Sails, Satellites, Drones, and Data
Nor-Shipping has revealed the shortlist for its Young Entrepreneur Award 2017, with the final four nominees championing innovations with the potential to transform key areas within the global maritime industry.
The award, a joint initiative with YoungShip, was conceived to help promote the next generation of shipping innovators, with a focus on those working to address critical issues.
This year’s contenders, all of whom had to be under 40, are Joel Spark, co-founder of Spire, Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund, and Christine Spiten, co-founder of Blueye Robotics. The winner will be announced later this month.
“This award works as a bellwether for our industry,” said Nor-Shipping Director Birgit Liodden. “The issues that the best young minds in maritime are keen to address are those that will define the make-up, and success, of our industry tomorrow. This year’s shortlisted nominees, who were carefully selected from a very strong competing pack, are no exception. Their businesses are focused on tackling matters as pressing as cost, energy and business efficiency, alongside access to information and the democratization of the ocean space.”
The four shortlisted names may be united by youth and vision, but their innovations address very different areas. Spark’s US-based Spire Global Inc. is working on a nano satellite constellation service to provide cost effective AIS tracking, weather data and awareness solutions, while Spiten’s Blueye is developing underwater drones that can be controlled via smart phone and tablet apps.
Riski, meanwhile, leads Norsepower, whose trailblazing Rotor Sail Solution allows ships to harness wind power to reduce fuel consumption. Berglund’s Xeneta is already well known in the container shipping and logistics market for its revolutionary price comparison software platform.
“All of these entrepreneurs have identified key challenges and opportunities within maritime, before addressing them with potentially game-changing innovations,” Liodden noted. “They are combining simple ideas with often complex technologies to deliver products and services that deliver real value to their respective markets.
“This is want we want to see and what Nor-Shipping is proud to champion,” Liodden added, “talented young people who are prepared to reject conventional thinking and plot new paths to success and sustainability for our industry.”
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