Inmarsat sponsored a new study, aiming to offer an overview of Singapore’s vibrant maritime start-up sector.
According to the study, startups have been key to Singapore’s success as a global capital for emerging maritime technology.
Since the modern city was founded, its growth has been fuelled at least in part by immigration. This factor, combined with the city state’s small geographic size, make it a startup cluster like no other.
The maritime industry is no exception to this, as the sector employs 170,000 people and contributes 7% of the country’s GDP. The combination of Singapore’s maritime industry and strong startup culture makes it a natural home for startups wanting to build solutions for the industry.
In fact, Inmarsat says that the local maritime technology ecosystem is heavily driven by government funding and institutions. In collaboration with NUS Enterprise, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore runs Pier71, a startup innovation programme that helps startups to establish partnerships with local corporates who have specific challenges that need solving. In addition, recently the Singapore government has made it much easier to form venture capital funds, and even co-invests heavily in early stage deep tech startups.
The Singapore startup ecosystem has become so rich that a number of major corporate interests in maritime, such as Eastern Pacific Shipping have started their own startup accelerator programmes or become active investors in the space
Currently, Singapore’s maritime information technology market is expected to turn over $2.4billion USD in 2021 and achieve a 7.9% annual growth rate to 2030, making the sector worth $4.8billion USD by the end of the decade.
As of now, the technology sector makes up around a tenth of the overall maritime industry, but its relative contribution is set to almost double to become one fifth of Singapore’s maritime economy by 2030.
Nevertheless, Inmarsat notes that:
The ecosystem is not perfect; access to talent and the ability to fully commercialise emerging technology are barriers to industry growth. But Singapore has some unique opportunities ahead of it, including becoming a centre for R&D into zero emission bunkers, and a global hub for technology companies that has full access to Asian, European, and American markets
In similar news, MPA Singapore announced that a new Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund grant scheme will provide maritime technology start-ups in Singapore a boost to develop scalable solutions.
More specifically, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will push for wider industry adoption of digitalisation initiatives such as electronic bills of lading (eBL) and electronic bunker delivery note (eBDN) to drive productivity for the sector.