Inmarsat Ferry Open Innovation Challenge launched

Press release – The challenge for start-ups and SMEs offers a £10,000 prize and on-board trials for a digital solution that improves the working lives of ferry crew

Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has partnered with Greece’s largest passenger shipping group, Attica Group, and digital consultancy Thetius, to launch the “Inmarsat Ferry Open Innovation Challenge: crew training and entertainment”.

Focused on the needs of ferry crews, the competition invites start-ups and SMEs to propose digital solutions to enrich training or enrich staff leisure. They often work for weeks at sea under intense pressure and also undergo frequent rotations.

Entries are invited for solutions in four work-related areas – ship familiarization, regulatory training, emergency response and customer services – all of which must support content provided in Greek. A fifth category seeks solutions to serve crews’ leisure through innovations that help them make better use of their own devices to stay in touch and access online media.

With a £10,000 prize on the line and support provided by Inmarsat, Attica Group and Thetius to implement proof-of-concept trials on board a working ferry, the innovation challenge is open to first submissions online until February 28and. Early proposals must include proof-of-concept planning and demonstrate that they can be scaled by a fleet-wide owner.

In mid-March, a shortlist of participants will be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of serving sailors and crew training specialists, as well as representatives from Inmarsat, Attica Group and Thetius. In May, trials are planned on board one of the Attica Group vessels, using Inmarsat Fleet Xpress broadband connectivity, Fleet Connect dedicated bandwidth and the Fleet Data IoT platform.

“Supported by Inmarsat, the first Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge in 2020 focused on tankers and attracted 49 applications,” said Nick Chubb, chief executive of Thetius. “In this case, entries covered key issues of crew welfare, fatigue, deck safety and administrative burden. We are delighted to launch the Inmarsat Ferry Open Innovation Challenge to explore the impact that digital solutions can affect the lives of crews aboard a very different type of vessel.

The emphasis on ship familiarization, for example, reflects the fact that ferry crews face particular challenges in getting up to speed when joining new ships, particularly during peak season. Safety is at stake if there is a lack of understanding of the vessel, its equipment and its procedures. In an industry where crew changes are frequent, digital solutions also work well for staying on top of rapidly changing regulations and understanding knowledge gaps. Again, digital solutions support simulations to test emergency situation awareness and can turn customer service manuals into interactive tools.

“Attica Group is committed to exceeding expectations in terms of best practices, motivation and well-being of its crews,” said Mr. George Anagnostou, Chief Operating Officer, Attica Group. “Digital solutions will play an increasing role in meeting the demands of modern seafarers. We fully support the goals of this innovative program and look forward to welcoming the winning technology on board later this year. »

Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Maritime, said: “The Inmarsat Ferry Open Innovation Challenge is yet another boost from Inmarsat for the disruptors driving maritime digitalization. In collaboration with Shell Shipping & Maritime, the Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge 2020 showed the extraordinary range of digital options available to owners to improve the conditions of seafarers. It also brought an original platform for managing fatigue and rest coaching.

“We are delighted to be working with Attica Group and with Thetius once again on what promises to be a groundbreaking exploration of the innovations available for crew training and entertainment in the ferry market.”

For more details and to submit an application, please visit Ferry Open Innovation Challenge

Inmarsat is the world leader in global and mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s most diverse global portfolio of mobile satellite telecommunications networks, and holds a multi-layered global spectrum portfolio, spanning L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unmatched breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. . Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading distribution partners, but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling guaranteed end-to-end customer service.

The company has an unmatched experience operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite telecommunications networks, supporting business and mission critical security and operational applications for over 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, supporting its leadership through substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and industry partners.

Inmarsat operates in a diverse portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the maritime, government, aeronautical and enterprise satellite communications markets, consistently operating as a trusted, responsive partner. and high quality for its customers across the globe.

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