Smartport and SMU collaborate to promote education, teaching and research

On 23 June 2015, Singapore Management University (SMU) and Smartport Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together in curriculum development as well as teaching and research collaborations, covering various areas of key importance. 

These areas include international commodity trading, maritime and port economics, port management and strategy. Ports around the world face complex, multi-dimensional challenges, such as sustainability and congestion issues, which need to be tackled through a multi-disciplinary approach, enabled by multi-disciplinary research.

In the presence of Alderman City of Rotterdam Maarten Struijvenberg the MoU was signed in Rotterdam by Professor Annie Koh, SMU’s Vice President for Business Development and Academic Director of ITI@SMU, and Dr Michiel Jak, Managing Director of Smartport Institute. The ceremony took place at the inaugural MARE Commodities Forum which serves to connect the commodities community with the maritime and shipping communities, and is a platform where leading players in these sectors exchange their expertise.

The Smartport Institute is a unique global institute representing the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Delft University of Technology, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Port of Rotterdam business association Deltalinqs and the City of Rotterdam. The SMU’s International Trading Institute, or ITI@SMU, was established through a collaborative effort between leading industry players in Singapore’s trading sector, SMU and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore in 2007, and is the first trading institute in the world to be set up within a university.

On the partnership, Professor Annie Koh says: ‘The Asia-Europe trade link is an important route connecting the global commodities supply chain, maritime and shipping industries. We are excited and honoured to partner Smartport Institute to promote education and research between two of the world's key commodities trading and maritime centres – Rotterdam and Singapore. This MoU will certainly strengthen the synergy between our two cities, by allowing both our institutes to cooperate on innovation creation, knowledge creation, as well as to develop curriculum for the nurturing of young talents and advancement of senior leaders in these sectors. It also complements the existing MoU between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority which was inked in April 2015.’

Dr Michiel Jak says: “The international collaboration with ITI@SMU is an important contribution to the value creation that SmartPort offers the Rotterdam port community. Exchange on R&D, training and education with our Singapore counterpart will enhance the expertise and capabilities of business professionals and academics. SMU and SmartPort will combine the brainpower of two leading smart ports in order to maintain a competitive advantage.”

More information

For more information, please contact Michiel Jak, Managing Director Smartport Institute Tel: +31 (0)10 40 203 43 or email:

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