The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has signed agreement with PortXL, the world’s first maritime accelerator, opening up a global portfolio of port and maritime start-up innovators to the World Ports Sustainability Program. The agreement will look at developing a worldwide innovation platform, where ports can engage in pilots and partnerships with start-ups and scale-ups. The short-term plan to bring IAPH members into contact with the network of innovators is now underway. The matching process will culminate in face-to-face encounters between port project sponsors and innovators at the IAPH World Ports Conference next March.
“The port industry is of major significance for an economy, nationally and internationally” commented PortXL co-founder and director Carolien Vat-Sandee. “But at the same time port industry activities impact the environment. So if we want to sustain the growth of the economy, we should look after our ecology. And innovation is actually the answer for both.”
IAPH managing director Patrick Verhoeven commented : “If you take a look at some of the innovations in PortXL’s portfolio, any port in the world could benefit in practice, not just the major ones. A floating autonomous collector of plastic waste that collects data on water quality. Floaters attached to man-made structures capable of generating grid-connected electricity power from ocean and sea waves. Concrete composite structures for breakwaters capable of generating marine diversity and acting as a carbon sink. A hull cleaner capable of ‘car-washing’ a vessel to remove biofouling during a port stay. These are just four of the multitude of innovations being supported by PortXL through their network of port communities.”
IAPH member ports are already being offered access to the PortXL startups via an online form where they can either declare their interest or submit specific challenges to the PortXL network. By the time of the IAPH World Port Conference in Antwerp next March, these ports will have a chance to meet and match the start-ups face-to-face on location to discuss concrete pilots and trials.