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Maritime Firms Team Up with Tech Startups to Drive Innovation

Copenhagen-based corporate innovation and venture development firm Rainmaking has matched five maritime giants with eight startups as part of its Trade & Transport Impact Programme.

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), Shell, Wärtsilä, Cargotec and Inmarsat have been paired up with startup teams from eight different countries.

As informed, they will work on thirteen separate projects with the aim of accelerating innovation that delivers genuine business results.

“There is growing recognition that the maritime industry needs to innovate and fast. As appetite for fresh thinking, insight, and technology swells, bringing together established maritime leaders with technology startups is what’s needed to deliver genuine business results quickly,” Nicklas Viby Fursund, Partner at Rainmaking, commented.

“With our current partners; Cargotec, HHLA, Inmarsat, Shell, and Wärtsilä, we’re already seeing tangible benefits emerging from the programme. It’s exciting to see the genuine impact quality tech startups with high engagement and energy levels can make, helping to solve the problems the corporates are facing and adding value to operations.”

With an industry awakening to the challenges of adjusting to an increasingly digital and decarbonized world, business as usual is not an option. Designed to tackle some of the biggest challenges in maritime trade and transport, the abovementioned program aims to disrupt the industry through its collaborative, outcome-oriented approach.

The specialisms of the startups in the current round of the program range from port- and cyber security to energy-optimization and crew welfare. Current projects relate to safety, security and crew welfare, optimization of port and vessel operations, and autonomous operations and equipment.

“We have had great success working with Scoutbase, whose technology collects data to reduce human error. Our business has been hugely engaged – everyone is really keen and loves the energy that Scoutbase has brought to the table, as well as the product itself. Going forward in 2020 we are really excited to hopefully start rolling this product out,” Michael Andronicou, Project Lead – New Marine Ventures at Shell, said.

“We’re working with KoiReader to make improvements in the detection of container damage. While it’s currently a proof of concept, we hope to continue with the project and without Rainmaking’s Trade and Transport Impact Programme, we probably would never have met KoiReader,” Till Schlumberger, Strategy Consultant in Digital Transformation at HHLA, added.

“Energy efficiency is one of the most important factors in shipping today, and we are trying to find new ways of improving it. Signol has enabled us to reach the decision makers onboard and better support them with fuel consumption, energy efficiency and operations. We need to bring in startups and knowledge from outside the industry to support us in finding ways to do things better,” Steffen Knodt, Director New Ventures at Wärtsilä, explained.

The third cycle of the program begins in Q1 2020 at which point more organizations will be able to join.

Rainmaking is also launching a decarbonization program in Singapore, which specifically focuses on startups with solutions that support the transition to a zero-carbon future for shipping.

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