Yara Marine and Ashdod Port begin accelerators for maritime start-ups

Yara Marine Technologies has opened the second edition of its start-up accelerator to new applications, inviting selected companies to develop and pilot their systems with the firm as part of a three-month Yara Marine X programme, while Ashdod Port in Israel is to launch an accelerator of its own in partnership with VC firm 500 Global.

Yara Marine’s accelerator will look to support early phase start-ups with relevant clean technologies, or those doing work that addresses sustainability, in accessing the resources they need to make their technologies more widely available across the maritime industry.

“At Yara Marine, we are committed to enabling a clean transition to a decarbonised future. We are innovators at heart and always pursuing the improvements we need to make real sustainable change. I believe that to achieve this, we must encourage fresh approaches to longstanding problems and welcome new voices within our industry,” said Thomas Koniordos, CEO of Yara Marine Technologies.

A Yara Marine X screening team will select 10 applicants from the start-ups that complete the application process, each of which will be invited to an event to present their business model, currently scheduled for mid-March 2022.

The winners will receive the opportunity to participate in a two-week on-site bootcamp in Oslo or Gothenburg and a three-month accelerator programme.

“Even with the proliferation of cutting-edge clean technologies being proposed and tested, the needs of the industry are likely to outweigh the timeline, financial capital, production capacity and/ or market availability for recent technology start-ups. It is therefore crucial that those of us with experience in this process act as hubs to facilitate rapid development and entry to market,” said Per Bjärkby, Chief Technology Officer of Yara Marine Technologies.

In Israel meanwhile, venture capital firm 500 Global and Ashdod Port Company have joined forces to launch the inaugural cohort of the Ashdod Port Accelerator by 500 Global. The partners will select up to 14 Israeli start-ups for the accelerator programme to test and validate partnership opportunities with Ashdod Port through an accelerated proof of concept over the course of five to six months.

For this first cohort, Ashdod Port is selecting start-ups with systems focused on energy, seaport operations, logistics, and shipping to receive 12 weeks of coaching from 500 Global’s international network of mentors as well as support and resources from the Port, including testing space for their products.

“This past year demonstrated that the world of shipping and marine routes are important to the proper function of the global economy, when an estimated 90% of goods are transported by sea. We are breaking into a ‘blue ocean’ that appears eager to absorb technology, and hope that we can bring the good news to other ports in the world,” said Shiko Zana, CEO​ of the Ashdod Port Board of Directors.

Applications for the Ashdod Port Accelerator by 500 Global are open from January 10 to February 3, 2022, with the programme and proof of concept expected to take place from March to September of this year.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob 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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