Innovative new platform for seafarers combines professional records with skills and experience to benefit marine industry

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British tech start-up puts interests and prospects of the maritime community first

A new global service for seafarers is set to transform the way the maritime industry records and organises professional experience, using ship-tracking data to automatically record voyage details, miles sailed and port call information.

Called seaV, the platform uses data driven technology to replace paper records, autonomously building a deeper understanding of individual professional experience and talent. Following a period of beta trials, the app has been released and is available free of charge for both iPhone and Android users.

As well as tracking live activity, historical AIS data archives allow seafarers to generate past information within minutes of downloading the app, creating a complete digital thread of their seagoing professional experience.

seaV’s goal is to become the seafarer’s digital companion, going beyond recruitment and job hunting and ultimately handling everything around record keeping and qualifications, job hunting, finance, travel and flights.

One of its most important purposes is the community function. seaV allows users to connect with other crew and share their stories and experiences both within the app and through their existing social media channels.

Shore-based colleagues and the wider maritime community including friends and family can also use seaV to follow and engage with seafarers at work and the ships they sail on.

seaV launches at a time when many seafarers have been stranded on ships or struggled to return home during the pandemic. seaV allows users to evidence in words and pictures what is happening, where they have been, how far they have sailed and how the pandemic has affected them.

seaV has been developed by two British entrepreneurs, naval architect Will Ellison, a former marine consultant to Solis Marine, and Ed Brunyee who partners with industry experts to build innovative businesses such as the industry 4.0 company Samson VT and now seaV.

They previously worked together on a project using AIS ship tracking data to analyse the flow of commodities, providing a unique perspective on the global economy.

Their experience of the shipping industry and time developing innovative uses for ship tracking was the inspiration for seaV.

Will Ellison said: “The pandemic has made it an incredibly challenging 18 months for seafarers. It’s very important that we hear their stories and seaV can help. Seafarers play a critical role in the global supply chain but all too often this goes unnoticed by us, the end consumer, and to some extent by parts of the shipping industry itself.

“What makes seaV different from other platforms is that it goes well beyond just job hunting and recruitment. Autonomous data capture requires minimum input from the user, but gives them large amounts of rich, interesting content to share with their colleagues, friends and family.”

seaV will generate revenue by providing a platform for in-app services, such as recruitment and payments, and selling services that streamline the organisation and management of professional skills across shipping.

Unlike other ship-tech start-ups, seaV will not be compromised by commercial pressures which all too often shift the focus towards a shipowner’s profit margin as opposed to maximising the benefit to seafarers.

Ed Brunyee said: “It is encouraging to see an increasing number of initiatives and programmes aimed at helping seafarers, and we hope that seaV will become a focal point for these efforts. However, the majority of new technology and innovation within shipping focuses on the bottom line of shipping companies, rather than benefiting the men and women who make shipping happen. seaV puts the maritime community first.”

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