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INMARSAT, THETIUS AND SHELL SHIPPING AND MARITIME LAUNCH 'CREW WELFARE CHALLENGE'

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 

Mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat 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), which 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, MD 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 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 Shell Shipping and Maritime, Thetius and Inmarsat.

‘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.”

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