Singapore and Norway renew maritime cooperation

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Research Council of Norway (RCN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), in the end of April 2015, renewing their bilateral agreement on maritime education, training and research and development (R&D) for another three years until 2018. The signing ceremony took place in conjunction with the 10th Singapore Maritime Week 2015.

In this MOU that was extended for a sixth term, MPA and RCN will expand the current MOU framework to include collaboration in an inaugural international ‘Joint Call for Proposals in Maritime Research’, with the aim of promoting maritime research collaborations and knowledge exchange between Singapore and Norway through joint R&D projects among the research institutions in Singapore and Norway. Participating researchers will gain from exposure to a wider set of industry challenges and, at the same time, benchmarking their capabilities.

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A total of S$6 million has been set aside by MPA and RCN for the Joint Call for Proposals, which focuses on navigational safety, ship operations and safety, ship-port operations, green shipping and maritime arctic research.

The MOU was signed by MPA’s Chief Executive, Mr Andrew Tan, and RCN’s Director-General, Mr Arvid Hallen at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference.

Mr Andrew Tan said: “As leading maritime nations, both Singapore and Norway recognise the importance of promoting maritime R&D and education and training. With this in mind, MPA and RCN have developed long-standing and close co-operation since 2000. The renewal of the MOU today attests to the value of our collaboration in these areas. We believe that the MOU can lead to more collaboration opportunities and further our two countries’ capabilities in the maritime field.”

Mr Arvid Hallen said: “It is important that this MOU has been renewed. It has already had a large impact. It is also particularly important that Norway and Singapore will launch a joint call for the first time. This joint call for proposals in maritime research will lay the foundation for cooperation between Norwegian and Singaporean research groups working together on the same projects. Both Singapore and Norway put great emphasis on improving the environmental footprint of shipping, and when scientists from two of the world’s leading maritime nations work together, the results will be of major significance for both parties as well as for the environment.”

The launch of the Joint Call for Proposals adds to the many joint activities carried out under the MOU, including the inaugural Singapore Maritime Technology Conference held during the recently-concluded Singapore Maritime Week 2015, the International Maritime and Port Technology Conference and the Sustainable Marine Transportation Conference both held last year, and joint industry workshops. These platforms help profile Singapore as a centre of excellence for maritime R&D and technology, and provide opportunities for maritime professionals to share industry challenges and experiences, and technology developers, research community to share their expertise and solutions.

One of the recent research projects under the MPA-RCN MOU is the development of a Ship Traffic Simulator. Driven by Singapore’s home-grown technology company SimPlus Pte Ltd and a Norwegian company Kongsberg NorControl IT AS, the Ship Traffic Simulator is a type of software used to assess the safety and efficiency of various navigation strategies.

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