Namely, Cargotec, HHLA, Inmarsat, Shell, and Wärtsilä will all work together with startup teams from eight different countries, on 13 separate projects with the aim of “accelerating innovation that delivers genuine business results.” Nicklas Viby Fursund, Partner, Rainmaking commented that “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.”

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What it is more, it isn't long since Inmarsat launched the 'Trade 2.0: How Startups are driving the next generation of maritime trade' report examining how startups in line with the technological development such as big data, AI and blockchain in the maritime industry, are bringing a new era and create a ShipTech market.

The ShipTech market is estimated to worth US$106bn as a whole; 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%.

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.

More specifically, the Trade & Transport Impact Program aims to disrupt the industry through its collaborative, outcome-oriented approach, designed to big challenges in maritime trade and transport.

The project encourages both partners to work towards delivering tangible results which provide solutions to particular challenges, by setting clear deadlines and facilitating positive partnerships between corporates and startups, supporting both sides in achieving progress far more quickly.

Tero Hottinen, Director for Emerging Digital Business at Cargotec said that "The Trade and Transport Impact Programme provides an excellent framework to explore collaborations with startups – not only for scouting and finding the good ones, but also to encourage impetus and progress within a certain timeframe. We are working with two different companies that have truly complementary offerings to ours. We probably wouldn’t have trialled both at the same time in a synergetic manner without Rainmaking, so it really has been beneficial from that perspective."

Namely, current projects relate to safety; security and crew welfare; optimization of port and vessel operations, and autonomous operations and equipment.

The specialisms of the startups in the current round of the program range from port- and cyber security to energy-optimization and crew welfare.

Steffen Knodt, Director New Ventures, Wärtsilä stated that

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. And Rainmaking is helping us to do just that.

The third cycle of the program begins in Q1 2020, at which point more organizations will be able to join. Rainmaking will also launching a decarbonization program in Singapore at that time, which specifically focuses on startups with solutions that support the transition to a zero carbon future for shipping.