The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) have collaborated to boost the country's maritime transport industry through science and technology (S&T).

Marina Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad said, "The PCIEERD-MARINA partnership will not only strengthen the framework for our cooperation but will also be an excellent platform to exchange ideas, possible prospects, and major issues that the industry is currently facing".

Marina and DOST-PCIEERD signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that puts forward the Science and Technology for Maritime Transport Applications (STMTA). The STMTA will ensure that the country's maritime transport industry will flourish through S&T activities. It will also push innovations on alternative fuels and energy-efficient water, transportation technologies, renewable energy, modernization of merchant fleets, and intelligent transport systems (ITS). A modernized maritime R&D center will also be in the works that will serve as the pillar of support for the local maritime tourism, fishing industry, logistics, and shipping industry.

DOST-PCIEERD will invest P975 million for the maritime industry to meet the global standards.

It will source funds to implement projects, provide monitoring, management support, and direction. Marina will also provide additional funds to facilitate the adoption of technologies, sustainability of operation, and formulate policies and guidelines to ensure the accomplishment of the cooperation's goals.

Empedrad said they will plan for the seamless adoption and deployment of available maritime innovations and will be seeking more ways to generate funds to support more projects.

DOST-PCIEERD executive director Dr. Enrico Pairingit said, "We will promote inter-modality by enhancing the inland and intercoastal waterways through the Internet of Vehicles (IoVs) and inter-agency collaborations. We envision the Philippines having alternative sea-worthy 'green' vessels and components and IMO-compliant sea crafts".

He said they will be working with Marina on STMTA activities and roadmap. They will estimate fund sharing among agencies, launch new maritime projects and evaluate new research and development (R&D) proposals.

Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo of the University of the Philippines (UP) suggested the conduct of a series of meetings between researchers and Marina to make sure that the upcoming innovations will match the needs of the industry. UP is one of the active academic institutions in implementing R&D projects for the maritime industry.

The DOST-PCIEERD and Marina's notable accomplishments under STMTA include automatic identification system (AIS), hybrid trimaran, navigational traffic information system (NAVIS), maritime route transport information system (MARIS), solar-assisted electric boat, port capacity assessment, and route optimization.

The AIS is a transponder for boats or vessels that automatically receive information broadcast by other AIS-equipped vessels and base stations for collision avoidance, real-time vessel monitoring, and control, search and rescue, accident investigation, and report generation.

A hybrid trimaran is a prototype vessel with multiple engines and an alternative renewable energy system using ocean wave energy.

MARIS is a modular software for effective route capacity measurement as part of Marina's modernization plan for the Philippine maritime industry.

NAVIS is software that enables the user to determine the adequate number of marine vessels for a given route. Some of its features include route rationalization, capacity optimization, and cost-benefit analysis.

The solar-assisted electric boat will be developed as a safe, efficient, and sustainable solar-assisted plug-in electric boat that could be utilized for island tourism and passenger transport.

The data-driven port capacity measurement system, which includes modules for port berthing capacity estimation and ship trip scheduling software will be developed for the optimization of maritime network and management systems.