A*STAR and NUS establish national centre of excellence to advance Singapore’s Marine & Offshore Engineering industry

A next-generation Deepwater Ocean Basin research facility at NUS will leverage petascale supercomputing capabilities for integrated physical modelling and numerical simulation

Singapore, 31 October 2016 ― The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have established a joint venture - Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) – to spur research excellence and advance Singapore’s Marine & Offshore Engineering (M&OE) industry. The Centre is also supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) officiated the launch of TCOMS.

Through strategic global partnerships with industry, research institutions and academia, TCOMS aims to sustain Singapore’s leadership position in the sector by enabling the local M&OE industry to undertake higher-value activities. A key feature of TCOMS is a next-generation Ocean Basin with forefront simulation capabilities, including smart sensing and integrated physical modelling and numerical simulation.

Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR, said, “Innovative concepts and solutions for the M&OE sector are critical in sustaining our leadership in this sector and in driving Singapore’s growth as a global port. TCOMS is an excellent national platform to facilitate partnerships under an open innovation framework to draw on the strengths of our public sector research performers to develop meaningful industry collaborations locally and beyond. This joint initiative by A*STAR and NUS will position Singapore as a key hub for M&OE research globally.”

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, "NUS has very substantial strengths in offshore and marine engineering research. This strategic partnership with A*STAR to form TCOMS will produce many new opportunities for impactful industry-relevant engineering innovations, research and education in the M&OE sector. NUS looks forward to co-creating innovative solutions in partnership with public and industry institutions, and to contribute to the long-term competitiveness of Singapore and our industries. We are also honoured to host the state-of-the-art Deepwater Ocean Basin research facility on our campus, which will spur even closer interactions and collaborations between researchers, industry practitioners, faculty and students in this field, and enable breakthrough insights and applications. In addition, TCOMS will have an important role in the training and nurturing of talent in this field.”

State-of-the-art research capabilities

An anchor research facility of TCOMS is a next generation Deepwater Ocean Basin (DOB) currently being constructed at NUS, which is scheduled for completion in 2019. The ocean basin facility is equipped with state-of-the art wave and current generation systems that could simulate harsh ocean environments, including those in ultra-deep waters. This would facilitate the development of innovative concepts including intelligent floating platforms and ships, autonomous systems, marine robotics and subsea systems. For further details on the DOB, please refer to Annex in the original announcement in the link below.

Professor Chan Eng Soon, Chief Executive Officer of TCOMS and Provost’s Chair Professor in the Faculty of Engineering, NUS, explained, "A key differentiator in TCOMS is the development of a simulation system featuring the integration of basin modeling, numerical modeling, smart-sensing, and real time data analytics. This novel approach will not only enhance the value-added services for the clients, but also unleashes new opportunities to better understand non-linear fluid structure interactions in complex sea states. It will also pave the way for the development of intelligent systems that would help transform the M&OE industry, especially in the enhancement of efficiency, safety and reliability in harsh environments."

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About National University of Singapore (NUS)

A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

NUS has 17 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives.

NUS has three Research Centres of Excellence (RCE) and 29 university-level research institutes and centres. It is also a partner in Singapore’s fifth RCE. Research activities are strategic and robust, and NUS is well-known for its research strengths in engineering, life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences and natural sciences. It also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.

For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that spearheads economic oriented research to advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit society.

As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by contributing to societal benefits such as improving outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability.

We play a key role in nurturing and developing a diversity of talent and leaders in our Agency and Research Institutes, the wider research community and industry. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis.

For more information on A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg

About the Deepwater Ocean Basin

Measuring 60 metres long, 48 metres wide and 12 metres deep, the Deepwater Ocean Basin (DOB) has a volume that is equivalent to over 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It will be equipped with a 50-metre ultra-deep centre pit, which is the deepest in the world to date, to simulate water depths of up to 3,000 metres deep and enable physical modelling for ultra-deepwater developments.

Using state-of the-art wave and current generation systems coupled with smart sensing and data analytics capabilities, the DOB will provide a controlled environment that is able to simulate extreme sea conditions to facilitate the development of innovative concepts, including intelligent floating platforms and ships, autonomous systems, marine robotics and subsea systems.

These systems will be developed to maximise the quality of generated waves and currents in the DOB with minimum power consumption.

The Ocean Basin will be able to support physical tests with numerical simulation in collaboration with A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) and the National Supercomputing Centre Singapore (NSCC).

Published: 03 Nov 2016

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