Plug and Play Maritime Celebrates its First EXPO Day in Antwerp
ANTWERP, Belgium, June 2, 2022 - After a year of hard work, Plug and Play Maritime showcased the first results of the innovation projects during their inaugural EXPO Day in the Botanic Sanctuary in Antwerp. Plug and Play Maritime is an Antwerp-based accelerator aimed at stimulating innovation for a greener, smarter, and safer maritime industry.
Since March 2021, partners Compagnie Maritime Belge, DXC Technology, Euronav, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, and The City of Antwerp have collaborated with Plug and Play Tech Center, the Silicon Valley-based innovation platform. Aiming to strengthen an innovative startup ecosystem centered around the seafaring sector, Plug and Play Maritime brings new technologies and entrepreneurs to the region and accelerates technological and business development. To reach this goal, the innovation hub connects and matches its partners with the world’s most innovative startups.
“EXPO Day can be seen as a graduation ceremony where we celebrate the collaboration between the Founding Partners and startups. Moreover, it is all about bringing the whole ecosystem together and sharing the latest trends, insights, and ideas with each other.” says Marijn Woudberg, Program Manager for Plug and Play Maritime.
On June 2, attendees were presented with several pilot presentations conducted by the partners and the startups Autonomous Knight (BE), Zetako (LU), Closelink (DE), Cyberowl (UK), xyzt.ai (BE), Awake.ai (FI), Notilo Plus (FR), Bleenco (DE) and Fuelsave (DE). The startups were selected from a shortlist of about 100. From this list, the partners chose nine of the most promising startups to collaborate on a new innovation project that addressed the technological challenges critical for their operations and the global maritime industry.
"The unified port is the economic engine of Flanders. Thanks to smart innovations it can continue to operate at full speed. This very first Expo Day of Plug and Play Maritime gives us a great insight into the intriguing world of maritime innovative applications that are being developed here in Antwerp," says Annick De Ridder, Vice Mayor of The City of Antwerp and President of the Board of Directors of Antwerp-Bruges.
The projects focused on connectivity, lowering the fuel consumption of vessels, smart shipping, and the decarbonization of the industry. As an example, one of the Plug and Play partners, Euronav, cooperated with the startup Notilo Plus to use underwater drones and AI to scan the hull of ships to know when they needed cleaning to save fuel.
Alexander Saverys, CEO of Compagnie Maritime Belge, discovered a few things needed to decarbonize shipping in the maritime industry. CMB has recently released a hydrogen engine that can be used for clean ships and because of this, it was ideal for the CMB CEO to relay his vision for the future of clean shipping.
“With Plug and Play Maritime we want to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the maritime industry. Thanks to Plug and Play Maritime, The City of Antwerp can strengthen its position as an innovation leader in the international maritime space and as an innovative business city,” said Erica Caluwaerts, Vice Mayor of The City of Antwerp, Innovation and Economy.
During Spring 2022, two new strong members joined the platform as ecosystem partners: DEME Group and the Japanese shipping company, IINO Lines.
“We are delighted to welcome both partners on board at our Plug and Play Maritime program. DEME Group and IINO Lines bring in a lot of expertise and know-how within the industry. The new partnership offers them the opportunity to create collaborations with a wide network of global technology companies. At the same time, it also emphasizes our ambitions to build a truly global platform with international reach,” David Neef, Co-Director of Plug and Play Maritime.
Both DEME Group and IINO Lines join forces with Plug and Play Maritime and the founding partners, with the ambition to jointly pursue the common goal of accelerating technological advancement in the industry as well as their respective corporations.
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About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we're present in 35+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we've invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/
Press Contact: Marijn Woudberg
Phone: +32 475 04 79 35
About The City of Antwerp
The City of Antwerp is home to a world-class port and international trade opportunities. It’s also the cultural capital of Flanders and a strong creative sector with a long tradition in design. Antwerp is firmly committed to stimulating ecosystems by bringing together capital, companies, and knowledge institutions in the fields of digital innovation, sustainable chemistry, and creative industries. These powerful ecosystems develop innovations for traditional business clusters such as the port and the chemical industry, and by helping to achieve success in fields such as mobility, health, and safety. This solid foundation together with strong ambitions and open innovation culture make Antwerp the ideal starting point for innovative companies. For more information, visit www.businessinantwerp.eu.
Press Contact: Magalie Verstraelen
Phone: +32 487 67 87 03
About CMB and CMB.TECH
Compagnie Maritime Belge, or CMB, is a diversified shipping and logistics group based in Antwerp, Belgium. CMB owns and operates 147 seagoing vessels in dry bulk (Bocimar), container transport (Delphis), chemical tankers (Bochem), and crew transfer vessels (Windcat). CMB is also active in cleantech (CMB.TECH) and real estate (MCA Facilities, Maritime Campus Antwerp). CMB holds offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany (Hamburg), the UK (Lowestoft and Brentwood), and the Netherlands (Amsterdam). For more information, visit www.cmb.be
CMB.TECH is a cleantech company that builds, owns, operates, and designs large marine and industrial applications that run on hydrogen and ammonia. CMB.TECH also offers hydrogen and ammonia fuel to its customers, either through its own production or by sourcing from third-party producers. For more information, visit www.cmb.tech
Press Contact: Katrien Hennin
Phone: +32 499 39 34 70
About DXC Technology
DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) helps global companies run their mission-critical systems and operations while modernizing IT, optimizing data architectures, and ensuring security and scalability across public, private, and hybrid clouds. With decades of driving innovation, some of the world’s largest companies trust DXC to deploy an enterprise technology stack to deliver new levels of performance, competitiveness, and customer experiences. To learn more about the DXC story and its focus on people, customers, and operational execution visit www.dxc.com/us/en
Press Contact: Antonio Carril
Phone: +32 476 22 85 87
Euronav is an independent tanker company engaged in the ocean transportation and storage of crude oil. The company is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, and has offices throughout Europe and Asia. Euronav is listed on Euronext Brussels and on the NYSE under the symbol EURN. Euronav employs its fleet both on the spot and periodical market. VLCCs on the spot market are traded in the Tankers International pool of which Euronav is one of the major partners. Euronav’s owned and operated fleet consists of two V-Plus vessels, 38 VLCCs (three to be delivered), 26 Suezmaxes (two vessels are time chartered in and three vessels to be delivered), and two FSO vessels (both owned in a 50/50 joint venture).
Press Contact: Ilse Derijck
Phone: +32 472 73 04 84
MCA links business, technology, and knowledge to strengthen and develop the maritime sector. Both MCA Community and MCA LABS contribute to this. MCA as a community is broad and focuses on joining forces between the various actors in the broad maritime sector at the European level. MCA LABS provides a physical meeting place where companies ranging from large corporations to the smallest start-ups, and educational and research institutions can cooperate and innovate. To learn more, visit www.mca.be
Press Contact: Katrien Hennin
Phone: +32 499 39 34 70
About Port of Antwerp-Bruges
With an overall throughput of 289m tons per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk, and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of €21bn. For more information, visit https://www.portofantwerpbruges.com/en.
Press Contact: Lennart Verstappen
Phone: +32 473 920 414