Bluetech Accelerator – Ports and Shipping 4.0 will have its Bootcamp phase between 24th-28th June. Bluetech is an ambitious and innovative program looking to create a new batch of ocean startups and attracted startups from all over the world.
The top startups were invited to join the one-week Bootcamp. In this week, they will beneﬁt from learning about business model innovation, startup methodologies and tools, get additional product validation, deﬁne the value proposition and a business case to present to the Partners. The best startups will have the opportunity to work together with one or more Partners in developing a pilot.
The New Wave of Ocean Startups
The program received a total of 87 applications, from 29 different countries. Here are the startups joining the Bootcamp (click on the buttons to know more about them):
ECO WAVE POWER
Country: Israel Areas of Interest: Energy & Cleantech, Renewable Energy, Green Technology, Green Energy.
Eco Wave Power is an advanced and innovative international wave power developer headquartered in Israel.
Country: United Kingdom Areas of Interest: Logistics/Supply Chain, Shipping
ARX Maritime mission is to bring cutting-edge solutions and hardware to the forefront of your maritime operations. Our goal is to equip you with cost-effective solutions that give you more efficient operations and a safer and more secure environment to work in.
Country: Estonia Areas of Interest: SaaS, API, Logistics
Shipitwise created a tool which is not only able to digitize any offline, analog world transportation company, but also provide a professional system for logistics firms to share with their business customers.
The European Maritime Day (EMD) is the annual two-day event during which Europe’s maritime community meet to network, discuss and forge joint action. It targets maritime professionals, entrepreneurs and ocean leaders.
This year the event will take place on 16-17 May 2019, and it will have a special feature: Pitch Day for Bluetech Accelerator applicants.
European Maritime Day gathers all the stakeholders of the maritime economy in one place, to join together in discussing the future and finding plans of action to ensure healthy, fruitful and sustainable use of ocean resources.
The events’ themes range from sustainability (with talks on climate action, bioeconomy, and sustainable tourism in coastal areas), to innovation in maritime activities, like shipping and energy production (with panels on different techs – AI, Big Data, etc – and how they can bring new advantages and resources in these activities).
The event will include a workshop on Port Tech Clusters, powered by Bluetech Accelerator, that will explore the role of ports as hubs connecting sea and land and striving to maximize efficiency and support international supply chains. The panel will include Guilhermina Rego (President of Port of Leixões, Portugal), Christine Cabau (CEO / Présidente du Directoire Port of Marseille Fos, France), Carolien Vat-Sandee (Director/ Co-founder at PortXL – World Port Accelerator) and Xoan Martinez (CEO of Fishing Accelerator), and will be moderated by Ruben Eiras, Director General of Directorate General of Maritime Policy of the Ministry of the Sea (Portugal)..
Bluetech Accelerator is in its selection phase and one integral part of it will happen at EMD. In Pitch Day, Bluetech Accelerator applicants will pitch for the program partners, who are selecting the startups that will join the program. This pitching session is open to all attendees of EMD, which gives these startups the opportunity to be known by some of the biggest players in the maritime industry in Europe.
With startups pitching both online and some opting to join the event for a live pitch, it’s set to be an inspiring event for the development of the blue economy.
António Carvalho started his work in innovation when he joined Portugal Ventures – he is now leading Bluetech, the first Blue Economy accelerator backed by the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea.
With a background on Corporate Finance & Management, António first came in contact with innovation projects when he joined Portugal Ventures in 2012. Joining this ambitious project that aimed to launch a Startups ecosystem in Portugal that barely existed at that time, is still something he is proud of.
When he joined Beta-i, back in 2017, he took on the challenge of launching The Journey, an open-innovation program tackling the challenges of tourism, as he believed that innovating is the only way the main Tourism and Travel players can be consistently on the lead of the industry.
I’m one of those who believes Portugal can do way more to take advantage of its vast maritime border, so when the opportunity to launch a program in this field arrived, I just couldn’t say no.
When he was challenged to direct Bluetech program, he took the challenge head-on, as he believes there’s so much Portugal can do with its coast. Bluetech accelerator is an initiative of the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea and Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento (FLAD). They aligned the Portuguese Ocean Industry strategy with the interests of the six corporate partners. Which resulted in the definition of the challenges affecting Ports & Shipping 4.0 – which is the program’s first vertical. These challenges go from for Ports activity, Shipping operations and the Digital areas that connect both.
“After the needs assessment meetings with the corporate partners, four main challenges were defined: Process Optimization in Port Hinterland, which includes the concept of extended gateways, data analytics for complete vessel situational awareness and security profiling illicit activity at sea, etc; Cargo and Fleet Performance Management, which includes use of data to upgrade efficiency, use of digital twins, and product innovation; Future Shipping connectivity, which includes enabling ports to be connected and linked and creating new marketplaces; and Environmental Sustainability, challenging to reduce the environmental footprint of ports and vessels.”
Keeping these challenges in mind, the maritime industry is poised for change, and “Bluetech Accelerator can really change the industry by leveraging ocean science and R&D services for generating innovation and entrepreneurship. We can use ports as acceleration platforms for developing ocean advanced industries, integrated into global value chains, thus transforming the value matrix of Portugal’s ocean economy – and ultimately have an impact on the Portuguese economy.”
António believes that an open innovation program like this it the right way to kickstart this change, as it brings added value to all the intervenients: “The corporate partners are able to tap into the global source of innovation in their specific sector and test new disruptive solutions in collaboration with startups and other program partners. We’re actually seeing a budding capacity between the corporate partners themselves, using the program’s key moments to discuss the major innovation trends of the industry. As for startups, they get access to a group of experienced industry players, typically hard to reach, and the potential to test a solution with them and eventually get a partner that can give them easy access to the market and jumpstart their growth.”
It’s a huge opportunity for business – Ocean amounts for 97% of Portugal’s territory but only 3,1% of the gross value added
Startups, “who are looking forward to validating their product, experiment their product or solution with a big player of the industry and make it resonate with clients, it’s a huge opportunity – not only the program that allows them to strike a deal with a big client, that may get them access to a larger market, but the industry itself, as Venture Capital funds are investing heavily in Ports, Shipping and Logistics Digital startups – shipping and logistics startups focused on digital technology have risen $3.3 billion from January 2012 to September 2017.”
Portugal’s strategic guidelines will play into this investment boom, with a focus on strengthening traditional ocean economic activities (fishing, aquaculture and maritime transport), empowering emerging economic activities (like deep sea mining, biotechnology and ocean energy) and maximising Atlantic geostrategic centrality of the Portuguese Maritime space, in particular its deep and ultra-deep environments.
“It’s a huge opportunity for business – Ocean amounts for 97% of Portugal’s territory but only 3,1% of the gross value added”, concludes António.
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