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Arctic tourism duo clinch YE Award

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At last night’s opening Nor-shipping opening ceremony, Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo the CEO and CFO of Brim Explorer were announced as winners of the 2019 Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award. The award was presented by Norway’s Minister of Trade, Torbjørn Røed Isaksen in front of an audience that included King Harald.

The Young Entrepreneur Award seeks to recognise an individual or a team under the age of 40, who has been involved in bringing to fruition, an idea, business, strengthening the industry or in some other way taking a leading role and marking themselves out as the Next Generation of shipping professional.

This year’s winners join Tor Østervold the founder of ECOsubsea, Boyen Slat founder of Ocean Cleanup and Tuomas Riski CEO of Norsepower as winners of this prestigious award.

Influencing the jury decision was their admiration for the professional manner by which the two 33-year olds managed to gather investors and clients in order to build two vessels and get ready to have them into operation. The hybrid ship they have helped design is one of the world’s most flexible electric ship, as it can be charged at any port and operate on batteries for 10 hours with a cruising speed of 10 knots.

Another important factor was that Brim Explorer creates jobs; They will employ a crew of 10 persons onboard the first vessel and will need same amount for the second ship. In addition, construction of the ships will also provide a significant number of employment possibilities.

Michela Sasdelli, secretary General of Youngship and Jury Chair for the award said, “Finding the winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award gets harder with every Nor-Shipping. Not just because the number of entrants is increasing year on year but also because the calibre of the entries is also at a very high level. There is too a great degree of diversity in the projects, organisations and backgrounds that the entrants are drawn from”.

“The decision to give the award to Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo followed a long and animated debate by the jury members. Brim represents an opportunity for the maritime industry to take part in a sustainable growth in tourism, where pushing the limits of the technology available plays well with the overall aim to create green maritime industries. Operating at the intersection between tourism and the maritime industry puts them in a unique position to reach a global audience and to showcase the innovations of the maritime industry. Sustainable tourism from Brim Explorer is an inspiration for the tourism industry worldwide,” she added.

On this year’s shortlist arrived at by the jury there were two individual and two team entries: As well as the winners, the three unsuccessful candidates are also worthy of further mention. They were, Karoline Sjødal Olsen, the CEO and co-founder of Blue Lice a business start-up which has developed a means of trapping sea lice before they can attach to farmed salmon and other fish. Inty Grønneberg CEO and Founder of Ichthion an organisation with no less than three patented technologies to remove plastics and other pollution from seas and rivers. And finally, a team of five persons, Magnus Eikens, Morten A. Christophersen, David M. Knutsen, Miriam E. Wennberg, and Stian T. Magnusson who are all co-founders of Connect LNG developing jettyless transfer systems for new energy products such as LNG, liquid CO2 and hydrogen between ship and shore.

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