale Trade

Wilhelmsen Ships Service

Wilhelmsen Ships Service supplies consumable and agency services to 2,200 ports worldwide, and touch around 50% of the ships worldwide. The completion of a ship supplies delivery involves a number of documents including acknowledgment of receipt and other formalities like tax reclamation and customs clearance. The challenge of obtaining signatories for these paper-based documents fall on the ship suppliers who often rely on their last mile delivery vendors. Seeing the responsibility of obtaining and returning signatories to the ship supplier as an additional responsibility, last mile delivery vendors are less than receptive of this task. This lack of accountability results in manpower and administrative costs of following up and tracking paperwork, causing a huge strain on efficiency and unnecessary congestion and delays in ports. Failure to obtain proof of delivery can also lead to ship suppliers passing the cost of goods and services taxes (GST) onto their customers or bearing it themselves.

What We Are Looking For

Wilhelmsen Ships Service is looking for a digital solution that can provide a seamless, secure and traceable way to validate the successful delivery of goods. The solution should consider the receptiveness of all stakeholders including ship suppliers, ship agents, last mile delivery vendors, vessel managers, captain and crew, as well as tax and customs authorities.

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