During the digital Shakeup on 25 June, 10 maritime start-ups and 12 scale-ups presented the results of their participation in the 100-day innovation accelerator PortXL. This year marked the fifth edition of this worldwide accelerator programme for the port & maritime sector. The PortXL team also presented the Start-Up Recovery Plan, a one-year open programme that is offered free of charge to each and every company in the port area. PortXL brings programme participants in touch with relevant start-ups. In addition, the parties can seek co-funding for new pilot projects – further stimulating innovation in the port of Rotterdam.
Start-Up Recovery Plan
These are tough times for start-ups and scale-ups. The Covid crisis has put new pressure on innovation budgets in the maritime and logistics sectors, leading many of the innovation projects involving start-ups and scale-ups to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely. This is detrimental to innovation, even though new ideas and solutions are indispensable to the success of the port’s digital and energy transition. That is why during the recent Shakeup, the PortXL team presented the Start-Up Recovery Plan.
In this new programme, which starts in September, companies throughout Rotterdam’s port area are invited to submit their innovation challenges. PortXL will subsequently look around the world for relevant solutions and present them to the participants. Innovative pilot projects can even apply for financial support from an ‘innovation incentive budget’. This swift and simple solution for bringing private sector players and start-ups in touch with each other is intended to facilitate and accelerate innovation projects in the port.
The digital event was concluded with an optimistic look at what may lie in the year ahead. Rotterdam Vice Mayor Barbara Kathmann and Port Authority CFO Vivienne de Leeuw offered words of encouragement to the participating companies.
Barbara Kathmann, Vice Mayor of Rotterdam: ‘PortXL’s Start-Up Recovery Plan once again highlights Rotterdam’s role as the cradle of maritime innovation. And Rotterdam continues to be so – despite the Covid outbreak. By bringing international innovations to Rotterdam and working together with entrepreneurs in the local maritime cluster, we are able to stimulate those innovations that are so dearly needed by the city and the port. I therefore call on all companies in the region to submit any innovation challenges they are facing to
PortXL. And if the team succeed in resolving the 100 challenges included in their recovery plan, this will simultaneously strengthen our position as Maritime Capital of Europe.’
Vivienne de Leeuw, CFO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: ‘It’s impressive to see how we’ve managed, in these tremendously uncertain times, to join strengths and continue to offer scope for much-needed innovation. I am very interested in finding out which innovative solutions we will be bringing to Rotterdam over the next few months and how they will be supporting the port in its transition.’
Participants in the 2020 PortXL programme
PortXL is the world’s first accelerator programme that focuses on ports and the maritime sector. It is unique in its class, and was set up to accelerate the development of start-ups and scale-ups in ports across the planet. PortXL seeks to build up an ecosystem that creates added value for all parties involved. PortXL’s mission is ‘to support ports in pursuing sustainable growth’.
This is achieved by organising an intensive, three-month programme that is firmly focussed on port-related industry. The PortXL network is made up of knowledge institutes, investors and partners from the private sector. Lead partners: the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Van Oord; Partners: EY, Royal IHC, Mammoet, Vopak, Boskalis, Shell, the City of Rotterdam, Oceanco, North Sea Port, Ampelmann, Deltares, Innovation Quarter, Rabobank and ECE.
Would you like to know more about innovation in the port of Rotterdam – exciting new developments like blockchain, autonomous shipping and IoT applications? Or are you looking for room to innovate in Rotterdam, or partners to team up with? Keep an eye on this site for updates.
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