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PSA, SUTD join forces to develop pipeline of talent for Tuas port

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Singapore's port operator yesterday inked an agreement with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) to develop a pipeline of talent for the future Tuas port.

A joint statement by PSA and SUTD said the memorandum of understanding is aimed at producing data science, info-communications and engineering professionals for the mega port.

All of Singapore's port operations will eventually be consolidated in the Tuas port, which will harness big data as well as adopt the latest port technologies, including smart systems and automation.

The mega port will open in four phases, with the first berths expected to be operational in 2021.

Under the agreement, PSA will provide port-related content for SUTD's curriculum, so students will learn about smart technologies and systems used in port operations. Details are being worked out, said a PSA spokesman.

Both parties said they will collaborate to develop a talent pipeline to support PSA's network of info-communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.

PSA will also offer internships in the areas of data analytics, smart technologies and infocomm technology to SUTD students.

Mr Ong Kim Pong, PSA's regional chief executive for South-east Asia, noted the maritime industry is seeing rapid changes, and jobs are being redesigned.

"We are building the competencies needed to reinforce our digital readiness," Mr Ong said. "PSA values SUTD's strength in combining design thinking and technology, and nurturing technically-grounded innovators. This timely partnership allows both parties to capitalise on each other's strengths."

SUTD President Chong Chow Tong said the university's partnership with PSA will offer students hands-on experience in the actual port environment.

It also encourages free flow of information, ideas and innovation between the organisations, Professor Chong added.

Prof Chong said SUTD already collaborates with PSA on port-related undergraduate projects and internships.He added that the university, with PSA, is looking to develop data science and maritime-related courses, as well as conduct research and development on next-gen ports and terminals.

When completed by 2040, the Tuas port will have the capacity to handle up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo a year. Last year, container throughput rose to 33.7 million TEUs, from 30.9 million in 2016. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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