Singapore aims to boost maritime innovation and cybersecurity resilience





Singapore has unveiled plans to boost innovation and increase cybersecurity resilience in its maritime sector. These new initiatives will include a roadmap to guide industry organizations in testing additive manufacturing practices.

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said Tuesday it will continue to drive research and development (R&D) and piloting efforts in maritime technologies. It would also seek to develop maritime cybersecurity capabilities so that the industry would have the resilience and infrastructure to manage disruptions.

Notably, it introduced a report that aimed to provide a roadmap to help organizations try out new additive manufacturing practices. The new report outlined the opportunities for maritime additive manufacturing in Singapore, as well as lessons learned from past trials and adoption processes.

The document was jointly developed by MPA, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster and Singapore Shipping Association (SSA).

To further drive digital transformation in the sector, MPA said the Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan had been expanded to allow some 3,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in all maritime transport market segments to apply for co-financing. This includes SMEs in sub-sectors such as ship brokers, marine experts and ship operators, who can now apply to receive funding support for the deployment of pre-approved digital tools.

SSA also signed an agreement with seven industry players, including Eastport Maritime, Ocean Network Express and Orient Maritime Agencies, to strengthen the cybersecurity capabilities of the local industry.

The collaboration would lead to the establishment of a maritime cybersecurity roundtable, where participants would recommend initiatives aimed at enhancing the maritime cybersecurity partnership. These include sharing data, boosting local maritime cyber skills and fostering greater awareness and access to digital maritime tools and skills.

According to MPA, this roundtable would meet for the first time later this year.

“As we digitize more of our processes, we are opening up more nodes that can be exploited, including those with the ability to conduct sophisticated attacks on critical infrastructure,” Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport Chee Hong Tat said. the opening of the MarineTech Conference held on Tuesday. “Cybersecurity is part of our overall security.”

Noting that the city-state is stepping up its efforts to boost maritime cybersecurity, Chee said: “It is a requirement that maritime cyber-risk management be incorporated into the security management systems of companies operating Singapore-flagged ships. The Maritime Cluster Fund also provides co-financing support for cybersecurity training to ensure ensure that our employees are aware of such risks and have the knowledge and skills to protect themselves against these attacks.”

He noted that MPA had worked with his colleagues through the Port Authorities Chief Information Officer Cybersecurity Network to share data and best practices.

The minister added that the new maritime cybersecurity roundtable will look at initiatives over the next three years to strengthen Singapore’s cybersecurity defense and maritime cybersecurity skills.

New agreements were also signed between Skyports, Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Thome Group to further boost the commercialization of maritime ship-to-shore delivery services in Singapore. In addition, the initiatives would aim to develop the necessary infrastructure to support these services for all stakeholders in the sector.

These include trials of proof-of-concept operations that could lead to the operationalization of drone delivery services in maritime transport. For example, Skyports would deploy Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) deliveries from the Maritime Drone Estate to ships at pre-identified anchorages.

In addition, a three-year agreement has been signed between the Singapore Maritime Institute and Research Institutes of Sweden in the field of maritime R&D. This research collaboration will cover maritime informatics, supply chain innovation, decarbonisation and sustainability, and safety and security.

Chee said: “The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies by companies and individuals and has led to new collaborations across geographies and sectors. This provides opportunities for maritime technology companies to ‘start up’ and ‘scale up’.”

He said the country aspired to be the Silicon Valley for maritime technology, with an emphasis on digitization, innovation and partnerships.

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