Voyager Worldwide is partnering with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to promote joint innovations that support voyage optimisation and just-in-time port arrivals through a signed Memorandum of Understanding. Voyager Worldwide will drive the innovation required through its new Voyager Living Lab, created as part of the growing ecosystem of innovation in Singapore to address maritime industry challenges.
The Voyager Living Lab is an innovation and collaboration initiative dedicated to improving port to port voyage efficiency. It is both a virtual community of global stakeholders who will work together for the advancement of maritime innovation and 2240 square feet of physical space with a unique mix of facilities and virtual infrastructure to foster and facilitate maritime technology advances across research, ideation and testing.
Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport & Finance, who officiated the launch as the Guest of Honour, said: “The Voyager Living Lab will be a useful platform to catalyse more win-win partnerships, to help maritime companies develop promising concepts into full-fledged businesses.”
Working with MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), the Voyager Living Lab’s Collaborate Programme will also provide an incubator environment – bringing maritime start-ups together with major brands to solve wider maritime challenges, providing free access to living lab resources and funding.
The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) is coming onboard as an industry partner to support the Lab’s outreach efforts. Mr Teo Teng Seng, Chairman of SSA’s Digital Transformation Committee (DTC) explained: “We are delighted to embark on this partnership with Voyager Living Lab as it allows our members to work with the Lab on common industry pain points and contribute meaningfully towards maritime innovation. Furthermore, we will help to engage other suitable start-ups through the DTC Start-Ups Engagement Initiative.”
To help develop the talent needed to drive maritime innovation, the Voyager Living Lab will also work closely with maritime-related education institutions to provide internship opportunities, support post-graduate programmes and projects, and collaborate on maritime-related academic and research initiatives.
Port congestion has worsened since the pandemic, with supply chains struggling under the weight of shipping demand as a combination of logistical delays and extreme weather saw ports overwhelmed and ships forced to wait at anchor. This has made it harder than ever to predict accurate port arrival and increased average wait times outside ports, delaying shipments and driving up carbon emissions.
Stakeholders across the supply chain acknowledge the need to optimise ocean voyages to achieve just in time arrival, making significant cost-saving efficiencies and a contribution to building a sustainable shipping and ports industry including the IMO’s goal of reversing the shipping emissions trend and getting to net-zero emissions by 2100.
“The maritime decarbonisation challenge is a huge undertaking, spanning shipping, ports and inland supply chains and it’s clear that optimised voyage management solutions have a central role to play,” said Kent Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Voyager Worldwide. “Our investment in the Living Lab, our work with the MPA Singapore and other partners around the world is helping to prepare for that changing world.”
Importantly, the Voyager Living Lab will be a free to use space fulfilling several key functions across maritime research, development and innovation. It will serve both as a research space devoted to understanding problems experienced across the maritime community and as a creativity space for the purposes of generating ideas, designing, and validating new solutions, with the aim of solving problems experienced across the maritime sector. Also, through physical test beds in the Singapore Living Lab itself and extending to shipping stakeholder offices and vessels, it will provide an environment where concepts can be proven, prototypes tested and solutions trialled, as well as where innovations can be evaluated for their impact.
In addition, the Voyager Living Lab will also serve as a venue for innovation and maritime technology related events. Voyager Worldwide is inviting maritime related organisation to access free use of the Voyager Living Lab space for meetings, workshops, demonstrations and events on a 24/7 basis via a simple online booking system.