SINGAPORE ship management company Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has partnered US-based seed accelerator Techstars to roll out a global early-stage maritime accelerator programme.
The programme aims to bring digital and technology-led solutions to problems faced by the shipping and maritime industry, both firms said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
Gil Ofer, head of open innovation at EPS, said: “The industry needs to innovate to solve problems such as fuel consumption, operational efficiency, fleet performance and improving life-at-sea for seafarers.”
The accelerator’s first cohort is made up of nine startups – from Singapore, Denmark, the UK and the US – which were selected from hundreds of applicants.
They will undergo three months of research and development, mentorship and collaboration at EPS’s headquarters in Singapore, before a demo day in February 2020.
The startups will get access to EPS’s operational data and be able to deploy their technology on EPS’s diverse fleet of over 150 vessels.
EPS chief innovation officer Claus Nehmzow said: “The shipping industry is continually evolving, but change comes slowly and in incremental stages.”
“We hope to spark a renaissance in how maritime trade is conducted and to usher in a wave of next-generation tech for the shipping industry,” Mr Nehmzow added.
The nine startups in the accelerator are:
• C-Log, which developed a blockchain-enabled platform for seafarer certification;
• CyberOwl, which provides real-time visibility on suspicious activity on operational technology systems and assets;
• Enermo Technology, with a proprietary platform for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance;
• F-drones, which created proprietary aerial drones for shore-to-ship logistics;
• Nautilus Labs, which is building artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of ocean commerce;
• QuantShip, which forecasts freight rates weeks in advance with machine-learning algorithms;
• Saara, which automates inventory and consumer-related processes for supply chain and retail businesses;
• SeaMiles, which offers a loyalty rewards programme for seafarers and shore personnel; and
• Volteo Maritime, which digitises vessel operations management.
Three of the participating firms have recently built a presence in Singapore as the city-state is a strategic maritime hub, EPS noted. C-Log has moved its global headquarters to the Republic, while US-based Volteo has spun off Volteo Maritime as a Singapore company. New York City-headquartered Nautilus Labs is also opening an office in Singapore.