The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) has granted Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) S$12 million to support the research endeavors of the Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development (MESD) Centre of Excellence over a new five-year period until September 30th, 2027, starting this September, in the hope of deepening Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities in energy and sustainable development.
(L-R, back) Chairman of SMI Mr. Wong Weng Sun, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport) Mr. Chee Hong Tat, and NTU Senior Vice President (Research) Prof Lam Khin Yong. (L-R, front) Executive Director of SMI Mr. Tan Cheng Peng, NTU Vice President (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and Dean of NTU’s College of Engineering Professor Louis Phee. Image Credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
The research facility, founded in October 2017 and supported equally by SMI and NTU, aims to strengthen Singapore’s marine competence in the fields of energy and sustainable development, with an emphasis on future port and shipping operations.
MESD intends to deliver high-impact research outcomes in its new Phase 2 project, strengthening the abilities that were developed in the Phase 1 project. The project is also anticipated to be the crucial node for maritime decarbonization R&D in Singapore via collaborative efforts and co-creation strategies with industry and other research organizations.
A signing ceremony took place today between NTU Vice President (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and Dean of NTU’s College of Engineering, Professor Louis Phee, and SMI Executive Director, Mr. Tan Cheng Peng, to formalize the funding arrangement.
Mr. Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, witnessed the signing. SMS Chee was accompanied by Prof. Lam Khin Yong, Senior Vice President (Research) at NTU, and Mr. Wong Weng Sun, Chairman of SMI.
MESD’s goals complement NTU’s 2025 strategic plan, which aims to address humanity’s grand issues on sustainability and expedite the translation of research discoveries into advancements, particularly in the maritime industry, which aims to reduce the impact of humanity on the environment.
NTU’s collaboration with SMI allows the University to leverage its strong interdisciplinary approaches in pedagogy and research to address some of the most pressing and complex challenges facing the maritime industry. As a leading university based in a global maritime hub, Singapore, the University seeks to contribute to this critical effort by sharing our expertise with SMI to better translate research breakthroughs into actionable solutions for the maritime industry.
Lam Khin Yong, Professor, Nanyang Technological University
“MESD, as SMI’s first maritime research center of excellence, plays a crucial role in supporting Maritime Singapore’s industry transformation map and journey, particularly in the area of maritime energy research related to sustainability and decarbonization,” says Mr. Tan Cheng Peng.
SMI is pleased to award funding to support the Centre’s second phase of R&D activities over the next five-year period. We will work closely with MESD to drive and develop impactful research on decarbonization and emissions management to support maritime sustainability goals to address the needs of the industry.
Mr. Tan Cheng Peng, Executive Director, Singapore Maritime Institute
MESD intends to concentrate on alternative energy management and the decarbonization of maritime operations in the following phase of the research center’s activities. This shift in focus will aid Singapore’s transition to low-carbon energy sources.
The activities of MESD will also aid in the development of Singapore’s energy value chain, which will assist harbor craft operations and international shipping.
We wish to thank all our stakeholders, partners, and the MESD governing board for working closely with us for the past five years which has helped to establish MESD as one of the leading maritime R&D centers.
Jasmine Lam, Associate Professor and Centre Director, Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence
Jasmine Lam, who is also from NTU’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, adds, “MESD will continue to work closely with the national and international community with a clearer focus on alternative energy, emission management, and sustainable maritime operation to aid the transition into a low-carbon future.”
MESD will also actively pursue collaborative projects with industry partners and organizations to drive technology translation and push unique concepts from research projects in Phase 1 to the next level of preparedness for industry adoption in Phase 2.
With help from Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), MESD chose 16 R&D projects for Phase 2 that are in line with the suggestion of the international advisory panel on maritime decarbonization of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF).
Bio-liquefied natural gas (LNG) for international shipping decarbonization, secure operation of ammonia bunkering, mitigation and environmental impact research, methanol as a marine fuel, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage are among the R&D initiatives.