Canary Sentinel and Workrest win Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge

The winner was announced live online at the Smart Maritime Network Copenhagen conference

A joint entry from Canary Sentinel and Workrest has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge, a competition organised by Inmarsat, Shell Shipping & Maritime and Thetius to support the development of technologies to benefit crew safety, health and wellbeing.

Canary Sentinel and Workrest were announced as the winners during an online session at the Smart Maritime Network Copenhagen ‘Live & Digital’ conference on November 12. The Challenge attracted 49 entries from start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises, with proposals spanning deck safety, fatigue, administrative burden and wellbeing.

The winning entry – an intelligent fatigue management and rest coaching platform – secured £10,000 to run a proof of concept project on a Shell Shipping & Maritime tanker. Designed to support the management of shift work using real time health tracking and personalised rest management, the Canary Sentinel-Workrest platform makes recommendations that take account of individual profiles that are adapted over a 24-hour cycle.

Biomarkers including heart rate variability, sleep quality and stress levels are used to identify fatigue impairment, while individuals receive self-health management and rest coaching to improve overall wellbeing.

“This win sends out a fantastic message to all of us in this industry, including start-ups, that there are forward thinking organisations that are willing to disrupt an incredibly traditional industry because they value their biggest asset – their people,” said Arshia Gratiot, CEO and Founder of Canary Sentinel.

“We are thrilled to be part of this journey with Inmarsat and Shell in this first step, in what we are confident will set the trend for things to come.”

A judging panel including five seafarers, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), Inmarsat and Shell Shipping & Maritime concluded that, out of all of the entries, this proposal would have the most direct impact on crew welfare, while judges also took into account the contribution the proof of concept would make to further development.

“The link between welfare, fatigue and maritime safety is proven. COVID-19 has highlighted one area for concern on crew welfare, but it’s also fair to say in 2020 that age-old shift patterns do not reflect the stresses of seafaring today,” said Richard Holdsworth, Maritime Ventures Lead, Shell Shipping & Maritime.

“Judges felt that intelligent fatigue management was the most ‘seafarer-centric’ proposal entered, and that it offers immense potential to change lives, boost morale, provide insights into the way ships are operated and enhance productivity.”

The Canary Sentinel-Workrest system was selected from a shortlist of three companies that made it to the final pitching session, which also included a guided survey tool from Kaiko Systems and the MedAssist augmented reality-assisted help and training package for seafarers.

“The Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge demonstrated the sheer variety of ways in which digital technology can enhance seafarer welfare,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime.

“It redoubles our enthusiasm for seeking out the disruptors driving maritime digitalisation. The Canary Sentinel and Workrest Platform is truly a worthy winner and we are delighted to have given backing to this competition as part of our Welfare 2.0 initiative.”  

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About the Author

Rob O'Dwyer
Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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