Inmarsat is collaborating with start-up programmes to support entrepreneurs developing maritime data analytics innovations.
The UK-headquartered maritime communications provider has partnered with Bluetech Accelerator and Rainmaking’s Trade and Transport Impact to support organisations creating internet of things (IoT) and large data analytics innovations for the maritime and port sectors and logistics supply chains.
Inmarsat said these technology accelerator programmes will fund, support and mentor start-up companies to develop digitalisation applications that could enhance safety, efficiency and sustainability.
This support should enable the global shipping sector to unlock the benefits of IoT, digitalisation and data analysis, said Inmarsat senior director of digital incubation Ali Grey. “Companies operating across the global supply chain clearly acknowledge the potential of digitalisation and recognise that we have only scratched the surface of what is possible,” she said.
“Start-ups are good at spotting opportunities that more established players miss, so it is important for the industry’s future that we offer a helping hand to nurture innovation.”
This support involves Inmarsat providing its satellite communications infrastructure, including three generations of satellite constellations, that connect more than 160,000 ships and yachts, plus the world’s ports, road and rail networks, to start-up technology.
However, there will be more support to come. “Supporting companies in the global supply chain is not simply about deploying the most advanced communications infrastructure,” said Ms Grey. “It is also about supporting the creation of applications that directly address an organisation’s challenges and helps transform these into significant opportunities.”
The Bluetech Accelerator is sponsored by the Portuguese Government and based in Lisbon. It was launched at the end of January and will take on six business partners including Inmarsat to help select and finance the first batch of winning start-ups, which will be chosen in Q4 2019.
The Trade & Transport Impact programme was initiated by Hamburg-based Rainmaking to help connect established leading players, such as Inmarsat, Cargotec and Wärtsilä, with innovative start-ups to work collaboratively to address the biggest commercial and operational challenges facing the global supply chain today.
Ms Grey expects Inmarsat’s connectivity services across the entire global multi-modal sector will “help create new applications driven by data that will benefit the entire global supply chain.”
Inmarsat introduced Fleet Data during 2018 as shipping’s first commercially-available, bandwidth-inclusive IoT platform to use data from both onboard sensors and voyage data recorders.
Fleet Data uploads preprocessed data from onboard sensors to a secure cloud-based platform, where its application process interface can be exploited by third-party solutions to monitor and enhance vessel performance.
Inmarsat Maritime president Ronald Spithout told Maritime Digitalisation & Communications, in January, that shipowners, operators and managers will increasingly adopt IoT and cyber security this year as more ships are connected over high-throughput satellites. “We believe Fleet Data will enhance the efficient transfer of data to shore and help accelerate IoT adoption,” said Mr Spithout.
IoT technology can help shipping meet stricter emissions regulations coming in the next year, which will be the subject of discussion at the Americas Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference, to be held in Houston on 5-6 March. Book your place now.