PIER71™’s Smart Port Challenge 2022 has launched and is looking for innovative solutions to maritime challenges (Sponsored)

Promoting innovation in the maritime sector, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and NUS Enterprise have together launched Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2022 under Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71™). 

Tech startups that are working to bring digital transformation to the maritime industry have an exciting opportunity to get market access, grant funding and hands-on support. Innovators addressing challenges facing the sector  – such as smart ports, smart ships or green technology – can take part in SPC 2022. The competition is an annual event, designed to find ideas and solutions to address challenges put forward by maritime corporates in Singapore. 

Smart Port Challenge 2022

As part of  SPC 2022, tech startups and innovators are invited to reimagine their solutions and submit proposals to address different challenges facing the sector. This year, 16 different maritime companies have identified challenges across the following innovation areas:

  • Smart Port
  • Smart Ship
  • Crew Safety, Training and Wellbeing
  • Smart Maritime Services and Logistics
  • Green Technology

Startups have until 22 July 2022 to submit their proposals and become part of the exciting ecosystem. About 40% of start-ups that get shortlisted for SPC each year are based outside of Singapore – so it’s time for European innovators to get in on the action!

Mr Kenneth Lim, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry), MPA, said: “Going into its sixth year, the Smart Port Challenge continues to play a vital role in developing a strong MarineTech sector. By collaborating closely with global start-ups, we keep abreast of the industry’s challenge and opportunities, co-create innovative and pragmatic solutions, and ensure that the maritime sector remains future-ready as a vibrant and dynamic international maritime centre”.

The Benefits 

Shortlisted startups will receive mentorship under PIER71™ Accelerate and may be eligible for a MINT-STARTUP grant of around €34k. This is in addition to continued entrepreneurial and technical support beyond SPC through PIER71™’s global network of partners. The top three winners for SPC 2022 will be announced at the Grand Final in November 2022 and will win generous cash prizes. 

PIER71™ Accelerate is designed as a 6-week market validation and customer discovery programme. Startups can take advantage of access to mentors, masterclasses and networking sessions with key stakeholders to build knowledge on navigating the maritime ecosystem and finetune their proposition, as well as identify new markets and establish connections to accelerate their venture.

Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), stated: “Smart Port Challenge and the PIER71™ Accelerate programme have been the gateway into the maritime ecosystem for many innovative start-ups. The cohesiveness of this ecosystem stems from the support of industry partners and is made stronger through the synergies between some of these start-ups.”

Promoting Maritime Innovation

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore recently awarded 11 startups a Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT)-STARTUP grant for prototype development and test-bedding. With this, the organisation has now supported 50 startups since 2017. These 11 start-ups are collaborating with maritime corporate partners from PIER71™ on pilot projects that focus on the use of smart sensors, vision and data analytics, artificial intelligence and wearables amongst others.


With the aim to grow maritime innovation and promote Singapore as a hub for entrepreneurship in this sector, PIER71™ was founded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS). 

The initiative designs and delivers programmes to uncover opportunities within the industry and supports entrepreneurs from ideation to acceleration of their ventures. Providing access to various markets, demand drivers, tech solution providers, investors and more, PIER71™ also represents an increasingly vibrant ecosystem of players who are primed and ready to digitalise and create the next wave of maritime innovation. 

The Timeline

  • Deadline to Apply: July 22 
  • Shortlisting: July 23 – August 29 
  • PIER71™ Accelerate: September 21 – November 7
  • Closed-door Judging: November 15
  • Grand Final: November 18

For more details on SPC 2022, click here.