This year brought the fifth edition of the world’s first maritime accelerator programme, PortXL. A range of innovative start-ups and scale-ups from all over the world took part in this 100-day programme, which this year was held online in connection with the Covid pandemic. PortXL’s intensive programme helps young enterprises to hit the ground running when they enter the market.
On 25 June 2020, 22 start-ups and scale-ups presented their final results during the digital ‘Shakedown’ event. The Port of Rotterdam Authority signed a partnership agreement with two promising initiatives and expressed an interest in exploring concrete partnership options with three other participants. “The port of Rotterdam is a breeding ground for innovation. The PortXL innovation programme was set up to stimulate innovators across the planet to help build the port of the future. We are proud of the results achieved so far and look forward to teaming up with these new enterprises. We expect their spirit of initiative can help us make our port safer, more efficient, smarter and more sustainable,” says Vivienne de Leeuw, CFO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
One of the initiatives that the Port of Rotterdam Authority will be taking part in is a pilot project set up by T-Mining. This firm will be launching a project in the port of Rotterdam that is focussed on using blockchain technology to further improve the security of local container transport.
Working in partnership with Portbase, the Port Authority will also be embarking on a pilot project with InnoTractor. This project is intended to establish whether InnoTractor’s solution contributes to a reliable and manageable form of data exchange between parties in the chain. A clearer overview of freight flows via the port of Rotterdam will allow users to make targeted decisions – based on trend information and coordinated plannings – that can further improve cargo handling in the port.
Apart from these two partnership agreements, the Port Authority will also be working together with various other promising PortXL participants:
Evertracker offers an online platform that allows users to connect logistics links within their worldwide production chain, as well as enabling the cargo owner to direct operations – all from a single location. Together with the Port Authority and Portbase, the Evertracker team will be exploring which value may be added by sharing data between the parties involved.
Macomi supplies advanced analytics software. Through its platform, the firm specialises in using artificial intelligence, simulations and algorithms to optimise processes. Through their products, the Macomi team can help the Port Authority to understand and analyse the complex rail network connecting the port and its hinterland, in support of its ambition to achieve a more efficient distribution of cargo flows across the various modes of transport.
BioRaiser’s OilSorbio product was developed to help clean up oil leakages and spillages. What sets this specific product apart is its biodegradability. In the near future, the Port Authority will be participating together with HEBO in a demonstration trial.
PortXL was established in 2015 by the Port of Rotterdam Authority together with its partners Van Oord, Vopak, Boskalis EY, Uniper, Rabobank, Rotterdam Port Fund, InnovationQuarter and the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. As the world’s only port-related start-up accelerator programme, PortXL has since expanded from its initial base in Rotterdam to new programmes in Singapore, Antwerp and Italy.
The PortXL team scout all over the world for start-ups and scale-ups in the sectors Transport & Logistics, Energy, Chemical & Refining and Maritime. After an initial selection period, over the past three months 22 selected start-ups and scale-ups have worked hard to raise their innovations to the next level. In this process, they received intensive coaching support from various mentors, partners and experts within the PortXL network.
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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