Finnish Maritime Accelerator launched

The Nordic area is increasingly a competitive hotbed of maritime innovation. Finland is determined to be at the forefront of this tech drive.

A new maritime business accelerator programme has started in Finland. Within the programme, six globally operating maritime industry companies are on the lookout for start-ups for partnerships.

In the new Maritime Accelerator, traditional maritime industry players operating in global markets, such as shipyards, design agencies and shipping companies, will search for new ideas and partnerships among smaller growth companies.

The partner companies in the first programme are Wärtsilä, Royal Caribbean, Meyer Turku, Foreship, NAPA Group, and CADMATIC.

“Maintaining a front row position … calls for continuous ability for renewal, in which Maritime Accelerator acts as an efficient sparring partner,” a release stated.

“Shipbuilding is a very traditional industry sector. New concepts are often based on evolution in which the goal is set just a little higher than before. Now we are also searching for a revolution, the kind of solutions that have never been implemented before,” commented Juhani Pitkänen, director of newbuildings at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

The accelerator programme is implemented by the regional development company Turku Science Park with partner Avanto Ventures Oy, which compiled a list of over 500 start-up and growth companies during the summer. The goal for the autumn is to find from among them up to three partners for each of the partner companies to start some form of co-operation.

“The competitiveness of our industry has always been based on strong expertise and innovation. The enormous challenges faced by our living environment and the rapidly progressing digitalisation also have a significant effect on our line of business,” commented Jukka Laiterä, senior advisor at Turku Science Park.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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