Norsepower's CEO Tuomas Riski is this year’s recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award. The accolade was presented to Tuomas, by His Royal Highness Prince Haakon of Norway, during the opening ceremony of Nor-Shipping 2017.
Launched in 2013 in collaboration with Nor-Shipping and YoungShip International, the Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award honors innovators aged under 40 that are working to address critical shipping industry issues in a new way.
Since Norsepower was founded in 2012, Riski has successfully led the eight-strong team responsible for making wind-assisted propulsion a commercial reality. The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind energy and propel ships.
The sail, which is suitable for both newbuilds and retrofitting, has the ability to deliver fuel and emissions savings of up to 20 percent when wind conditions are favorable. The company recently announced that it will install the technology on a 109,647dwt tanker owned by Maersk and in collaboration with Shell.
Nor-Shipping Director, Birgit Liodden, commented: “Tuomas and Norsepower encapsulate the very essence of this award. Tuomas is, without doubt, a very worthy winner. We expect to hear a lot more about Norsepower in the years to come.”
The 38-year-old Finn won despite stiff competition from Joel Spark, Co-Founder of Spire, Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund and Christine Spiten, Co-Founder of Blueye Robotics.
Accepting the award, Riski, said: “I am proud to have been chosen as the winner of this prestigious award. It is truly humbling to be recognized for doing something you are passionate about. This award doesn’t just recognize my achievements, but the entire Norsepower team that I have been fortunate to work with over the last five years.
“I would like to thank Norsepower’s employees, financers, partners, and our first customers Bore, Viking Line and Maersk, who have been instrumental in helping us to transform our vision of the Rotor Sail Solution into a commercial reality.
“This is just the beginning for what we hope will be the start of a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable shipping industry. Norsepower is proud to be playing its part in contributing to this vision. Lastly, I would like to congratulate my fellow finalists all of whom were worthy opponents. I wish you every success for the future.”
Commenting on this year’s competing nominees, and the eventual winner, Richard Hayfield, Secretary General of YoungShip, added: “After much deliberation, we chose a winner that showed a true entrepreneurial spirit, inventiveness, and drive to succeed. The jury unanimously agreed Tuomas Riski should take this year’s award.
“Tuomas deserves special praise for utilizing the Flettner technology concept, which is not new, but its successful commercialization certainly is. Norsepower has shown both ingenuity and determination to refine the solution, build confidence and understanding of it in the notoriously tough shipping market, and finally combine both public and private finance to realize its potential.
“Their technology is a potential game-changer for an industry facing increasing cost and environmental constraints. It ranks as the first proven commercially available auxiliary propulsion system that can harness natural wind power in this way. As such it has the potential to not only drive forward single vessels, but also our entire industry’s sustainability credentials.”