Inmarsat in IoT Start-Up Initiative with Rainmaking and Bluetech

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By The Maritime Executive 02-14-2019 03:43:57

Inmarsat has joined forces with two leading start-up programs, Rainmaking’s Trade and Transport Impact (T&TI) and Bluetech Accelerator, to create initiatives that directly support start-ups focused on IoT and big data innovation in the maritime, ports and logistics supply chain.

The programs will fund, support and mentor start-ups developing applications that aim to harness the power of IoT and big data to enhance safety, efficiency and sustainability. Inmarsat will collaborate with those start-ups to find a route to market via its global, high-speed satellite communications infrastructure that connects over 160,000 ships and yachts, as well as ports, road and rail networks across the world.

The Trade & Transport Impact (T&TI) program initiated by Hamburg-based Rainmaking will help connect established leading players, such as Inmarsat, Cargotec and Wärtsilä, with innovative start-ups and work collaboratively to address the biggest commercial and operational challenges facing the global supply chain today.

The Bluetech Accelerator, sponsored by the Portuguese Government and based in Lisbon, was launched at the end of January and will take on six business partners including Inmarsat to help select and finance the first batch of winning start-ups, which will be chosen in the last quarter of 2019. 

The first business partners to join Bluetech Accelerator are two Portuguese shipping groups (Portline Group and ETE Group), the two largest Portuguese ports (Port of Sines, in the south of the country and Port of Leixões, in the North of Portugal) and two digital and robotics companies (Inmarsat and Tekever).

From enhancing safety to improving operational efficiency, emerging digital technologies such as machine-learning and IoT are set to become increasingly important in the day-to-day running of shipping and logistics companies and vital to improving throughput at the world’s largest ports.

Ali Grey, Senior Director of Digital Incubation at Inmarsat said: “Companies operating across the global supply chain clearly acknowledge the potential of digitalization, and recognize that we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Unlocking the full benefits will require fresh perspectives on both long-standing and looming challenges. Start-ups are good at spotting opportunities that more established players miss, so it is important for the industry’s future that we offer a helping hand to nurture innovation.”

Both Rainmaking and Bluetech have extensive experience in identifying promising tech start-ups from around the world, verifying their collaboration potential then mentoring and preparing the way for pilots. 

Inmarsat already has significant experience in developing innovative application-based solutions in both the maritime and logistics industries. Inmarsat’s Fleet Data solution is a bandwidth-inclusive IoT platform that allows ship operators to instantly collect data from onboard sensors, upload the data to a secure cloud-based platform and interface with applications from third-party application developers.