Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 8 September 2022: 14 companies hailing from 9 countries were selected by the PortXL partner network for the 7th PortXL acceleration program in Rotterdam. During the 3-month program, together with an expansive network of mentors and partners and supported by proven Gritd methodology, the start- and scale-ups will work on building collaborations. The goal is to sign contracts between corporate partners during the prestigious PortXL final program event, Shakedown, on 15th of December.
Selection Days are the culmination of a decarbonisation-themed process started in March 2022, when the PortXL team started the intake process and reviewed a hundred applications of decarbonisation-related propositions together with the partner network. After months of discussions, reviews and questions, the final group was invited to come to Rotterdam to meet the partners in person and grow the innovation footprint in the city.
€5 million investment in pioneer PortXL alumni start-up
During the selection days, Portuguese start-up Fibersail’s CEO Pedro Pinto and InnovationQuarter’s Jasper Geselschap announced that ENERGIQ fund, energy innovation fund powered by the Province Zuid-Holland, joins the €5 million investment round.
The announcement occurred after Pedro’s presentation on his past experiences as participant of PortXL’s 1st ever program in 2016. These collaborations are a perfect example of what PortXL works towards with the acceleration program and seeing the results years down the line is an inspirational experience.
Lower Wind Energy Costs
The Fibersail headquarters will be situated in Rotterdam. The sales and business development teams will operate from this location and will interact with the offshore wind ecosystem to develop and roll out its solution. Strengthening the offshore wind ecosystem and driving down the cost of wind energy. A lower cost for wind energy is needed for the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area, as it will become a major part of the energy mix in the region.
Blade maintenance is by far the most complex and costly aspect of wind power generation. Currently, there is no reliable way to monitor the exact condition of the rotor and blades. Wind turbine operators need to inspect their blades regularly to ensure asset availability, optimization and lifetime. Fibersail has developed a shape sensor that is applicable and easy to install in any type of wind blade. Fibersail’s technology means higher reliability and productivity and a longer life for wind farms. It means a revolution in the energy transition.
“With the investment in Fibersail, we invest in sustainable and affordable energy for everyone,” says Berend Potjer, deputy of the Province of Zuid-Holland. “Oil, gas and coal have had their day as sources of energy. Zuid-Holland is building a cluster of knowledge institutions and companies that tap into natural resources. Because of the climate crisis, rising gas prices and the war in the Ukraine, a switch is more urgent than ever. These are inexhaustible resources, such as wind, solar, tidal and geothermal. With this industrial conversion, we will keep large-scale activity in Zuid-Holland and therefore the associated employment.”
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.
“It is so inspiring to see the results of past efforts, we are delighted for Pedro and Fibersail and we hope that it shows everyone gathered here today what we can achieve working together. The aim is to have many more such results from this fantastic group of innovators. Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work!” said PortXLdirector, Hedi Visscher
Selected companies for the 2022 PortXL Program
- CleanSubSea, Australia: Their Envirocart™ System enables the in-water removal, capture, containment and filtration of marine biofouling from a vessel’s hull without damaging the antifouling paint or polluting the surrounding marine environment. No fuel nor time is wasted driving to a dry dock location.
- QuinteQ, Netherlands: Flywheel energy storage technology based on Boeing developments that realizes up to a fifteen-fold improvement on energy storage, applicable in energy systems and grids worldwide, and returning more than 50 financial returns to investors. They use advanced materials with high tensile strength to allow them to experience energy density improvements that far outpace breakthroughs in battery technologies.
- Ensemble Analytics, UK: Platform for ports that assimilates data and produces detailed advice for real time decision making on workforce allocation, training and investment. Efficient decision making can turn vessels around 8% faster, reducing emissions in port and improving local air quality.
- Conexbird, Finland: Vibration analysis hardware, supported by a software component, designed for mounting on container spreaders, and able to withstand the harsh conditions spreaders are subjected to.
- Mathclick, Italy: AI based solutions to interpret and forecast aquatic data.
- Finsulate, Netherlands: Revolutionary antifouling product, no paint needed. Instead, an environmentally-friendly physical adhesive barrier is applied to the hull with a 5 year expected lifetime.
- Skygauge, Canada: The most stable drone you’ll ever see, with patented thrust-vectoring technology. Perfect for safe industrial inspections and ultrasonic testing.
- Psiori, Germany: Creates Crane AI, which provides 3D scans of the inventory and environment and cameras detecting the position of the load. Their technology allows the crane operator to avoid mistakes or train for special occurrences.
- DecisionHall, Netherlands: Assembles a corporation of stakeholders with global reach who employ the latest Digital Engineering techniques to significantly reduce the risk, cost, and time required to run complex sustainability and climate resilience projects.
- Rombit Studio, Belgium: Co-creates innovative and sustainable digital products which create value and increase efficiency for their customers. By applying digitalisation and predictive analytics technology, the company connects devices and platforms to existing infrastructure.
- Noble Gas Systems, United Stated: Focuses on developing safe and lightweight compressed gas storage systems. Recently, the company demonstrated its latest generation of conformable gas tanks, which can be configured into existing vehicle architectures.
- MayMaan, United States: Creates engine technology that is fueled by 70% water and 30% ethanol. Their technology is designed to systematically decrease operational costs and significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
- GBMS, Netherlands: Focuses on developing systems that can reduce the number of containers lost at sea. They develop warning systems by understanding ship motions, physics, software, and sensor technology development.
- 12toZero, Netherlands: Developing a unique floating wind foundation specifically designed to combine buoyancy and hydrogen storage in a single structure. The combination of these functions in a single platform provides that basis for a reliable hydrogen supply for the decarbonisation of marine applications and port-based industries.
About PortXL: 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 Boskalis, Damen, Shell, Deltares, City of Rotterdam, Ampelmann, InnovationQuarter, Provincie Zuid-Holland and SPEED. 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 12 programs, accelerated more than 100 start-ups and scale-ups, and facilitated the signing of over 220 contracts.
Pictures by Marc Nolte