Port of Rotterdam’s PortXL Signs Up New Start-Ups

Image courtesy of Port of Rotterdam Authority

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has signed partnership agreements with four recent participants in the annual PortXL innovation programme.

The products developed by the start-ups range from compact tulip-shaped wind turbines to blockchain applications for freight tracking.

Together with 10 other start-ups and scale-ups, these companies took part in this year’s PortXL innovation accelerator programme in February, which brings innovators from all over the world to Rotterdam to develop their technologies.

After making it through the programme’s ‘Selection Days’, the 14 selected start-ups and scale-ups have worked hard over the past three months to raise their innovations to the next level after receiving intensive coaching support from mentors, partners and experts in the PortXL network.

The participants presented their results during a ‘Shakedown’ event on June 14 in the former submarine wharf at RDM Rotterdam, which led to the Port of Rotterdam Authority signing contracts with five start-ups for pilot projects.

A contract with Tulyp Wind (Arkom) focuses on locating a suitable site in the port for installing the firm’s compact wind turbines.

The port’s collaboration with ECOncrete will determine whether their sustainable products can stimulate biodiversity on and in quay walls in the port area.

Another pilot project with CargoLedger will test whether the firm’s system simplifies the handling and dispatch of cargo.

A pilot between Van Oord and Ionada, planned for the fourth quarter of 2018, will test Ionada's Semi-Dry Scrubbers, which enable ship owners to achieve a 50% savings on fuel costs while meeting the IMO 2020 0.5% sulfur emission regulations.

The final contract with WhaleWashing is intended to establish whether the port of Rotterdam would be a suitable location for the world’s first ‘car wash’ for vessels.

Read a Port Technology technical paper by Mare Straetmans, Managing Director, PortXL: Digital Transformation: Are Start-Ups the New Leaders?


Tulyp Wind (Arkom)

The wind turbine developed by Tulyp Wind bears a resemblance to the eponymous flower.

The turbine has a compact profile and produces less noise pollution. This makes it easier to fit the structure in a range of environments.



CargoLedger develops blockchain-based solutions that make the handling and dispatch of cargo easier, more transparent and safe.

Shipments are labelled and dispatched.

After scanning the label, the recipient immediately gains insight into a variety of cargo conditions, including the shipment’s temperature, humidity level and state.



ECOncrete’s technology makes it possible to construct ecologically beneficial quay walls that offer shelter and food for fish and other important species.

Its products improve the biological and ecological values of urban, coastal and maritime infrastructure.

They consist of a combination of special concrete mixtures and admixtures that promote bio-diversity, unique surface structures and innovative, research-based designs.



WhaleWashing’s innovative technology can be used to clean ship’s hulls between 10 and 400 metres long.

A clean hull significantly improves a vessel’s power consumption.



A pilot-agreement with Van Oord will test Ionada’s semi-dry scrubbing technology aboard the Van Oord vessel Lelystad, a hopper dredger. Ionada offers ship owners an EGD (Exhaust Guest Cleaning) service, where shipowners only pay for the cleaned fuel. 


L-R: Edoardo Panziera, CEO Ionada and Job Voormolen, Project Manager Van Oord. Picture: Marc Nolte


PortXL was established in 2015 by the Port of Rotterdam Authority in partnership with Van Oord, Vopak, Boskalis EY, Uniper, Rabobank, Rotterdam Port Fund, InnovationQuarter and Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship.

As the only start-up accelerator programme that focuses on port-related activities, PortXL searches the world for innovative start-ups in the transport and logistics, chemical and refining, energy and maritime sectors.

Port Authority CEO Allard Castelein: “Rotterdam is a pioneering port.

“This means that we constantly work to determine how we can do things smarter, more efficiently, better and more sustainably.

“A programme like PortXL is important because it offers global innovators all kinds of scope, opportunities and support, enabling them to continue working on the port of the future during their time in Rotterdam.”


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