“It may sound like a strange thing to say for an entrepreneur, but my mission will only truly be accomplished when I’m ‘out of business’,” says Richard Hardiman, CEO of RanMarine. With his ‘Waste Sharks’, Hardiman hopes to help clean up the mass of ‘plastic soup’ suspended in the world’s oceans.
During Shakedown, PortXL’s grand finale, Hardiman signed a pilot contract with the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Over the next six months, four Waste Sharks will be ‘gobbling up’ the litter floating around in Rotterdam’s port basins. This system has been included in the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Port Waste Catch project. The Port Authority will handle the further support of the pilot project.
PortXL is the start-up accelerator programme for port innovators in Rotterdam. During the Shakedown event on 30 June, twelve selected start-ups presented the fruits of 100 days of ‘business building’ together with a team of mentors, partners and experts. RanMarine was one of the participating firms.
What makes Hardiman’s invention particularly ingenious is that his ‘shark’ can be deployed 24/7. The device – which is the size of a regular passenger’s car – has an ‘open mouth’ located 35 cm below the water surface, which can collect some 500 kg of the waste in the water.