SINGAPORE, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Industry leaders today kicked off discussions at the sixth edition of Sea Asia with a focus on digitalisation and the need for industry players to embrace this new reality in order to remain competitive in today's market environment. In particular, industry leaders emphasised that there needs to be a change in mind-set towards one that is more receptive to digital transformations in the industry.
Taking place in Singapore until Thursday, 27 April, Sea Asia 2017 brings together leaders of the maritime and offshore industries to discuss, debate and analyse challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, said that with the advent of digitalisation in the industry, the Government is taking steps to help companies in Singapore develop capabilities to succeed in the future.
For example, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's (MPA) enhanced Maritime Cluster Fund now provides more co-funding for companies that want to use technology to optimise their processes or transform their business models.
Mr Khaw also highlighted the importance of preparing the local workforce for transformations driven by digitalisation in the industry, adding that the jobs of tomorrow will be markedly different from today.
"We have to ensure that our maritime manpower is equipped to handle transformation, and for some of them, to drive the transformation," said Mr Khaw.
Experts on the panel of the Sea Asia Global Forum commented on the need to provide an enabling environment that allows for the maritime workforce to learn and be comfortable with the idea of digitalisation in the industry.
"When it comes to digitalisation, the word to think about is not disruption, but transformation. There are many opportunities that come with the transformations that digitalisation brings to the industry and hence, we have to learn to change the way we're thinking about it. The maritime industry needs to create an environment that allows for its people to experiment with new technologies and learn how to use them.
"It's all about changing people's mind-sets on digitalisation and making them confident that they can work with the changes," said Mr Piyush Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of DBS Group who was one of the panellists of the Sea Asia Global Forum.
Despite this, industry leaders still recognise the ongoing need for a more human element in the industry.
Mr Oskar Levander, Vice President Innovation, Engineering & Technology - Marine, Rolls-Royce, said at 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Threat or Opportunity?' session: "Digitalisation is changing everything in the industry, from the way ships are run to how business models are shaped. With digitalisation, I believe there will eventually be remote and autonomous shipping; but this is not to say that all ships will be unmanned and that no crew is needed."
With expanded technology also comes added risk -- another factor companies need to consider when adopting a more digital approach.
Speaking at the same session, Mr Michael Montoya, Chief Cybersecurity Advisor, Microsoft Asia, said: "Companies must embrace technology… but as you expand your digital footprint, you do open yourself to risks in the form of cybersecurity. However, there are ways to protect yourself from that risk, and there are smart ways that you can implement that will allow you to continue on that maturity journey to put much better services and systems in place."
The industry leaders also highlighted the importance of coming together to discuss and analyse new trends such as digitalisation at a regional platform such as Sea Asia.
Seatrade Chairman Chris Hayman said: "Since the first event in 2007, Sea Asia has trebled in size and we are expecting more than 16,000 participants from around 80 countries for this year's edition.
"This event gives us all the opportunity to hear from the leaders of the industry in this region, and their counterparts from around the world," he said.
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Notes to Editors
About Sea Asia 2017
Sea Asia, the premier maritime and offshore conference and exhibition in Asia is returning for the 6th edition on 25 - 27 April 2017 at the Marina Bay Sands®, Singapore. Co-organised by Seatrade and the Singapore Maritime Foundation, Sea Asia is well-attended by trade professionals and some of the most influential and respected leaders in the industry, delivering an unparalleled reach of key decision-makers.
Alongside an international exhibition, the highly acclaimed and interactive Sea Asia conference complements and puts Sea Asia at the forefront of regional maritime events. International thought-leaders will address the latest topics, debate on key trends, and discuss opportunities and challenges facing the maritime and offshore businesses from a commercial perspective.
For a full list of sponsors and exhibitors, and more information on the conference programme, please visit www.sea-asia.com/.
Founded in 1970, Seatrade was acquired in 2014 by UBM, the world's second largest media and event organiser across a wide variety of industries. Seatrade's publications, events, management training, research and award schemes cover every aspect of the cruise and maritime industries. The company's principal strength is its ability to bring key people together, encouraging innovation and facilitating better communication within the industry. Seatrade is headquartered in Colchester, UK, with regional offices in Dubai, Singapore, as well as representatives in all major maritime centres and cruise destinations across the globe.
For more information, please visit www.seatrade-maritime.com.
About the Singapore Maritime Foundation
Established in 2004, the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) is a private sector-led organisation 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, SMF 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, please visit www.smf.com.sg.
About the Singapore Maritime Week 2017 (22nd -- 28th April 2017)
Sea Asia 2017 is held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week 2017 (SMW). SMW is the leading maritime event in Singapore driven by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. SMW gathers the international maritime community in Singapore for a week of conferences, dialogues, exhibitions and social events in celebration of all things maritime. These events reflect the vibrancy and diversity of Singapore as a major international maritime centre.
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SOURCE Seatrade Communications