Wärtsilä’s Marine Mastermind contest searches for startups with disruptive digital initiatives.

Wärtsilä – a Finnish corporation providing power solutions for the marine and energy markets – launches an innovation contest to find Marine Masterminds. The goal of the competition is to encourage new and existing startups around the world to create services and products for digitalizing the marine industry.

“The marine industry provides an enormous amount of possibilities for new product and service innovations but not all know what marine industry actually includes. That’s why we don’t want to limit too much that what type of innovations we’re searching for in Marine Masterminds,” says Tero Hottinen, the General Manager of Business Innovation at Wärtsilä Services.

Many of the digital solutions developed for other industries – and even consumer markets – are something that could be applied in marine context.

“The solutions could bring efficiency gains, better usability, improve transparency of operations to the customer or enhance safety through maintenance solutions, data analytics or using virtual reality in remote support activities. Only imagination is the limit, adds Hottinen and says one example of a solution developed outside marine business could be utilisation of 3D imaging of ship’s engine room for efficient maintenance planning.

Another great example of a startup thinking outside the box and going for marine industry is a Gothenburg-based biotech start-up I-Tech. The company has found out that small amounts of animal tranquilizer in ship’s hull coating can stimulate barnacle larvae and protect the hull. Their product called Selektope recently received confirmation that it meets the European biocide regulations and can be commercially sold.

This sort of innovation shows a great example of industry shift – All we just need is innovative people who will revolutionize the shipping industry.

On A Mission To Find The Game-Changing Startup

Marine Mastermind is targeted for start-ups (existing or to-be) and growth companies looking for new opportunities – who could benefit from marine industry insights and global access together with one of the key players in the field. The solutions can be any kind of digital service offering or something that enables digitalization in general.

Key criteria for solutions are usability of the service to marine industry, innovativeness, focus on customer need, business potential and scalability.

“Start-ups are good at getting under the customers’ skin. They are agile and able to pivot their product development in a fast manner if needed. This is something that all big corporations can learn from,” says Hottinen and adds that the goal of the competition to use the concrete idea in the future together with Wärtsilä.

The winner of the contest will continue to develop the idea further in cooperation with Wärtsilä and Shift Actions in a 30-day agile “Lean Innovation Lab” – a product or service development sprint. The first prize worth €50 000 is focused on the challenges of innovation, development of the concept for commercialization, its prototyping as well as the business plan and its implementation plan.

Nevertheless, Hottinen emphasises that the greatest value for startups is created through developing the concept together with Wärtsilä team who have wide insights of the industry and global access to the marine business. “We want to scale up the business efficiently together with the startup,” states Hottinen.

Marine Mastermind is open for submissions until 31st of December 2015. The winner of the contest will be chosen by an international jury established by Wärtsilä including the company’s experts as well as distinguished representatives of the marine industry media, Wärtsilä’s customers and capital investor alongside a startup incubator.

The best ideas will be showcased to the jury in February 2016 and the winner will be announced in March 2016.

For more details about the contest visit Wärtsilä website – And apply by the end of December. The marine industry is open for your vision!

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