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NUS, Singapore Maritime Institute set up S$18m research centre to boost sector's global competitiveness

THE National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) announced on Friday the setting up of an S$18 million research centre to help Singapore's maritime and port industries to develop innovative capabilities, and enhance their global competitiveness. 

The new Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports (C4NGP) will be part of NUS' engineering faculty, and will collaborate with companies in Singapore's maritime and port sectors to improve their technical know-how, efficiency and productivity, the two institutions said. 

The C4NGP will also work with companies to ensure that its R&D efforts are aligned with industry needs. 

The centre aims to focus on the following areas over the next five years: designing and building maritime systems, conducting navigational channel capacity studies, studying various port terminal systems, and examining land transport-related systems. 

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About 20 NUS researchers are expected to work on projects in these areas. 

Professor Freddy Boey, NUS senior vice-president of graduate education & research translation, said the centre will work closely with the industry to "co-create cutting-edge solutions that could advance these sectors". 

Added Prof Boey: "This concerted effort will greatly enhance the long-term competitiveness of the maritime and port industries, and further strengthen Singapore's strong reputation as a global maritime hub."

The C4NGP governing board, chaired by Prof Boey, will comprise members from key stakeholders such as the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), and the SMI, along with other industry partners.

The centre will also be jointly led by Associate Professor Chew Ek Peng and Associate Professor Lee Loo Hay from the Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Management at NUS' Faculty of Engineering.

Said MPA's chief executive, Andrew Tan: "The establishment of C4NGP is timely as it deepens our port modelling, simulation and optimisation capabilities. The centre aims to improve the planning and operations of our Next-Generation Port at Tuas, and the eco-system around the port. It will help PSA and Jurong Port with the optimisation of their existing and future operations as part of the Industry Transformation Map."

The agreement to set up the new centre was signed on Friday by the dean of NUS Faculty of Engineering, Professor Chua Kee Chaing, and executive director of SMI, Toh Ah Cheong.