Inmarsat challenge offers £10k for ferry crew innovation

The winning technology will complete a proof of concept on an Attica Group ferry

Inmarsat has announced the launch its new ‘Inmarsat Ferry Open Innovation Challenge: crew training and entertainment’, a £10,000 competition for maritime start-ups and SMEs to pitch their digital systems for seafarer training and leisure.

Inmarsat will work with Attica Group, the largest passenger shipping group in Greece, and digital consultancy Thetius in running the challenge.

Applications are open until February 28th for technologies in four work-related areas – ship familiarisation, regulatory training, emergency response and customer services – all of which must support content delivered in Greek. A fifth category seeks offerings to help crews make better use of their own devices to stay in touch and access online media.

The prize money will be backed by further support to implement proof of concept trials on board a working ferry. Initial proposals must include proof of concept planning and demonstrate that the technologies submitted can be scalable by an owner fleet-wide, the organisers said.

In mid-March, a shortlist of entrants will be invited to pitch their ideas to a jury comprised of serving seafarers and crew training specialists, as well as representatives from Inmarsat, Attica Group and Thetius. In May, trials are scheduled on board one of Attica Group’s vessels.

“The Inmarsat Ferry Open Innovation Challenge provides further encouragement from Inmarsat for the disruptors driving maritime digitalisation,” said Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Maritime.

“Working with Shell Shipping & Maritime, the 2020 Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge showed the extraordinary array of digital options owners have to enhance conditions for seafarers. It also brought an original fatigue management and rest coaching platform closer to market.”

“We are delighted to work with Attica Group and with Thetius once more on what promises to be a ground-breaking exploration of the innovations available for crew training and entertainment in the ferry market.”

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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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