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  • 2021 April 22 14:31

    Plug and Play launches maritime innovation platform in Antwerp

    Global innovation platform, Plug and Play, together with Founding Partners City of Antwerp, CMB, DXC Technology, Euronav, and Port of Antwerp, has announced the launch of their first maritime program in Antwerp, Belgium. The purpose of the program is to connect international startups with the Founding Partners to pilot their technologies and drive the future of maritime as world-class leaders of R&D and innovation, according to Port of Antwerp's release.

    Led by a local team of four people, Plug and Play Maritime aims to strengthen an innovative startup ecosystem centered around the seafaring sector, that brings new technologies and entrepreneurs to the region and enables technological and business development. Plug and Play Maritime will be situated at the pre-campus of Maritime Campus Antwerp. The launch event, which will mark the start of the first program batch, is planned for June 2021.

    Antwerp, home to the second largest port in Europe, is a hub for the maritime industry with a longstanding tradition. With its headquarters in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play’s expansion into this sector will provide an opportunity for the five Founding Partners to increase their innovation activities with access to a network of over 30,000 global startups. Initial technology areas for scouting will include clean fuels and energy, big data and Internet of Things, future logistics, efficient shipping, autonomous vessels, sensors, and more. By providing innovation-as-a-service, this platform will also play a strategic role for the partners in pioneering a sustainable maritime industry of the future throughout Belgium and around the world.

    Further offerings for startups, partners, and the growing ecosystem include business development, dealflows, workshops, weekly mentorship sessions, networking between partners, investment opportunities, and a series of monthly events including, Selection Days, Innovation Days and EXPO Days. Plug and Play Maritime will run local operations from the pre-campus of Maritime Campus Antwerp, a co-working space for startups to utilize and scale their business.

    The basis of Plug and Play Maritime will be the 12-week open innovation program, run twice a year. Each program welcomes 20+ selected international startups that are addressing the specific technological needs of the Founding Partners. The startups and business units of the partners will work together on pilots and proof of concepts, leading towards production-ready implementations. The goal is to have at least one joint project completed for each startup, to be showcased at EXPO Day, the final event at the end of each program.

    The consortium of Founding Partners consists of a distinctive blend of expertise and functions within the maritime sector, which will provide high value for startups looking to bring their technologies directly to key stakeholders in the industry.

    About Plug and Play

    Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play presents in 35+ locations across 5 continents.

    About the City of Antwerp

    The city of Antwerp brings together the best the world has to offer: it is home to a world-class port and its international trade opportunities; it is the cultural capital of Flanders and a strong creative sector with a long tradition in design. Antwerp has been and is firmly committed to stimulating ecosystems by bringing together capital, companies and knowledge institutions in the fields of digital innovation, sustainable chemistry and creative industries. These powerful ecosystems develop innovations for traditional business clusters such as the port, the chemical industry, and by helping to achieve successes in fields such as mobility, health and safety.

    About CMB

    CMB is a diversified shipping and logistics group based in Antwerp, Belgium. CMB owns and operates 139 sea-going ships in dry bulk (Bocimar), container transport (Delphis), chemical tankers (Bochem) & crew transfer vessels (Windcat Workboats). CMB is also involved in cleantech (CMB.TECH) and real estate (Reslea, Maritime Campus Antwerp). CMB has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Hamburg and London.

    About DXC Technology

    DXC Technology helps global companies run their mission critical systems and operations while modernizing IT, optimizing data architectures, and ensuring security and scalability across public, private and hybrid clouds. With decades of driving innovation, the world’s largest companies trust DXC to deploy our enterprise technology stack to deliver new levels of performance, competitiveness and customer experiences.

    About Euronav

    Euronav is an independent tanker company engaged in the ocean transportation and storage of crude oil. The Company is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, and has offices throughout Europe and Asia. Euronav is listed on Euronext Brussels and on the NYSE under the symbol EURN. Euronav employs its fleet both on the spot and period market. VLCCs on the spot market are traded in the Tankers International pool of which Euronav is one of the major partners. Euronav’s owned and operated fleet consists of 2 V-Plus vessels, 45 VLCCs, 28 Suezmaxes (one of which is in a joint venture and two vessels time chartered in and two to be delivered) and 2 FSO vessels (both owned in 50%-50% joint venture).

    About Maritime Campus Antwerp (MCA)

    MCA is a "do" campus and ecosystem where business, technology and knowledge are linked to strengthen and develop the maritime sector. The aim of MCA is to connect entrepreneurs who develop sustainable and water-related businesses. MCA ecosystem is broad and focuses on joining forces between the various actors in the broad maritime sector at European level. In addition, the MCA Campus will become a lively new hotspot of Antwerp with cultural activities and catering establishments. MCA is an initiative of CMB.

    About Port of Antwerp

    As Europe's second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 231 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster. The Port of Antwerp accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143.000 jobs and more than €20 billion added value. True to its mission 'a home port vital for a sustainable future’, Antwerp Port Authority aims to flexibly respond to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing its role as a leading world port. The emphasis in this respect is on cooperation, adaptability, a strong focus on innovation and digitisation, and on sustainable added value, as well as on responsibility towards society.


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