Rainmaking partners maritime industry leaders to tackle decarbonization in Singapore

  • For the first time in Asia, Rainmaking will be launching its “Trade and Transport Impact” program in Singapore to tackle the decarbonisation agenda, in collaboration with more than 10 maritime industry leaders.
  • Rainmaking will also be supporting Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)’s recently announced Maritime GreenFuture Fund by committing up to S$10 million to invest in promising start-ups.
  • These are the first in Rainmaking’s series of initiatives to tackle the decarbonization challenge.


A sector under pressure to decarbonise
International shipping plays an essential role in the facilitation of more than 80% of world trade as the most cost-effective and energy-efficient mode of mass cargo transport, making it a vital mainstay of international trade and a pillar of the development of a sustainable global economy. Given projected global economic growth, the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) estimates that emissions from shipping could grow between 50% to 250% by 2050. In response, the IMO has adopted a target to reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in 2050, and to reduce the average carbon intensity (CO2 per tonne-mile) by 40% in 2030 and 70% in 2050, compared to 2008.

Industry leaders have also recognised the need for a change, and within a short time, more than 10 partners have committed resources and time to address the issue of climate change.

Startups can help bring the future into the present for partner companies, by proliferating new technologies and business model innovations to catalyse an industry towards these goals. “We believe that true disruption will be enabled by tech startups and serial entrepreneurs,” said Michael Pomerleau, Partner and Investor at Rainmaking, “In tackling the decarbonization agenda, we will bring together disruptive startups and entrepreneurs with the scale, capability and reach of global industry giants, in order to create game-changing collaborations. Through these partnerships, we aim to test and validate thousands of solutions with exponential impact and scale them on within an extremely short horizon during the program.”

A program with genuine impact
Supported by MPA as part of its efforts to grow a vibrant innovation ecosystem for the maritime industry, the Singapore “Trade And Transport Impact” program will be opened for global startups to apply from now until 10 April 2020. Through the process, Rainmaking expects to identify more than 1,000 startups with relevant technologies and business models to tackle decarbonization.

Upon the application deadline, startups will be screened and the most relevant teams will be invited for the program kick-off days in Singapore and ultimately matched with the partners. Throughout the program, the corporate-startup engagement will be facilitated by Rainmaking in a six-week long semi-remote program focused on building collaborative pilot-projects.

First in a series of initiatives to accelerate the development of decarbonization solutions
Apart from the “Trade and Transport Impact” Program, and in support of MPA’s recently announced Maritime GreenFuture Fund, Rainmaking will also be committing up to S$10million to invest in promising start-ups who are developing and test-bedding solutions that will aid the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the Singapore maritime industry. The fund is set up to accelerate efforts in research, test-bedding, and adoption of low-carbon technologies.

“We are heartened that Rainmaking is launching an impact programme for long-term maritime sustainability in Singapore. With strong collaboration between the R&D community, start-ups, maritime industry and governments in the journey to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can make international shipping more environmentally sustainable,” said Mr Kenneth Lim, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Director, Innovation, Technology & Talent Development, MPA.

Startup applications are opened from now until 10 April 2020 at https://decarb.tradewithimpact.com

Confirmed program partners
MC Shipping Ltd. (subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation)

About Rainmaking
Rainmaking is a corporate innovation and venture development firm which works with businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes, from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 corporations, in order to solve challenges across the ever-changing landscape of innovation. The multidisciplinary team consists of some of the most experienced venture builders, strategists, engineers, designers, data scientists and growth experts around.

For more information, visit www.rainmaking.io

About the Trade And Transport Impact Program
This program is part of Rainmaking’s global Trade & Transport Impact (“TTI”) Platform.

It is designed to address real challenges within maritime trade and transportation by matching industry leaders with tech startups and scaleups in a collaborative outcome-oriented program. The first two cycles hosted in Europe saw a combined total of more than 1,200 startups scouted, resulting in 24 collaboration projects between 5 corporate partners and 16 selected startups. Visit https://decarb.tradewithimpact.com for more information.

Outside of decarbonization, the TTI platform is also addressing the following themes:

  • Enabling a more Efficient and Safe Supply Chain
  • Reimagining global trade and supply with AI and Deep Tech 
  • Mitigating Supply Chain Disruption (making it more resilient to cyber attacks, pandemics, climate destabilization etc.)

Angela Noronha
Program COO