Welcome to the Smart Port Challenge 2021

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, through a joint initiative, PIER71™ (Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined at BLOCK71), are proud to present Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2021.

This is the fourth year that PIER71™ has been the driving force behind this start-up innovation challenge for the maritime sector. Through PIER71™, aspiring start-ups are able to uncover opportunities to make a positive impact with technology in the maritime industry. The support from MPA and NUS accelerates their ventures, which in turn allows them to optimise their offering to the industry and to propel their innovations beyond Singapore.

We’ve reviewed close to 700 applications since the inaugural challenge and selected nearly 80 start-ups to participate in PIER71™ Accelerate, Singapore’s first market validation and customer discovery programme specially curated for the maritime industry. The 18 start-ups this year represent a diversity of technologies and backgrounds, and several of them are new to maritime. It has been heartening to see them grow stronger each week, in their understanding of, and ability to navigate the complex maritime landscape. Those that have received commitment from maritime corporates to embark on pilot projects are also eligible to apply for a start-up grant from MPA of up to S$50,000. At the end of a closed-door Semi-Final on 18 November, only 8 teams will make it through to the Grand Final on 23 November to pitch their way to winning the top 3 cash prizes totalling S$18,000.

This year continues to be tough on everyone, with the end of the on-going pandemic still hidden from sight. Nevertheless, the industry has made significant progress in adapting to new ways of working, through accelerated adoption of automation and digitalisation. We too, have made the most of virtual ways of connecting with each other.

Despite every intention to hold face-to-face interactions, we’ve had to do most of these on our screens. The finalists, apart from those based overseas, will be meeting in person for the first time as a group at the Grand Final. Unfortunately, we’re not able to hold a large-scale event to accommodate all of you. However, we hope you will be able to feel the energy of the start-up founders through your screen as they deliver their best pitch to our judges and invited guests.

Registration for the livestream of the Grand Final is now open and we invite you to join us to support these start-ups as they share their innovative technologies and solutions to reimagine the future of maritime.

The success of SPC would not have been possible without the support of MPA, NUS, stakeholders across the ecosystem, as well as various maritime corporates who have offered innovation opportunities, engaged in conversations and shared insights throughout the programme. We also wish to thank our instructors, mentors, SPC alumni and speakers for their support and guidance to our 2021 cohort. Finally, thanks to all teams for your active participation and commitment. Good luck!


Smart Port Challenge Organising Team

The livestream has ended. Watch the recording here.

Top 8 Grand Finalists Announced

  Maritime Corporates

This year’s Smart Port Challenge offers 17 innovation opportunities co-created with 21 maritime corporates.

In addition to these co-creators, other supporting corporate partners include:

MPA Singapore NUS Enterprise TNB Ventures SG Singapore EDB Singapore SSA StartupSG Maritime Singapore
MPA Singapore NUS Enterprise TNB Ventures Enterprise Singapore EDB Singapore SSA StartupSG Maritime Singapore