Microsoft joins maritime stakeholders to launch Studio 30 50 programme

Microsoft has joined maritime industry stakeholders Hafnia, Wilhelmsen, IMC Ventures and DNV in launching a new digital venture studio called ‘Studio 30 50’, which aims to identify new technologies that can meet ESG challenges while also funding selected start-up proposals to improve efficiencies across the maritime supply chain.

Shanker Pillai, Head of Innovation and Change at Hafnia, will lead the Studio 30 50 programme, named to reflect the maritime industry’s ambition to significantly reduce emissions by 2030 while aspiring to be Net Zero by 2050.

The venture partners aim to help new business founders in raising sufficient capital, bridging the product-market fit, providing a successful point of entry and in building scalable, sustainable business models.

Applications to the Singapore-based programme are set to open in April 2023. Shortlisted founders and start-ups will receive an invitation to join the first cohort in June where they will be presented with examples of the issues facing the industry and prompted to create disruptive solutions.

“A consortium-based venture studio to enhance corporate backed venture building for the maritime industry is something that aligns seamlessly with our in-built philosophy of collaboration,” said Nakul Malhotra, Vice President, Emerging Opportunities Portfolio, Wilhelmsen.

“We are looking forward to being an integral part of this new ecosystem, combining talent with deep domain expertise to uncover novel approaches that help drive our industry forward.”

Microsoft will act as an ‘innovation partner’ within the group, with all funded startups to be incubated via its Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub programme, which includes access to technology across the Microsoft Cloud, as well as developer and productivity tools including GitHub Enterprise, Visual Studio Enterprise, and Microsoft 365.

“Our first-in-Singapore collaboration with leaders in the global maritime space will infuse innovation in data and AI, sustainability and security into all parts of their industry,” said Richard Koh, Singapore Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft.

“We are confident that this ecosystem collaboration will empower Singapore to transform the global maritime industry at scale with homegrown innovation on the Microsoft Cloud, while addressing challenges in sustainable energy use, resourcing and process optimisation.”

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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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