Inmarsat announces new initiatives to support maritime, ports and logistics start-ups with Rainmaking and Bluetech

Inmarsat, the global leader in mobile satellite communications, has joined forces with two leading start-up programmes, Rainmaking’s Trade and Transport Impact (T&TI) and Bluetech Accelerator, to create initiatives that directly support start-ups focused on IoT and big data innovation in the maritime, ports and logistics supply chain.

The programmes will fund, support and mentor start-ups developing applications that aim to harness the power of IoT and big data to enhance safety, efficiency and sustainability. Inmarsat will collaborate with those start-ups to find a route to market via its global, high-speed satellite communications infrastructure that connects over 160,000 ships and yachts, as well as ports, road and rail networks across the world.

The Trade & Transport Impact (T&TI) programme initiated by Hamburg-based Rainmaking will help connect established leading players, such as Inmarsat, Cargotec and Wärtsilä, with innovative start-ups and work collaboratively to address the biggest commercial and operational challenges facing the global supply chain today.

The Bluetech Accelerator, sponsored by the Portuguese Government and based in Lisbon, was launched at the end of January and will take on six business partners including Inmarsat to help select and finance the first batch of winning start-ups, which will be chosen in the last quarter of 2019.

From enhancing safety to improving operational efficiency, emerging digital technologies such as machine-learning and IoT are set to become increasingly important in the day-to-day running of shipping and logistics companies and vital to improving throughput at the world’s largest ports.

Ali Grey, Senior Director of Digital Incubation at Inmarsat said: “Companies operating across the global supply chain clearly acknowledge the potential of digitalisation, and recognise that we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Unlocking the full benefits will require fresh perspectives on both long-standing and looming challenges. Start-ups are good at spotting opportunities that more established players miss, so it is important for the industry’s future that we offer a helping hand to nurture innovation.

“For Inmarsat, supporting companies in the global supply chain is not simply about deploying the most advanced communications infrastructure. It is also about supporting the creation of applications that directly address an organisation’s challenges and helps transform these into significant opportunities.”

Both Rainmaking and Bluetech have extensive experience in identifying promising tech start-ups from around the world, verifying their collaboration potential then mentoring and preparing the way for pilots.

Inmarsat already has significant experience in developing innovative application-based solutions in both the maritime and logistics industries. Inmarsat’s Fleet Data solution is a bandwidth-inclusive IoT platform that allows ship operators to instantly collect data from onboard sensors, upload the data to a secure cloud-based platform and interface with applications from third-party application developers. Inmarsat’s Industrial IoT solutions are also helping drive better decision-making and efficiencies on land with fleet management and rail projects across the mining and transport sectors.

Ms Grey concluded: “Inmarsat is the only satellite provider able to offer transport businesses managed connectivity services across the entire global multi-modal journey. Working with leaders such as Rainmaking and Bluetech and the innovative start-ups that will be part of the programmes, we can help create new applications driven by data that will benefit the entire global supply chain.”

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