Innovation Breakfast proves popular concept

Jean Paul Getty already offered this tip when asked how to get rich: “Get up early”. His other piece of advice? “Strike oil.” Still, the participants in the first edition of ‘Appetite for Innovation’ aren’t particularly interested in something as ‘old-school’ as oil. They want to forge new paths for the future. “The logistics sector has a strong interest in innovation.”

And that’s why on 8 November, at 7:30 a.m., 65 representatives from the port, marine and logistics sectors can be found in RDM Rotterdam’s Kantine. They have come together to share breakfast, but also to listen to three brief pitches (by Ron Vaz Dias of iTanks, Ortec’s Tim van Luxemburg – about Big Data – and Mark Remie of Railbrokerz – about the Internet of Things). And network – with a focus on innovation. “Of course, you can already find a lot going on in this field, but most of this takes place within companies’ own ‘furrows’,” says Peter ten Broek, one of the initiators of the event on behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “Our aim with this session was to actually bring together parties with a variety of perspectives – from rail operators to industrial firms, and from start-ups to universities of applied sciences. Because that kind of interaction often yields the best ideas.”

Photo: HbR

Eduard Backer, Managing Director CMA at CGM Holland, agrees. “It’s a nice initiative! Of course, innovation is a major focus area within our company too. We’re interested in improving the quality of our processes, for example, or connecting terminals to modes of transport in the hinterland. Or how digitisation can be used to simplify customs processes. Another subject that we are working on is the optimisation of digital communications with our clients – when they book a container, for example. So I was interested in what the event had to offer. I actually scheduled an appointment with one of the speakers immediately afterwards, so it was definitely a productive session.”

“Today’s large turnout is further evidence of the logistics sector’s strong interest in innovation,” says Sijbrand Pot, responsible for business innovation at Contargo. “It’s a hot topic! At Contargo, we are also working to further improve transparency in the supply chain with the aid of IoT. Users can already gain full insight into our rates online. And soon, you’ll be able to track your shipment from door to door – in real time. Meetings like this always manage to be a source of new inspiration.” This is also what motivated Hupac’s Director of Operations Mark Jansen to attend: “We’re currently interested in Big Data, and the information that you can extract from it with the aid of algorithms. One thing that I found particularly appealing about ‘Appetite for Innovation’ is the cross-pollination between the different networks. And it’s nice to see so many younger people attending. It’s a fine concept in this set-up. And you still have the rest of your day left.”

Source: HbR


Rotterdam aims to be the world's smartest port. To maintain our leading position, we need to keep on innovating. Innovation is a crucial means of realising the envisaged changes in energy transition and digitisation in the port of Rotterdam.

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