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Inmarsat becomes first member of decarbonising shipping initiative in Asia

Global satellite communications provider Inmarsat has taken the role of a founding member in Asia’s first decarbonising shipping initiative.

The regional initiative, based in Singapore, is part of the Trade and Transport Impact (TTI) programme from venture development firm Rainmaking to bring global startups together to look into meeting UN targets on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Backed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the initiative expects to identify more than 1,000 projects offering models to tackle decarbonisation, with selected startups to be matched with maritime industry leaders willing to build collaborative pilot projects.

In addition to Inmarsat as the first member, the program partners include Cargill, DNV GL, Hafnia, Mitsubishi Corp’s subsidiary MC Shipping, Vale, and Wilhelmsen.

Ronald Spithout, president, Inmarsat Maritime, said: “Shipping and its customers are demanding solutions and technology to address the decarbonisation targets set by regulators and this is where startups and market disruptors come in.”

The IMO is targeting a 50% cut of GHG emissions from ships by 2050, and average carbon intensity (CO2 per tonne-mile) reductions of 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 compared to 2008 figures.

Inmarsat’s recent research report predicted that the value of ship technology will rise from $106bn to US$278bn by 2030 driven in part by innovators and disruptors providing solutions that will help monitor and cut emissions. 
“Despite the hard targets and willingness to invest, nobody actually knows how to meet the challenges,” Spithout said.

Spithout recalled that the TTI in Europe in 2019 had shown that the programme was able to identify startups that can make a difference and link them up with maritime leaders for the initiative to translate into action, not just words.

Inmarsat had joined the first two cycles of TTI held in Europe in 2019, which scouted around 1,200 startups and led to 24 collaboration projects.

Last year, Inmarsat launched its own IoT platform Fleet Data and its own dedicated bandwidth service Fleet Connect and has continued to develop its Certified Application Provider (CAP) programme.

As part of the TTI in Singapore, Inmarsat will provide opportunities to selected companies to become a CAP allowing the selected startup to accelerate the scale-up of its application through extended outreach and removing the need for their own solution-specific hardware.