Inmarsat, Thetius and Shell Shipping and Maritime launch ‘crew welfare open innovation challenge’

Challenge for start-ups and SMEs will fund and test application that helps improve the safety of deck operations, minimises fatigue on board, reduces administration on board and improves overall crew welfare.

3 August 2020: Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has joined forces with Shell Shipping and Maritime and maritime digital consultancy Thetius to launch a new ‘Open Innovation Challenge’ for start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The Challenge aims to identify technology that can benefit crew safety, health and wellbeing at sea at a moment when COVID-19 has exposed the welfare of seafarers to global scrutiny.

The six-week Open Innovation Challenge is looking for novel solutions that have the potential to improve crew safety and welfare across four innovation challenge areas spanning deck safety, fatigue, administration reduction and overall wellbeing.

“We are seeking applications for solutions from start-ups and SMEs who want to conduct a proof of concept onboard a vessel supported by Shell Shipping and Maritime and Inmarsat,” said Nick Chubb, Managing Director of Thetius, who will run the Challenge. “Start-ups and solution providers who apply to the Open Innovation Challenge will be required to submit a pitch that details their proposed solution and a proof of concept onboard a Shell vessel.”

From the submitted applications a shortlist will be generated. The successful solutions will be invited to pitch their idea to a decision-making jury at the end of September. The majority of the jury will be made up of serving seafarers, with representatives from Inmarsat, Shell Shipping and Maritime and the welfare sector also taking part.

The team behind the chosen idea will be awarded a £10,000 GBP cash grant to test their idea by implementing a proof of concept onboard a vessel and the winning start-up will also receive support from Thetius, Inmarsat and Shell Shipping and Maritime.

‘Shell is committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of seafarers,” said Richard Holdsworth, Shell’s Maritime Ventures Lead. “We are excited to learn more and help support new technologies that could make a difference to the welfare of crews.”

Last month Inmarsat and Thetius launched a new report ‘Welfare 2.0: How can the next generation of technology enable better crew safety, health and wellbeing at sea?”, which highlighted the current lack of funding for crew welfare technology that has hindered its development so far. The Welfare 2.0 report can be downloaded at http://www2.inmarsat.com/welfare2.0.

“Our report last month shone a light on the need for far greater support and investment in crew welfare technology,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “This collaboration and challenge are designed to help nurture and develop solutions that can help improve the lives of seafarers.”

For further details and to submit an entry to the Open Innovation Challenge please visit https://thetius.com/crew-challenge/.

Notes to Editors

In this news release “Shell Shipping and Maritime” is used for convenience where references are made to Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited.

Contacts

Media Enquiries:
Jonathan Sinnatt/Matthew Knowles
Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7728 1518/1355
press@inmarsat.com

Mark Warner
Marketing and PR Director, Inmarsat Maritime
+44 (20) 7728 1654
mark.warner@inmarsat.com

Debbi Bonner
Managing Director, JLA Media Ltd
+31 (0)652 630122
debbi.bonner@j-l-a.com

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s most diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.

The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite telecommunications networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety and operational applications for more than 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners.

Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government, Aviation and Enterprise satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high-quality partner to its customers across the globe.

For further information, follow us on LinkedIn or on Twitter @InmarsatGlobal.