Co-development of marine eco-technology solutions – opening new growth to start-ups and SMEs

Many claims are made about the eco-efficiency of various technologies in transportation. But how can suppliers credibly demonstrate the real fuel and cost savings of their products, especially as so many factors such as weather conditions impact the results? With the help of the DIMECC REBUS program, NAPA has developed its capabilities in verifying the commercial credibility of eco-technologies making gut feelings and educated guesses into objective, fact-based sales arguments and quantified value propositions.

During the past year NAPA has collaborated with two eco-technology suppliers to verify the fuel and cost savings their products enable. In one case, NAPA supported the Finnish engineering start-up Norsepower in proving the effectiveness and the commercial benefit of its rotor sails. Thorough NAPA’s independent analysis fuels savings of 2,5% for a one-rotor-installation could be confirmed. As a result of the proven effectiveness of this technology, the customers installed a second rotor sail on the same vessel; the first commercial order of Norsepower’s technology. After this second installation, NAPA’s software was able to demonstrate that the two rotor sails are now delivering fuel savings of 6.1%, more than doubling previous savings.

In another case, NAPA teamed up with Nanol Technologies, whose lube-oil additive holds the promise of increased fuel-efficiency and prolonged key engine component lifetimes. Advanced statistical analysis conducted by NAPA verified significant fuel savings of 2 %. This has led to a promising relationship between Nanol and its customers who are continuing to use Nanoll Technologies in their vessels as well as considering extending its use to other vessels in the fleet.

Fuel efficiency is an important factor in marine industry and new innovations continue to offer new opportunities all the time. As a result, many claims and promises are made about the eco-efficiency, potential fuel savings and savings in total operating costs. Thus, technology companies need fact-base, quantified and verified value propositions to persuade ship-owners, charterers and financiers of the potential saving s and commercial benefits of the investment. This is a challenge especially to small innovative technology suppliers trying to push their innovations to the market.

With the help of NAPA’s analytics capabilities and software factors impacting fuel consumption can normalized. In both above described cases, a few months’ trials were used to accumulate data so that the situation with and without the use of the respective technology could modeled and possible differences verified.

This kind of verification reduces risk across the entire industry by demonstrating the benefits of the investment. The value for technology providers is significant as the verification provides the data needed for the industry to make confident and informed progress with the technology. This will enable the significant business growth for technology provider.

In both cases, the commercial credibility of the technologies was significantly advanced. This has smoothened the way for technology adoption and opened new growth avenues for technology providers. For Norsepower, the verificationhas been fundamental to business development. It contributed to Norsepower’s first commercial order and a three-million-euro capital investment in the company. The evidence generated through NAPA verification tools has also helped Norsepower increase its enterprise value and protect the ongoing commercial activities of the company. In the case of Nanol, the verification served as a door opener to meetings with high-profile venture capitalists and converted previous professional experience and ideas into numerical evidence.

These pilots also point at the importance of independent data analysis and third party verification in the case designing credible value propositions for eco-technologies. In this regard, the DIMECC REBUS program has helped NAPA build a viable business around third party verification. The cases have also been widely noticed in international media.

The cases also show how large systematic DIMECC programs have impacts beyond the immediate participants of the programs. As a result, DIMECC run projects contribute to the development of the cluster more broadly enabling the growth of start-ups and SMEs and integrating them into global value chains.

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