Singapore Targets Digital Safety Solutions

Credit: MPA
Credit: MPA

Published Aug 29, 2019 7:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

The number of major incidents in the Port of Singapore has dropped over the last 10 years, and Singapore's MPA plans to boost safety further with new digital solutions.

The number of major incidents, involving loss of lives or pollution or those that affect safety of navigation in surrounding waters, was fewer than 0.12 per 100,000 vessel movements in 2018, down from 0.8 in 2009. 

Speaking at a MPA maritime safety conference this week, Dr. Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, said, “I thank the maritime community for the good work in improving maritime safety. The use of technology and digitalization can further enhance maritime safety by providing seafarers better access to critical safety-related information and early warning of potential incidents.”

Lam says the MPA plans to embark on a “Digital OCEANS” strategy to encourage Open or Common Exchange And Network Standardization. This strategy aims to allow digital platforms of port authorities, e.g. maritime single windows of shipping lines and of logistics service providers, to link up. Business entities, government agencies and vessels will be able to connect seamlessly between different digital platforms and achieve end-to-end connectivity. For example, MPA is developing a Maritime Single Window (MSW) to provide a single portal access to submit documents for port clearance. The MSW will have the ability to exchange relevant data.

The MPA is also supporting the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in operationalizing the IMO concept of e-navigation for vessels which aims to make marine navigation safer and digitalize key maritime services. These initiatives aim to improve efficiency, reduce transaction costs and enhance maritime safety.

At the event, Lam witnessed the signing of three MOUs involving the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) launched last year. Set up by the Singapore Maritime Institute and Singapore Polytechnic, CEMS focuses on research and innovations that enhance navigational safety. It also contributes to the training and development of future-ready seafarers through the use of emerging digital technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The three MOUs are:

a. with A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing to conduct research in human behavioral analytics, advanced computational models and intelligent maritime traffic simulation in navigational safety.

b. with Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau to jointly promote and enhance maritime safety investigations via the development of immersive training platforms and programs.

c. with Group Nautical to create, design and develop virtual reality maritime training courses using immersive technologies.