Wärtsilä in Italy

Wärtsilä launches innovation contest for ideas to digitalise the marine industry

  • Press release
26 October 2015 at 11:33 AM E. Europe Standard Time

Wärtsilä launches an innovation contest, Wärtsilä Marine Mastermind, aimed at start-up companies and entrepreneurs, in connection with the start-up event Slush. The purpose of the contest is to find new and unique digital services for the marine industry. The contest is open for existing companies as well as for aspiring entrepreneurs. The winner of the contest will get to further develop the idea together with Wärtsilä’s experts and Shift Actions, specialised in agile concept and product development.

Wärtsilä is a globally known pioneer in the utilisation of digital technologies in the marine and energy industries. With the innovation contest, Wärtsilä wishes to build closer relationships with international start-up companies and entrepreneurs and discover interesting digital business opportunities together. The aim is to develop a new value adding digital service or solution in collaboration with start-ups to support the growth of Wärtsilä’s customers’ business. The winner also gets a chance to become part of the highly international marine business.

“We are living in the age of disruptive innovations. This applies also to our business. Start-ups are playing a vital role in this, so it is with interest we look into the start-up scene and work closely with them,” says Pierpaolo Barbone, President of Wärtsilä Services.

“The marine industry provides an enormous amount of possibilities for new product and service innovations. Already today Wärtsilä’s innovations increase the predictability of maintenance requirements, optimise the use of vessels’ equipment and even enable the utilisation of virtual reality in remote support. The innovations we are looking for in the contest can for instance bring efficiency gains, better usability, improve transparency of operations to the customer or enhance safety. Only the imagination is the limit,” comments Tero Hottinen, General Manager, Business Innovation at Wärtsilä Services, in charge of the innovation contest.

The winner’s idea will be coached in an innovation lab

The contest will start on 26 October 2015, when there is more information available on Wärtsilä’s website In addition, Wärtsilä will tell more about the contest on the stage at Slush’s Clean Solutions event in Helsinki on 12 November 2015, after which Wärtsilä will begin accepting submissions for the contest.

The winner of the contest will get to experience a 30-day agile “Lean Innovation Lab” product or service development sprint supported by Shift Actions. The sprint is focused on the challenges of innovation, development of the concept for commercialisation, its prototyping as well as the business plan and its implementation plan. The goal is to use the concrete idea in the future together with Wärtsilä.

“The key criteria that we will emphasise during evaluation are the usability of the solution within the marine business, innovativeness, customer focus and the business potential and scalability of the solution,” says Hottinen. “Start-ups are good at getting under the customers’ skin. They are agile and able to pivot their product development in a fast manner if needed. This is something that all big corporations can learn from,” adds Tero Hottinen.

Submissions can be sent to Wärtsilä by 31 December 2015. The winner of the contest will be chosen by an international jury established by Wärtsilä. The jury includes Wärtsilä’s experts as well as distinguished representatives of the marine industry media, Wärtsilä’s customer and capital investor as well as star-up incubator.

The best ideas will be showcased to the jury in February. The winner will be announced in March 2016.

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