Open Innovation Challenge shortlist announced

22 October 2020: Inmarsat has announced the shortlist of entries to the Open Innovation Challenge, a global competition aimed at identifying new technologies to benefit crew safety, health and wellbeing launched with Shell Shipping & Maritime and digital consultancy Thetius.

The challenge, aimed at startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), invited entries in four areas of innovation spanning deck safety, fatigue, administration reduction and overall wellbeing. Forty nine entries have now been narrowed down to three finalists.

The winner will be selected by a panel including representatives from Inmarsat, Shell Shipping & Maritime, Thetius and seafarer charity ISWAN, plus a chief officer, a first engineer, a second officer and a marine pilot.

Concept trials

The winning entry, to be announced on 12 November, will secure a £10,000 grant to fund proof of concept trials onboard a vessel supported by Shell Shipping & Maritime and Inmarsat.

“The range of entries has been truly inspiring,” said Nick Chubb, Managing Director of Thetius. “We are now looking forward to hearing the detailed pitches provided by our three finalists and, given the quality of their proposals, we expect it to be a close-run thing.”

The shortlisted technologies are:

  • The Canary Sentinel and Workrest intelligent fatigue management and rest coaching platform to manage shift work using real time health tracking, profiling and fatigue prediction based on sleep quality
  • Kaiko Systems’ guided survey tool for reliable and faster data collection to enable standard survey routines including picture-taking
  • The MedAssist online tool to deliver augmented reality-assisted and step-by-step medical help and training to seafarers remotely, and a ‘heart app’ capable of producing hospital-quality ECGs on a tablet.

Fascinating proposals

Of the 49 competition entries, the largest percentage came from innovators seeking to improve crew welfare overall, while one fifth of entrants focused on reducing administration and six per cent tackled the issue of crew fatigue.

“The Open Innovation Challenge has unearthed some fascinating proposals using the power of digital technology to enhance seafarer welfare,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “Its goals reflect Inmarsat’s own strategy to seek out, encourage and work with the disruptors helping to drive maritime digitalisation and aligns with our Welfare 2.0 initiative.”

Inmarsat and Thetius recently published the Welfare 2.0: How can the next generation of technology enable better crew safety, health and wellbeing at sea? report, which can be downloaded here.