Nor-Shipping 2022 has announced that four nominees have been shortlisted for the prestigious Young Entrepreneur Award, following in the footsteps of previous winners including Boyan Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup, and the Brim Explorer management team of Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo.
This time round André Risholm, Founder & CEO, Amon Maritime, Cristina Aleixendri, COO, Bound 4 Blue, Christiaan Nijst, Founder & Director, Value Maritime, and Maria Waagsnes, CEO, Norsjór will be contesting for the title. The winner will be revealed at Nor-Shipping’s Opening Ocean Leadership Conference on 10 January.
The accolade is a joint initiative between Nor-Shipping and YoungShip International. Conceived to shine a spotlight on emerging international maritime talent and solutions, entrants should demonstrate an ability to turn challenges into business opportunities, create jobs, enhance efficiency, adopt best practices, and address sustainability issues. Youth is also a prerequisite, with all nominees under the age of 40.
“Yet again we had an excellent array of entries demonstrating that energy, innovation and ambition are defining characteristics of today’s young maritime professionals,” comments jury head Eleanor Scudder, Secretary General, YoungShip International.
“Whittling down the field to just four stand-outs was a real challenge, and should be seen as a testimony to the quality of the final shortlist. This is a prize that raises industry profile, and often attracts funds and support, for the winner, but I also hope it impacts very positively on all these exceptional teams. They’re definitely ones to watch, now and in the future!”
This year’s key contenders have a distinctly European flavour, with two companies from Norway and one each from Spain and the Netherlands. Value Maritime is the Dutch contender. Started four years ago by Maarten Lodewijks and Christiaan Nijst, the firm has engineered the Filtree System, an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System that filters sulphur as well as (ultra-fine) particular matter out of the exhaust, while ensuring the wash water used is filtered and neutralized before discharge. It has also developed a carbon capture system for use onboard ships.
Christiaan Nijst, Founder & Director, Value Maritime
Norsjór, formed in Norway last year, is a business aimed at cleaning ship hulls with an innovative solution that completely eliminates waste organisms, thereby protecting fragile marine environments.
Maria Waagsnes, CEO, Norsjór
Spain’s Bound 4 Blue, meanwhile, is a start-up delivering automated wind-assisted propulsion systems, harnessing renewable energy as a turn-key solution for all shipowners and operators looking to decrease fuel consumption and emissions.
Cristina Aleixendri, COO, Bound 4 Blue
Finally, Norway’s Amon Maritime develops zero emission maritime projects based on its proprietary ammonia powered concept designs. The firm, launched in 2019, has so far attracted approximately NOK 100million in development funding.
André Risholm, Founder & CEO, Amon Maritime
“It’s great to see how ambitious young teams demonstrate the capacity to approach existing challenges from new directions,” notes Per Martin Tanggaard, jury member and Nor-Shipping Director External Relations.
“The next generation are the ones that will eventually take the wheel of this industry, navigating the uncertain waters ahead. So, it’s imperative we support their ideas and help nurture their amazing talent. This award, in collaboration with YoungShip, is tailored to meet those aims. I very much look forward to finding out which worthy contender takes the overall title in Oslo in January.”
Nor-Shipping’s Ocean Solution Award and Next Generation Ship Award will also be presented at the Ocean Leadership Conference.