The start of the 5th year of PortXL saw more than just the wind of change blow throughout Rotterdam, as the storm Ciara ravaged throughout the country with 120+ km/h gales.

Despite the adverse weather conditions, a record 40 innovative companies braved the elements and travelled to Rotterdam to showcase their solutions to the PortXL ecosystem of partners, mentors and other professionals from across the maritime, energy, logistics and refinery sectors.

Unfazed by the weather, PortXL – World’s 1st Port & Maritime Accelerator – kicks off the 5th edition of its yearly Rotterdam program with the conclusion of the selection days – the climax of a scouting process started in September.

The selection days consist of two intense days of pitches, Q&As, partner evaluations, technology scans and Industry interaction that saw the participants interact with about 200 valuable members of the port ecosystem, from Rotterdam and beyond. The 40 shortlisted start-ups & scale-ups were evaluated by an expert jury based on these interactions and impressions.

The Carousel in action – 10 sessions of 25 minutes for the ecosystem to accurately evaluate the potential of a start-up

27 innovative companies from across the globe selected for the PortXL 2020 Rotterdam cohort

Out of these 27, 10 are start-ups & 17 are scale-ups. PortXL categorizes companies based on their growth stage, which ensures that early stage start-ups are not competing with the same criteria with companies that already have 2-3 customers and are looking to scale their business or for a soft landing in Rotterdam or the European Union.

The start-ups will now embark on an intense 3-months acceleration program, while the scale-ups will board the business fast track program over the same time period, starting on the 16th of March and ending with Shakedown – the maritime-themed version of Demo Day – on the 25th of June.

A massive thank you to all the attendees and the maritime ecosystem that made the event possible. They are the sustainable fuel to the PortXL innovation engine.

Scale-up VRT Finland signing with Boskalis (right) – together with TNO and Rijkswaterstaat – at Selection Days after already convincing during the scouting process. This is the fastest PortXL contract signing in history.

Congratulations to the selected members of the 2020 program, hailing from 15 different countries and bringing solutions for the maritime, energy, logistics & refinery sectors that improve sustainability, digitalisation, energy transition, make ports smarter and many more – see the short descriptions below.

The 10 Selected Start-ups

PortXL Director Carolien Vat-Sandee (right) & Port of Rotterdam CFO Vivienne de Leeuw (left) congratulate selected Start-up Ambisense from Ireland

Ambisense – Ireland

Solar powered autonomous monitoring system for remote monitoring of environmental parameters. The continuous flow of data can be used to setup alerts or downstream processes in case of any dangerous or unwanted behaviour due to emissions of gases.

eYard – Spain

Container placement optimization. With their proprietary algorithm they greatly reduce the number of unproductive moves in the terminal, lowering the cost for the operator and improving overall efficiency.

F-drones – Singapore

The world’s first transition drone to enable aerial deliveries to oil rigs and ships. The unique design has a combination of heavy payload and long-range capabilities that make the drone able to take-off vertically, fly like a fixed-wing aircraft, and land on a moving target.

Fishi Robotics – Denmark

Underwater semi-autonomous hull inspection using a modified ROV. Creating 3D visualisation maps to speed up maintenance on vessels.

Fuelsave – Germany

True to its name – its objective is to save fuel. They accomplish that by developing and promoting solutions that optimize resources, investments & operational profits by significantly reducing energy consumption and emissions emitted and increasing the overall efficiency of the system.

Hefring Marine – Iceland

Developing an intelligent and condition-adaptable speed and wave impact guidance system for boats, which is supported by a user-friendly fleet management software with real-time monitoring and detailed trip insights and reports.

Maindeck – Norway

A modern software-as-a-service (SaaS) for the ship maintenance and repair industry, with a specific focus on dry-docking projects. It offers your team a full set of tools that will help you towards a successful dry-docking completion.

Optimiz – Germany

They believe that enhanced claims handling experience and optimized claims handling costs are two faces of the same coin; which is providing lasting value to all involved stakeholders in the claims process.

SPC Biomicrogel – Russia

Developed a microgel made from apple waste that capsulates and separates any oil from water. This works with oil spills, wastewater treatment and any industrial oil or grease cleaning.

SoftRide Technologies – Israel

Safe and cost-effective autonomous driving in geo-fenced areas. The focus is to automate any type of vehicle that drives in geofenced area and does not require to perform complex driving decisions.

The 17 Selected Scale-ups

The crowd eagerly awaiting to hear the announcement of the selected participants

AAApropulsion – The Netherlands

Answering the maritime industry’s call for reductions in fuel consumption, achieving that through equipment which increases propulsion efficiency, lowers maintenance costs and monitors exhaust emissions.

AI in Motion – The Netherlands

Provides vehicle developers with customized AI solutions for machine perception & localization to support autonomous driving development. Its solutions consist of services such as sensor selection, data collection, localization, on-board planning, anti-hacking measures, and system deployment.

Bionic Technology – The Netherlands

Their nanocoating solutions are the most high-quality products in biotechnology and have been carefully developed and produced for the protection of various surfaces.

Bio-Raiser – Finland

Developed an Algae Collector that is specially developed to minimize or eliminate damage caused to the environment through agriculture. By moving and binding leached nutrients found in water systems back into fields they offer a permanent, lasting solution. Their Hydro bio-flakes are filled with nutrients for farming industry that double as absorbents for marine oil spills.


Offering Marine Autonomy On-Demand by putting all the AI and software bricks together today to power the future of maritime industry. Specifically, their system assists captains and ship operators in saving fuel, maximizing returns, and avoiding risk of collisions. The system can also navigate the ship autonomously without human intervention if plugged into the auto-pilot and on-board sensors.

Delfos – Brazil

Delfos is a maintenance platform that integrates machine learning modules, and technical knowledge to derive insights out of existing data from wind power plant monitoring/SCADA solutions. Claims to avoid unexpected downtimes, optimize O&M planning, increase asset lifetime as well as increase asset performance for wind turbines.

Evertracker – Germany

Providing full predictability and visibility along your entire global supply chain with almost one click. Developed the first smart and neural control tower for and with leading corporations.

FishFlow Innovations – The Netherlands

Innovative fish migration facilities and protection systems. Their mission is to contribute to solve migration barriers for fish and prevent damage to fish through their tailor-made products. As part of their vision, they developed a fish-friendly turbine for vessels that requires lower power to operate.

Foru Solution – The Netherlands

Total solution to clean up oil spills. It includes booms, bladders, power packs and a mechanical down-draft system; designed for near shore, harbour, river, lake and offshore conditions. Their down-draft systems can be deployed, stored without assembly and easily placed into the pocket of dynamic sweeping systems.

InnoTractor – The Netherlands

Their industrial IoT solutions are amazing for achieving better business insights & actionable data. This is the fundament for further automation & innovation of processes and services.

Macomi – The Netherlands

Specialized in advanced business analytics. Using an innovative, in-house built platform, they are able to cover the entire analytics landscape, leveraging data and process maps to understand, forecast, and optimize your business.

Nido Robotics – Spain/Chile

Nido Robotics develop and manufacture Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (robots), used by coastal industries like aquaculture, utilities, shipping, ports and similar to carry out their inspection and maintenance needs in an efficient and safe manner. Our core offerings are the Sibiu Nano and Sibiu Pro, 2 remotely operated vehicles that are super portable and easy to deploy by anyone, anywhere, anytime. The company is also developing a 3rd completely autonomous robot than can be permanently installed on windfarms, oil and gas fields and similar long-term offshore operations.

Oculavis – Germany

Transforming the way service and maintenance is done by revolutionizing manual operations in production, quality assurance and field service with the deployment of smart wearables.

T-mining – Belgium

T-mining improves efficiency in logistics and transport by better data sharing and secure title transfer. Developing blockchain-enabled software solutions easier & faster by leveraging a number of ready-made components

Triogen – The Netherlands

Leading organic rankine cycle (ORC) manufacturer and supplier whose ORC technology converts heat from your business process into €. When applied to landfill sites, digesters, diesel engines, wood burners, furnaces, etc. the Triogen ORC produces valuable green electricity.

VRT – Finland

Pioneers of 3D surveys and utilisation of 3D data with multibeam sonar, laser and drone inspections will definitely be lively at the Selection Days in explaining how their service offers a combined view of the condition of under and above water structures, in addition to seabed with interpreted 3D data delivered to you online.

Water Lens – USA

Developed a system for real-time chemical analysis of water and other fluids, on location, for industries that use large amounts of water (e.g., oil and gas, agriculture, power generation, coal mining, and food processing).

The PortXL Rotterdam Corporate Partners

About PortXL

PortXL is the World’s 1st Port & Maritime Accelerator and unique in its kind. We partner with leading companies, organisations and individuals around the globe, from Antwerp to Singapore. Our aim is to accelerate innovative companies in ports all over the world. PortXL focuses on building an ecosystem that creates value for all stakeholders. We aim to accelerate start-ups & scale-ups in a time frame of 3 months. How we accomplish this? With an intense mentorship driven program focusing on port related industries. Our ecosystem consists of founders, investors and corporate partners (Lead partners: Van Oord & Port of Rotterdam; Partners: EY, Royal IHC, Mammoet, Vopak, Boskalis, Shell, City of Rotterdam, Oceanco, North Sea Port, Ampelmann, Deltares, InnovationQuarter, Rabobank and ECE) that support and accelerate the entrepreneurial journey. Everything we do is aimed at growing and disrupting the maritime, logistics, energy and chemical & refinery markets.

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All photos credit to Anna Farkas – @juliannafarkasphotography

Scale-up Oculavis (later selected) during one of their Carousel sessions, talking to representatives of the Port of Rotterdam