Posted on June 8, 2022
More than 30 maritime tech startups from around the world are displaying their solutions and platforms at this year’s Posidonia Exhibition, which is underway at Athens’ Metropolitan Expo Centre until Friday.
The founders and CEOs of several of them shared their views and opinions at the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum, which opened the Posidonia conference agenda with discussions on the decarbonization and digitization of the shipping industry.
During the discussion, speakers were unanimous on the power of digital solutions, how they can bring shipping industry silos down and act as a catalyst for change.
“We are creating technologies that can make shipping greener and thus help the environment and future generations prosper. At the end of the day, data will win, it’s just a matter of time how one decides to embrace it and leverage it,” said Jesper Bo Hansen, Chief Revenue Officer of Zero North, which raised a $50 million Series B round a few days ago. “The data landscape has matured, so we know where the vessel, is how much fuel can consume and the optimal speed of the vessel. If shipping businesses do not embrace this knowledge and this data, they are losing out on money every day they sail.”
While the global marine tech sector witnessed record fundraising last year, entrepreneurs remain skeptical about their ability to maintain the momentum, especially as VC capital is showing some reluctance to invest in the face of uncertainty over long-term regulation and policymaking.
“Policy makers should be more decisive. Shipowners need clarity, they are not chemists. Scientists and policy makers need to guide them and tell them which direction they should move toward,” commented Ioannis Martinos, CEO of The Signal Group.
Birgit Liodden, CEO of Ocean Opportunity Lab, is a fan of private family businesses that believe in investing in digital solutions. “I believe that family businesses and industrial investors are a better fit for maritime tech innovators and they should be teaming up with entrepreneurs to help drive the sector forward, faster,” Liodden said.
The panel also discussed the prospects of the Greek martech ecosystem and agreed that it is ideally situated to take a leading role in the growth of the sector globally.
“As a global leading power in shipping, Greece offers a fertile ground for tech companies to innovate, provide solutions to problems and grow their businesses at the same time,” said Spyros Karampampas, Member of the Board at the Association of Innovative Application Companies (SEKE).”
Jesper Bo Hansen added: “A couple of years ago people were not even talking about optimization of fleet operations, but with the focus on the pending regulations and consumer pressure, and with industry as it is today, shipping businesses cannot remain the same and people cannot discount what data and digitization can bring to the industry.
Posidonia 2022 is organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and with the support of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee. Visit The Maritime Executive at Posidonia at Booth 2.435.