- Laurence Russell
Inmarsat announces marine learning systems as winner of inaugural ferry open innovation challenge
Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has unveiled e-learning technology and service provider Marine Learning Systems (MLS) as the winner of the inaugural Inmarsat Ferry Open Innovation Challenge, a competition inviting start-ups and SMEs to propose digital solutions that promise to enhance the working lives of ferry crews. The winner was announced at the Smart Maritime Network conference in Athens.
Launched in January 2022 in collaboration with the largest ferry operator in Greece, Attica Group, and UK digital consultancy Thetius, the Challenge sought entries in five innovation areas: familiarisation training for new crew, continuous regulations training, onboard safety training, onboard customer services training and the enrichment of crew leisure time. The winning entrant, Marine Learning Systems, has secured a £10,000 cash grant to fund a proof of concept for its end-to-end seafarer training solution on board Attica Group ferry Superfast XI.
Comprising the MarineLMS learning platform and SkillGrader assessment tool, the MLS proposal addresses four training-related challenge areas. The solution improves familiarisation for new crew members by supporting custom content and blended learning. It enables continuous regulations training by offering crew easy access to course content and on-demand reporting. It improves customer services training by providing interactive content on guidelines and procedures that can be updated at any time. Finally, MLS enhances safety with standardised exams to test crew knowledge of emergency procedures.
Inmarsat Maritime Senior Vice President, Peter Broadhurst, part of the panel of seafarers and Inmarsat and Attica Group representatives responsible for selecting the winning entry, said “Marine Learning Systems is a worthy winner of the inaugural Ferry Open Innovation Challenge in crew training and entertainment, proposing a solution that addresses not one, but four of the five innovation challenge areas. Inmarsat now looks forward to working with Attica Group and Thetius as we support MLS in implementing its proof of concept on board Superfast XI.”
“Attica Group employees join an organisation that has guiding principles of integrity, innovation, quality, transparency and corporate responsibility, and one where training opportunities focus on personal and professional development,” said Babis Katzourakis, Director Information Technology & Telecommunications Division, Attica Group. “We look forward to providing MLS with the support it needs to trial and refine this very promising digital training tool.”
MLS will use its secured funding to develop Attica Group-specific training content and skill assessment forms, as well as dashboards and reports targeting knowledge gaps and training effectiveness. All content and applications will be accessible via mobile device or existing on-board computers, with Inmarsat’s Fleet Connect providing dedicated bandwidth to allow users to reach the MLS-configured remote training servers without interfering with vessel operations or crew communications.
Murray Goldberg, Founder and CEO, Marine Learning Systems said “We’re incredibly honoured and pleased to be chosen as the winner of Ferry Open Innovation Challenge. Marine Learning Systems is committed to advancing mariner safety and performance through technology that enables targeted, effective and measurable training. We are excited to learn from and work alongside Attica, Thetius and Inmarsat to support their efforts in improving crew training at sea.".
“This challenge saw high-quality entries come in from start-ups and SMEs around the world, and with four outstanding candidates making the shortlist, judging in the final round was incredibly difficult,” said Nick Chubb, Founder and Managing Director, Thetius. “That said, we are delighted that Attica Group and Inmarsat have chosen to work with Marine Learning Systems. The company’s proof of concept will enable value-added educational services for ferry personnel in four key areas of training.”
In a further demonstration of Inmarsat’s commitment to promoting crew welfare through innovation, the Ferry Open Innovation Challenge follows the inaugural Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge, which Inmarsat launched with Thetius and Shell Shipping & Maritime in 2020. Canary Sentinel and Workrest won the 2020 Challenge for their intelligent fatigue management and rest coaching platform.