When sporting achievement contributes to the greening of maritime transport

To beat a speed record in sailing, kite surfing or any other water sport that relies on wind power, innovation plays a major role. Alexander Kaysergis, the world champion in kite surfing and the holder of several records, knows this well. But over time, he ended up asking himself: Why invest so much in research, innovation, and solution development just for performance, with no other purpose? He says to himself that there is definitely a substance Take advantage of all this knowledge And to make it at the service of a world dear to him: the world of the sea, a world that also faces a challenge – not least -: the world of ecological transformation.

Thinking of his way. Then comes a series of meetings with men from the start-up and offshore sectors, giving substance to a pilot project implemented by five partners. Among them are Bernard Diard, founder of Unicorn Talend, and also Yves de Monchoel, who came from the world of software and big data startups. ” I’m not from the sea world at all, He said, But this concept is ridiculous “…Using innovation to benefit environmental transformation, which excites it. But to achieve that, you need a viable business model.”

Thus, if sporting exploits are usually financed within the framework of sponsorship contracts, here it is necessary to imagine a sustainable model, capable of self-sufficiency. “ So the idea is to design and commercialize the products resulting from the innovation implemented to achieve these feats. Alexander Kaysergis explains. From this model Syroco was born in June 2019.

First record to win

And she attacks it with the first sporting achievement: breaking the water speed record driven by the wind, which reached 121 km / h. Target: 150 km / h.

To achieve this, it is imperative: the pilot must be secured in some kind of cockpit, in the style of Formula 1. But this requires significant human and financial resources. The means by which the company acquires through the first round of financing and which allows it to raise 600 thousand euros, to which are added aid from Béfrance and the Southern Region.

Since then, based on an invention from the end of the 20th century that was designed but never implemented, entrepreneurs have developed a concept for the high-speed boat. At the core: a 7-meter capsule that should house Alexander Kaysergis and his assistant, one meter above the water’s surface. On the capsule: a majestic kite wing of between 30 and 50 square meters, giving the ship its power.

So that, despite the speed, he remained firmly in the water, he is equipped with a hydrofoil. It is the tension between this hydrofoil and the wing of the kite that allows the boat to be pulled two to three times faster than the speed of the wind.

Program based on digital twin boat

It remains to find the correct physical balances for the system to work. However, there is no suitable modeling tool for such a vessel. So it must be created. ” Then we told ourselves that if a software platform built in this way worked for a light and fast machine, it could also be adapted to other types of ships because the same physical laws come into play. “.

This is how the EfficienShip software platform, the startup’s first product, was born. This tool makes it possible to monitor the behavior of a ship’s digital twin according to a variety of criteria, from propulsion type to fuel selection, including weather conditions.

Contract with CMA CGM

Among the platform’s early customers: CMA CGM. “ They use it to assess the effect of sailing propulsion on container ships. They want to determine the type of sail device that will allow them to reduce fuel consumption by 20%.

The startup also has other clients whose names it does not want to be published at the moment. ” These are the French shipyards and ship owners. We also have discussions with Scandinavia, Italy and countries in Asia.”.

Still in the initiation stage, the commercialization of this tool should accelerate thanks to the return of physical events – very important for the conclusion of contracts in this environment – and to strengthen the team. ” Several recruitments are underway The startup, which currently has about twenty employees, is supposed to have about thirty employees by the end of the year. Fundraising should also be completed in the coming months.

On the sporty side, a prototype has been built that measures a third of the finished machine. The final version of the Speed ​​Vehicle should be available within a year. And if the record is indeed broken, it will shed more light on the small shot.

And then? ” We won’t stop there ”, confirms Yves de Monchoel. While efforts are currently focused on the technical and commercial development of the EfficienShip platform, other products are expected. to fuel other exploits. And other innovations in the service of environmental transformation.