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Global Hydrographic Innovation and Technology Laboratory Established in Singapore


Singapore and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) have launched the Joint IHO-Singapore Innovation and Technology Laboratory.

The Laboratory seeks to optimize the resources of IHO Member States to harness and develop emerging technologies in the hydrographic domain that support safe maritime navigation and the protection of the marine environment. In accelerating innovation in the field of hydrography, the Laboratory aims to:

  1. Conduct research and testing of projects proposed by IHO Member States, IHO organs and other stakeholders;
  2. Grow knowledge and foster collaboration on global standard-setting for the development and application of technologies enhancing safety at sea; and
  3. Promote a multidisciplinary and collaborative environment to drive innovative solutions and develop pioneering technologies through active partnerships.

For a start, the Joint IHO-Singapore Innovation and Technology Laboratory will embark on the following two pilot projects:

  1. Investigate the automated conversion of the IHO S-57 Electronic Navigation Chart (ENC) to the IHO S-101 ENC. This project supports the development of the Dual-Fuel Electronic Chart Display and Information System.
  2. Develop a digital Infrastructure to improve information exchange between harbours and hydrographic office. The outcome of this project will inform the IHO S-131 Marine Harbour Infrastructure product specifications.

The Laboratory is overseen by a Governing Board chaired by Abri Kampfer, the IHO Director in charge of the IHO Work Program II. Its General Manager, Parry Oei, Adviser (Hydrography) of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), leads the day-to-day operations.

"The Joint IHO-Singapore Innovation and Technology Laboratory will provide a dedicated space to test and evaluate new ideas to enable their smooth transfer into practice," said IHO Secretary General, Dr Mathias Jonas. "This is a key element which has been missing and will help progress in digital hydrography. The laboratory is designed to become the testing ground for the future of hydrography."

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