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In a class of its own
THE American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has been conferred the Offshore and Marine Engineering Award at this year's International Maritime Awards. ABS is a class society with a focus on offshore and strong collaborations in knowledge building with local academic institutions and industry.
It has a Singapore Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC), which is its first R&D centre outside the United States. Established more than a decade ago, SIRC undertakes joint development projects with research institutions and other classification societies that are based in Singapore.
Thomas Tan, region vice president - Southern, Pacific Division, ABS, says: "ABS is honoured to receive this prestigious award and to join the other distinguished award recipients who make innovation and technology advancement a priority. Today, Singapore is a leading international maritime centre and a global hub for the offshore and marine industries. This award is an important recognition of our contributions to Singapore's development and growth in these industries."
As part of its mandate, ABS sets standards for safety and provides guidance that allows companies to navigate environmental and operational challenges. As a recognised technology leader, ABS keeps pace with industry trends and developments and engages with industry to advance safety in the latest innovations.
"As Singapore's marine and offshore industries expand, ABS is focusing resources and investing in research and development that enable new technologies and innovations. Industry is continuing to evolve, and Singapore is adapting to meet new demands and support emerging markets," says Mr Tan.
ABS established an office in Singapore in 1958. With a presence in Singapore of nearly 60 years, ABS has worked with industry as Singapore progressed to take its current prominent place in the shipping world.
Says Mr Tan: "In SIRC, ABS has created a key research and development facility that supports South-east Asia through technology developmentpartnerships with local industry, government and academia.
"ABS has used SIRC as a platform to pioneer new ideas and innovations and to tackle some of the offshore and marine industries' most critical challenges, drawing strength and support from the global ABS technology team. Since then, ABS has expanded its team of dedicated professionals to more than 250 who serve the entire ABS Pacific Division."
Mr Tan adds: "Safety and environmental protection have always been the principal focus of ABS and remain at the centre of everything we do. The regulatory landscape is evolving rapidly, and owners and operators are looking for support to help inform their decision-making process.
"Through its environmental and operational performance services, ABS is providing a smarter approach to making decisions about new technologies and understanding the impacts those technologies have on their unique fleet profiles."
As a class society ABS works closely with local academic institutions and industry associations to serve a common purpose of advancing safer and more sustainable marine and offshore industries. ABS often works with institutions such as Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers Singapore (SNAMES) and Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) to explore the latest technologies and innovations.
As an associate member of Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI), ABS shares its unique experience and regularly engages with other members on relevant industry topics.
Mr Tan says ABS promotes academic excellence through scholarship awards and internship opportunities with a number of local universities and institutes. It also works closely with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and has actively participated in technical discussions to support MPA in its strategic initiatives and expansion into new areas.
As part of its mission to promote safety, ABS works with all stakeholders - industry, regulatory and academic - to take on today's challenges while laying the foundation for the future.
Taking a collaborative approach allows ABS to expand its reach and develop comprehensive guidance that can help shipowners and operators to find new efficiencies and improve environmental and operational performance, Mr Tan adds.