Singapore, 13 January 2020 – Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Health, was joined by over 250 maritime leaders from the public and private sectors to usher in the new year at the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) New Year Cocktail Reception 2020.

In his opening address, Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of SMF, highlighted some of the Foundation’s accomplishments in the past year, including the successful run of Sea Asia 2019 and the awarding of the highest number of Maritime Outreach NEtwork (MaritimeONE) scholars at the MaritimeONE Scholarship Awards Ceremony.

Quote from Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of SMF: “MaritimeONE awarded a total of 43 scholars at the MaritimeONE Scholarship Awards Ceremony – the highest number of scholars awarded thus far. Out of these scholars, 3 were from non-maritime backgrounds, and we are delighted to see an increasing number of such students applying for the scholarship to support the industry’s need for a diversified talent pool.”

This evening, Mr Sohmen-Pao presented five prominent leaders from the port, shipping, and offshore and marine sectors their appointment letters. One member, Mr Simon Kuik, highlighted the importance of connectivity in the maritime industry.

Quote from Mr Simon Kuik, SMF Board Member and Vice President & Head, Research and Development, Secretariat, Sustainability Council, Sembcorp Marine Ltd: “As the maritime industry navigates through an evolving maritime landscape, it is important that organisations such as SMF continues to strengthen partnerships with stakeholders to bolster its talent retention and attraction efforts, and steer the industry to greater success.”

Since the Foundation’s inception in 2004, SMF has been working closely with industry partners, students and institutions. This year, following the success of the inaugural MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge organised by the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office, a unit under SMF, the second edition will be held starting February, in the continued search for bright undergraduates across all years of study and disciplines, who are eager to solve real-world business challenges. SMF Board Member, Mr Nick Potter also shared his views on cross-sector collaboration and the importance of strengthening Singapore’s position as an International Maritime Centre through the Foundation’s initaitives.

Quote from Mr Nick Potter, SMF Board Member and General Manager, Shipping & Maritime, APME Region, Shell Eastern Trading Pte Ltd: “We are keen to attract young people who can take the industry forward with new technologies and developments for safer and more efficient shipping. The MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge 2019, led by SMF together with Shell, APL and Jurong Port, is an example of the many collaborative initiatives SMF organises, in partnership with its maritime partners to build a robust talent pipeline.”

In addition to recognising the importance of developing talent, SMF and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) identified the need to boost the role of HR in driving transformation in the workplace and launched the Circle of HR InnOvators (CHRO) network at the MSC Connexions Forum, organised by the MSC Office.

Quote from Mr Ong Kim Pong, SMF Board Member and Regional CEO, Southeast Asia, PSA International Pte Ltd: “As a progressive port, Singapore needs the dual effort of building a future-ready workforce as the industry undergoes digital transformation, as well as acquiring the knowledge of advanced technologies such as 5G and Smart Grid systems to enhance the state-of-the-art systems of the future especially for the Tuas Port and its ecosystem. I believe the CHRO initiative is timely, and by working with organisations like SMF, maritime HR leaders are able to network and exchange best practices on empowering employees to inculcate a culture of continuous learning to take on enhanced and new job roles of the future.”

In 2019, SMF developed several outreach initiatives and reached milestones on the local and global front:

  1. Organised by the MSC Office, the inaugural MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge drew over 100 participants across five universities, of whom 75% were non-maritime students.
  2. SMF and Informa Markets organised the seventh edition of Sea Asia, the anchor maritime exhibition and conference show which drew close to 15,000 participants from 80 countries and further cemented Singapore’s role as a maritime forum in Asia.
  3. SMF hosted the Singapore Nite @ Nor-Shipping in Oslo, Norway, which saw over 400 senior maritime stakeholders in attendance.
  4. A total of 385 scholars have been awarded with more than S$10 million in scholarships since the inception of the MaritimeONE Scholarship Programme in 2007.

The SMF Board comprises prominent senior personalities from the maritime industry and sets the direction for SMF’s industry promotion initiatives. In 2020, SMF aims to continue working with strategic partners to strengthen Singapore’s position as an International Maritime Centre (IMC) and build a sustainable manpower pipeline.

  • About Singapore Maritime Foundation

    Established in 2004, the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) is a private sector-led organization that seeks to develop and promote Singapore as an International Maritime Centre (IMC). As the representative voice for the commercial players of the maritime industry, the Foundation seeks to forge strong partnerships with the public and private sectors of the maritime industry. SMF spearheads initiatives to promote the diverse clusters of the maritime industry in Singapore and at international frontiers, and to attract young talents to join the sector. SMF is directed by its Board of Directors which comprises prominent leaders in the Singapore maritime community. For details, visit

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