Inmarsat joinlty with Shell Shipping and Maritime and Thetius announced the launch of a new ‘Open Innovation Challenge’ for start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which aims to identify technology for the benefit of crew safety, health and wellbeing at sea, at a moment when COVID-19 has exposed the welfare of seafarers to global scrutiny.
The six-week Open Innovation Challenge is looking for novel solutions that have the potential to improve crew safety and welfare across four innovation challenge areas spanning deck safety, fatigue, administration reduction and overall wellbeing.
“Start-ups and solution providers who apply to the Open Innovation Challenge will be required to submit a pitch that details their proposed solution and a proof of concept onboard a Shell vessel.” explained Nick Chubb, Managing Director of Thetius, who will run the Challenge.
The team behind the chosen idea will be awarded a £10,000 GBP cash grant to test their idea by implementing a proof of concept onboard a vessel and the winning start-up will also receive support from Shell Shipping and Maritime, Thetius and Inmarsat.
‘Shell is committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of seafarers,” said Richard Holdsworth, Shell’s Maritime Ventures Lead.
Last month Inmarsat and Thetius launched a new report which highlighted the current lack of funding for crew welfare technology that has hindered its development so far.
“Our report last month shone a light on the need for far greater support and investment in crew welfare technology,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “This collaboration and challenge are designed to help nurture and develop solutions that can help improve the lives of seafarers.”