PortXL concludes inaugural Singapore program with 7 startups and 4 POCs with maritime corporates

PortXL News, Singapore

The World’s 1st Port & Maritime Accelerator PortXL has concluded the first-ever program in Asia with a founding cohort of 7 startups, which has embarked on 4 Proof of Concept (POC) projects with maritime corporates.

During Shakedown, the flagship Demo Day event, PortXL unveiled the founding Singapore cohort, consisting of startups from India, the Philippines, Lebanon, the United States and Singapore.

The stellar event lineup included 3 PortXL Rotterdam Alumni which showcased their pilot projects, a keynote on Trust and Innovation by Philipp Kristian Diekhöner (Global Keynote Speaker, Innovation Strategist, Asia Managing Partner of Denkfabrik Digital), and a panel discussion on data for maritime.

Panel discussion: ‘Harnessing Data for Maritime’. (From Right) Lingxiao Xia (Co-Founder and CTO, Portcast), and Azhar Azib (Founder/Principal, rawonionDecisions), Najmeh Masoudi-Dionne (Global Technology Leader – Smart Ships, Bureau Veritas), Christina Teo (Director, PortXL Singapore)

Philipp Kristian Diekhöner (Global Keynote Speaker, Innovation Strategist, Author of ‘The Trust Economy’, Asia Managing Partner of Denkfabrik Digital) giving a keynote on Trust and Innovation in Maritime.

Proof of Concepts: Harnessing Startup Solutions For Corporate Challenges

The startups from PortXL Singapore’s founding cohort have proven that their solutions can be adapted to solve challenges for maritime companies, with major implications on saving cost, decreasing hazards, and optimising operations.

Within a short span of 3 months during the PortXL acceleration program, 3 startups have embarked on 4 Proof of Concept (POC) projects with global and regional maritime corporates, namely BP, Vopak and IMC Industrial Group.

Transponders for Enhanced Security in Oil & Gas

Philippines-based startup Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise Inc (FAME) – which develops long-range transponders tracking and monitoring of assets, primarily for fishermen – is currently in discussions with BP to adopt their solution for security of oil and gas platforms.

Says Claus Nehmzow, Digital Innovation Organisation at BP: “I was fascinated by FAME’s creative approach of utilising relatively inexpensive technology for the benefits of fishermen in developing countries.”

“At first I thought there wouldn’t be any possible connection between the needs of a major oil and gas company and a fisherboat transponder project. But then I thought that perhaps the ability of being able to warn fishing boats if they are getting too close to oil or gas platforms and loading areas might be beneficial to all parties.”

(From Left) Claus Nehmzow, Digital Innovation Organisation at BP with Co-Founder of FAME Arcelio “Junjun” Fetizanan Jr. BP and FAME are working on a POC to adopt the latter’s transponders for enhanced security for oil and gas rigs.

Underwater 3D Analytics for Jetty Inspections

Vopak recently executed POCs at a Singapore terminal with 2 PortXL startups, effectively solving key challenges for asset management.

The first challenge was in optimising inspections for submerged structures, which was right up the alley for Antipara Exploration, another Philippines-based startup which specialises in underwater 3D analytics. Their machine vision algorithm is compatible with smaller ROVs, which decreases inspection cost and increases productivity.

(From Right) Philippines Ambassador H.E. Joseph Del Mar Yap and founders of Philippines-based startup Antipara Cherry Murillon and Aaron Hilomen. There are 2 Philippines startups in the PortXL Singapore Founding Cohort.

Says Yee Kang Tham, Innovation Project Manager at Vopak: “Antipara Exploration has collaborated with a provider of drone solutions to prove that 3D photogrammetry models of jetty piles can be generated by processing video images taken by a mini underwater drone.”

“This method of generating 3D data allows us to accurately plan in advance cleaning and inspection works of submersed infrastructures. By combining Antipara’s 3D analytics with underwater drones, dive missions in challenging environments can be reduced or eliminated.”

The World’s Smallest and Smartest Drone for Confined Space Inspections

Another problem that Vopak faces is the lack of superior inspection capabilities for storage tanks, a unique environment which poses operational difficulties and hazards. This is a challenge solved by Singapore-based PortXL startup Performance Rotors, which has designed the world’s smallest and smartest drone for confined space inspections.

Mervin Hoon, Director of Corporate Planning for PortXL Singapore startup Performance Rotors, demonstrating the capabilities of the world’s smartest and smallest drone for confined space inspections. Performance Rotors currently has 2 POCs with Vopak and IMC Industrial Group.

Says Tham: “By deploying a drone into our tank to perform inspections, work at height in a confined space is eliminated. Compared with other drone solutions, Performance Rotor’s tethered power and obstacle avoidance system allows for more efficient drone flight paths which translates into faster inspections.”

Besides Vopak, Performance Rotors is also working with IMC Industrial Group for drone solutions across the company’s various businesses, such as inspections under thick canopies in plantations, as well as confined spaces for ship repair.

Says Ryan Chan, Group Managing Director of IMC: “Performance Rotors stood out among all the participants during Selection Days and we were impressed by their smart aerial vehicles – drones solutions.”

“We have been working closely with Performance Rotors, evaluating feasibility and developing potential solutions for our ship repair and plantations businesses. We work on a collaborative partnership where we provide mentorship while PortXL works in tandem with us to develop solutions based on insights that they have achieved.”

PortXL Singapore: Bridging Startup Technologies and Maritime Corporates

With the climax of a successful first edition in Singapore, PortXL will be embarking on a second acceleration program in 2019.

Says Christina Teo, Director of PortXL Singapore: “PortXL is different from other accelerators due to our unique industry focus and the way we engage startups and corporates to build sustainable collaboration models together. We’re definitely looking forward to the next cohort in Singapore.”

Says Ryan Chan, Group Managing Director of IMC Industrial Group: “PortXL is an excellent platform for maritime, ports, energy and logistics companies to accelerate and work closely with start-ups incubators in this digital age. It creates opportunities for innovative growth and potential to reform the industry in how we operate through exponential advancement of technologies.”

PortXL Singapore is proudly supported by Enterprise Singapore, Port of Rotterdam and the City of Rotterdam. Shakedown was sponsored by Bureau Veritas and PSB Academy.

Assistant CEO of Enterprise Singapore, Satvinder Singh, giving an address on maritime innovation in the local ecosystem.

PortXL Singapore Founding Cohort (2019)

Antipara Exploration (the Philippines)
Beambot (Lebanon)
Boxnbiz (India)
Futuristic Aviation & Maritime Enterprise (the Philippines)
OceanManager (United States)
Performance Rotors (Singapore)
Proa (Singapore)

PortXL Rotterdam Alumni (Past Cohorts)

AquaSmartXL (the Netherlands)
MedAssist.Online (the Netherlands)
Threatspan (United States)

Shakedown Sponsors


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