Namely, the report focuses on the term 'startup' explaining that startup is a temporary organisation built to explore and identify a business model that is viable, repeatable, and scalable.

The research into maritime startups was conducted for Inmarsat by UK GovTech venture firm and research house, PUBLIC. The report was co-authored by Nick Chubb, technologist and founder of Thetius, a technological company and Leonardo Zangrando, Founder of Startup Wharf Ltd.

The ShipTech market is estimated to worth US$106bn as a whole today; Yet, according to the report, its value will reach the US$278bn by 2030. Given that the challenges and the barriers of the technology in sea are overcome, the total spending on digital services from startups and small to medium sized enterprises (SME) will rise to over $111bn by 2030, representing a compound annual growth rate of 120%.

Startups and investors should see the maritime sector as one of the greatest future market opportunities to develop over the next ten years.

Also, the report examines how new technology will impact the four key operational aspects of the industry:

  1. Ship Operations explores how ships are currently operated at the deck plate, including aspects of navigation, cargo and passenger operations, and marine engineering at sea and how autonomous technology, remote monitoring platforms and IoT are set to transform the status quo.
  2. Port Operations explores the impact of collaborative platforms, robotics, and artificial intelligence on aspects of port management including vessel traffic flows, cargo handling equipment, and customs and security.
  3. Ship Management and services examines how fleet management teams are leveraging technologies like cloud services, drones, and mixed reality to transform everything from spare parts procurement to crew training and familiarisation.
  4. Trade Facilitation covers how shipbroking, insurance, and the wider trade ecosystem is being transformed by marketplace technologies, blockchain, and big data.

Although the maritime industry hasn't seen a rapid technological development in comparison to other sectors, today satellite technology advances and is enabling a new generation of connectivity: with ships anywhere in the world able to achieve more bandwidth at lower costs than ever before. This makes it possible for the maritime industry to engage with digital innovation in a way that has not been possible until now.

The report highlights that it is more important than ever for startups, corporate suppliers and ship operators to collaborate, Ronald Spithout, President Inmarsat Maritime stated.

In the meantime, the report also paid a close attention in the approaching 2020 sulphur cap, discussing the two options remaining for ship operators; Either scrubbers to remove sulphur from exhaust gasses, or low sulphur fuels in their operations. It is estimated that just 1,700 ships will have fitted scrubbers by 2020 with a further 2,800 by 2025, representing just 7% of the world fleet.

Though it is still early days for the IMO’s Greenhouse Gas strategy, with an in-depth set of short term measures not due to be agreed and published until 2023, it represents a recognition across nation states and industry itself that radical changes need to be made to reduce the maritime sector’s ongoing damage to the environment

... the report comments.

Overall, the report concludes that 

Trade 2.0 has already begun, and it is a transformation driven by entrepreneurs around the world who have both the vision and technical skills to build a future where the oceans continue to thrive as arteries of global trade.


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