The first digital Selection Days saw the PortXL network of corporate partners and industry experts select 15 companies for the 6th Rotterdam program that will take place from the 6th of September to the 2nd of December this year. Of the selected companies, 4 are start-ups and will participate in the acceleration track and 11 are scale-ups that will be taking part in the business fast track. Both tracks happen concurrently and are tailored to the needs of a start-up or scale-up.

“We are delighted to have successfully concluded our first digital selection days and we cannot wait to begin working with this talented international group of innovators to help them scale their solutions in Rotterdam and beyond!” says PortXL director & co-founder, Carolien Vat-Sandee.

Behind the scenes on the first day, during a livestream welcome session

The program is planned to take place on location in Rotterdam, with the possibility of a hybrid or digital participation for companies unable to fly to the Netherlands due to legal reasons pertaining to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we all hope that by September there are no issues of the sort. The companies will each send up to 2 representatives to take part of the program in Rotterdam, which will feature many workshops, partner meetings and extensive networking to facilitate the signing of paid pilot contracts. Signings will occur at a ceremony at Shakedown, the closing event that in 2019 saw over 500 guests attending and 29 contracts signed by the 16 participants.

This year’s innovators hail from 11 different countries across 3 continents and cover a wide variety of technology solutions, from floating solar panels to air quality sensors to mental health support to balanced heave compensation. The aim is to introduce and implement as many as possible within the Rotterdam port area and beyond, growing the economy while sustaining the ecology.

The mission of PortXL is the acceleration of innovative technologies for the green energy, maritime, logistics and process industry in port regions across the world. PortXL facilitates the signing of paid pilot contracts, leading to entrepreneurs validating their technology while corporates can test the latest solutions at competitive prices. Furthermore, they get their own teams inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit. This plays a part in keeping Rotterdam on the top spot for smartest port in the world and works towards the goal of a CO2 neutral and digital port.

Selection Days is an event normally held in person with companies flying in from all across the globe, but this was not possible this year. Therefore, this was the first time a digital version was held. Not without minor hiccups, but overall ran quite smoothly, with over 150 partners, mentors, industry experts and former program participants joining to assist in evaluating the candidates over two days. During the final announcements, we welcomed guests from lead partners Van Oord – Manager RD and Innovation Daan Baljet – and Port of Rotterdam – CFO Vivienne de Leeuw – who both provided insight on the benefits of participation in the PortXL program from a corporate point of view and announced which innovators they look forward to working with.

Clewat celebrating as they are the 1st start-up announced to be selected

Meet the selected companies

  1. Clewat, Finland – Vessels cleaning up garbage and microplastics from waterways up to 200 cubic meters of biomass per hour.
  2. Reefy, The Netherlands – Artificial reef structures to protect marine life and the coastline.
  3. HelioRec, Russia – Floating solar power plants.
  4. Sealution, Belgium – On-board crew safety and data system able to locate and alert a superior in case of an emergency or accident of any crewmember.
  5. Water Insight, The Netherlands – Portable water quality spectrometer using satellite data to monitor effects of dredging or construction.
  6. H3 Dynamics, Singapore – Autonomous drone operations with propriety docking station.
  7. i4Sea, Brazil – Precise models allowing advance knowledge of the condition of tides, currents, waves, winds, and precipitation for an interest area.
  8. TechBinder, The Netherlands – Improving human-machine interaction by adopting new technologies such as AR and data analytics.
  9. Navigine, Russia – Navigation and tracking capabilities inside buildings independent of the external environment.
  10. Fregata Space, Spain – Machine Learning as a Service (SaaS) platform including satellite imagery with warning systems that detect pollutants, oil and chemical spills.
  11. LexX Technologies, Australia – Digital intelligence for optimized maintenance.
  12. Breeze Technologies, Germany – Technology leader for air quality sensors, air quality data and air quality analytics software.
  13. Seaqualize, The Netherlands – Smartly balanced heave compensation systems that reduce heave motions and set down-velocities by up to 95%.
  14. Mental Health Support Solutions, Germany – Qualified team of psychologists providing support and solutions to individuals and companies through 24/7 hotline, training, and workshops.
  15. ecoSPEARS, USA – Technology systems for removing PCBs (highly toxic industrial compounds) from land & water sources using NASA technology.

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Behind the scenes: The PortXL and Production teams working side by side during the live final announcements

About us


PortXL is the world’s first port accelerator and is unique in its kind, with a global network of leading companies and experts. The objective of PortXL is the acceleration of innovative technologies for the green energy, maritime, logistics and process industry in port regions across the world. In doing so, PortXL activates the largest possible ecosystem to stimulate entrepreneurship for all involved parties. The PortXL ecosystem consists of start-ups and scale-ups, investors and partners, and market leading companies such as lead partners Van Oord and Port of Rotterdam, as well as partners Mammoet, Vopak, Boskalis, Shell, Oceanco, Deltares, City of Rotterdam, Ampelmann, North Sea Port, InnovationQuarter, Provincie Zuid-Holland and Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. PortXL was launched in 2015 with the ambition to bridge the gap between innovative entrepreneurs and the established port industry. PortXL is the linking pin between these two worlds. PortXL is in its sixth year of operations and so far has executed 10 programs, accelerated more than 90 start-ups and scale-ups, and facilitated the signing of over 200 contracts.