NUS Enterprise in tie-ups to help local start-ups

Deals with global partners inked while scheme is launched to drive maritime innovation

NUS Enterprise in tie-ups to help local start-ups

NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, has signed agreements with four international partners to help Singapore start-ups overseas.

The memorandums of understanding are with start-up hubs Innospace and Rainmaking Innovation, Helsinki-based equipment manufacturer Wartsila, and Norwegian maritime group Wilhelmsen.

One involves teaming up with Innospace to scout for start-ups in China and Singapore.

NUS Enterprise and Rainmaking Innovation plan to anchor venture-building activities focusing on the logistics and maritime sectors here.

It will also link up with Wartsila to mentor start-ups operating in the area of maritime communication.

NUS Enterprise's partnership with Wilhelmsen aims to develop potential solutions for the shipping and maritime services industry.

The agreements were signed in conjunction with yesterday's launch of Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ Block71, or Pier71.

Pier71, which was set up by NUS Enterprise and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), is an acceleration programme that encourages the maritime industry to venture into new growth areas through collaboration with technology start-ups.

NUS Enterprise chief executive Lily Chan said: "The Pier71 programme opens a new chapter for NUS Enterprise... We are now fostering strategic partnerships to help bridge and provide platforms for our curated start-ups to engage with the flagship maritime industry and create opportunities for innovation-driven growth."

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said: "Pier71 will catalyse collaborations between the maritime companies, technology start-ups and adjacent sectors to position Singapore's maritime industry for the next wave of growth enabled by digital technologies."

The MPA completed Pier71's inaugural innovation workshop, which drew 23 maritime companies, on May 15.

In another move yesterday, the regulator of the maritime sector kicked off Smart Port Challenge 2018 (SPC 2018), which now falls under Pier71. SPC is a six-month programme to spur digital transformation in the maritime industry by bringing together maritime and tech players to problem-solve.

The number of participating maritime companies has increased to 17 this year, from 12 for the inaugural edition last year.

Besides cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 for the top three proposals, selected finalists have a chance to be invited to join Pier71 Accelerate, a customised curriculum on building viable maritime tech start-ups.

These innovation opportunities were released yesterday, and the closing date for proposals is Aug 6.

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