We collect on this page the challenges from the following sectors – both anonymous, well-known ones or from our corporate partners. We believe that transparent challenge-sharing is key to a well functioning and thriving industry ecosystem – with the goal to improve the economy while sustaining the ecology.


Are you a company within these sectors faced with a challenge that you want innovators worldwide to assist you in solving? Fill out the following form:

Are you an innovative start-up or scale-up with the solution to one or more of the challenges below? Then click the “Apply Now!” button and connect with us to work on solving it for the industry!

Reach Net Zero Emissions

Van Oord has the ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050. In line with their purpose Van Oord commits to:

• Reduce the CO2 emissions for their own fleet (15% by 2025 and 27.5% by 2030 from a 2019 base year).

• Measure the 3rd party emissions and strive to be carbon neutral by 2050 for their own fleet and 3rd party emissions.

Sustainable Energy Transition

The City of Rotterdam is looking to support start-ups & scale-ups that offer solutions that contribute to a sustainable energy chain: the extraction, storage and distribution of renewable energy. The energy transition is around the corner, and Rotterdam greets it with open arms.

Another hot item on the list towards achieving the goal for a cleaner Rotterdam is the production, recycling and upcycling of biobased raw materials.

Offshore Wind:

Mitigate underwater pile driving noise

Noise regulations are getting increasingly stricter and so are the requirements of the piles. Marine fauna is affected by the noise. Current noise-reduction methods are cumbersome and expensive. A demonstration of a technology that is easily installable and effective in both water and soil is what Van Oord is looking for.

Reducing Vessel Emissions

Royal IHC is looking for technologies/solutions to reduce fuel/energy consumption and exhaust gas emissions (could be new fuel types, energy storage systems, propulsion systems, automation/software, coating technology, engine modifications, adaptations, etc.)

Modularizing specialised robotics

Via their motion-compensation system, Ampelmann can act as a platform for launching inspection drones/ROVs – what robotic tools are out there that can be deployed and operated autonomously? By modularizing highly specialised robotics, Ampelmann aims to make the right tools for the right job.

Flexible Height Flood Barrier

Van Oord is looking for breakthrough solutions to stabilize dikes or adapt dike heights in a flexible way, to enhance their flood defence solutions. Specifically looking for a good fit with the Dutch ecosystem.

Operations Optimization

Optimizing the current operational processes within Royal IHC includes looking for the use and adoption of new innovative technologies such as predictive maintenance, AR, VR, 3D simulations and robotization.

Air Quality Improvements

The City of Rotterdam seeks to support innovative companies that contribute towards a zero-emission shipping industry, to improve the air quality in and around Rotterdam.

Towards a Circular City

To transition towards a circular economy, sustainable building material that can be used in urban areas are sought after by the City of Rotterdam.

“Give us the 100% efficiency battery at no cost”

Challenge is to reduce LCOE (levelized cost of energy) from offshore wind by introducing improved energy storage solutions. A lower LCOE improves the business proposition. So far there has been a lack of economically viable solutions. Van Oord is looking for an offshore prototype within one year.

Automation technologies supporting offshore operations

The offshore environment is very unpredictable, and operations depend on factors such as weather and crew experience. Smart sensors to predict workability and detect anomalies, algorithms to optimise gangway/crane operations and support tools to improve decision making are all solutions explored by Ampelmann.

Smart IT Solutions

How can the burden of reporting leading and lagging indicators on SHEQ-CSR be reduced by using smart IT solutions? Ways to easily register or pull information from registration systems, functionality to make reporting and analysis intelligent, easy and helps to move time spend on reporting and analysing to time available to analyse trends and to act upon it to create more value for Royal IHC.

New business model out of available data

In foundation installation of civil & offshore structure, Royal IHC is looking to leverage available and/or new data to create valuable services for its customers.

The Yacht of the Future

Oceanco has an ambitious roadmap ahead of them: a “digital twin” yacht in 2023, an emission-free and fully circular yacht before 2030 and the robotic application of filler and paint to yacht exteriors – can your innovative company assist this yacht builder?

Measuring VOC emissions

Help us to know the precise amount of VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds – emissions that comes from port operations, with all sources of emissions continuously combined with an online data reporting system. Looking for ways to measure point & diffuse emissions accurately over large periods of time, with drones or other alternative solutions.

Research institute support

Deltares is specifically interested to see what’s happening in the field of data acquisition, sensoring, remote sensing, data science, machine learning, decision support system on the IT side and on the hardware side the field of energy transition, related to energy conversion systems in rivers or in seas or in systems that make use of ground water, energy, soil, groundwater energy.

Energy Transition

The need for an energy transition from fossil fuels to green energy has been apparent for a few years now, and there has been a significant increase in the worldwide percentage of renewable energy – up to 19% in 2015, but the process to a full transition is a lengthy one. What solutions are entrepreneurs coming up with to accelerate this vital process?

Sustainable Shipping

Maritime transport emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Tackling these numbers is of vital importance for our planet. Therefore, the maritime industry has opened their harbours to innovative ideas and smart solutions.

The Smart Port Model

The concept of ‘smart ports’ is based on transforming sea transport and logistics by applying digital technology. It is a long-term transformation strategy that will impact all areas of sea transport and bring technology like automation, driverless vehicles, Blockchain and the Internet of Things to port operations.

Big Data Applications

Data analysis in conjunction with deep learning can create predictive, prescriptive systems that anticipate responses and incidents and help interest groups with decision-making. This learning would particularly benefit ports, companies and institutions that are clearly committed to digitalisation.


Connecting people, companies and institutions to objects and vehicles will lead to an exponential increase in the amount of data circulating between platforms and ports. So, security is one of the most noteworthy challenges.


Blockchain (associated with geographic information systems and the Internet of Things) could be applied for safe monitoring of cargo inside containers and would be particularly useful if that cargo is perishable or must be kept at specific conditions (for example, refrigerated containers).