Strengthening situational awareness with AI and Computer vision

Key Focus Area:

Smart Shipping


There have been increasing attacks by small crafts that blend in with fishing vessels and do not have AIS transponders, escaping detection by a regular ship’s navigation radar. There is also a need to alert surrounding ships to the perpetrator after its first attack, as patrols are often not prompt enough to prevent subsequent attacks. Similarly, ship owners or managers may also benefit from being alerted to risks such as crew safety breaches. As such, how might we improve situational awareness by detecting and flagging unusual behaviours?


  • There has been an increase in global maritime piracy and armed robbery against ships, from 115 incidences in 2022 to 120 in 2023.
  • These incidents threaten crew safety and might also lead to collision of ships.


  • The maritime security market was USD 19.9 billion in 2023 and is forecasted to have a compound annual growth rate of 5.2% to USD 26 billion in 2028.
  • Applicable to vessels with routes along piracy hotspots such as the Straits of Malacca, Red Sea, and Gulf of Guinea.


  • Military grade surveillance radars are able to pick up on small ships without transponders.
  • Currently reliant on watchkeepers keeping a lookout for suspicious craft.
  • Computer vision and AI are already being used onboard ships but this needs to be expanded beyond the ship.


  • Cost-effective commercial grade solution.
  • Detect vessels at least 500m away.
  • Compatibility with existing systems (if there are any camera systems onboard).


  • Leverage existing radar to detect craft without transponder, flag out small crafts and anomalies such as loitering behaviour or potential collisions.
  • AI-based small craft image recognition system with a 360 degrees camera (offered as an add-on to smart ships) that can identify small craft.
  • Piracy map.
  • Tracking device for stolen cargo ship.
  • Crowdsourcing platform for seafarers to update on ship attacks.

Shortlisted finalists are enrolled in a two-phase, 12-week programme.

Phase 1: Fit Check - Market Discovery and Validation

Kickstart your journey by diving deep into the heart of your market! In this phase, we'll help you answer the pivotal question: Is there a product-market fit for your solution? Validate your tech, test your assumptions, and find the perfect match for your innovation. A review will be conducted at the end of Phase 1. Only selected participants will advance to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Gap Busters - Navigating New Markets

Now, it's time to bridge the commercial gap. In this phase, you’ll partner with industry veterans who bring sharp business insights to the table. Together, you’ll navigate and conquer markets that may be uncharted territory for your startup.

Although the programme is designed for remote and overseas participants, in-person participation is required for the following events conducted in Singapore: