The Maritime Awards Gala is returning to Rotterdam this year. On 7 November, five awards will once again be presented: the Maritime Innovation Award, the KNVTS Ship of the Year, the Maritime Designer Award, the RNLN Van Hengel-Spengler Award and the KVNR Shipping Award. The deadline for entering for one of them is rapidly approaching.

The Maritime Innovation Award is intended for companies in the maritime and offshore supply industry with an innovative product, process or service. Companies wanting to compete for this award have just two days left to send in their entry as the deadline has been set on Wednesday 18 May.

In 2021, this award was presented to Demcon unmanned systems for their fully in-house developed and manufactured unmanned autonomous vessels (USVs) for surveying, monitoring and maintenance applications in shallow, inland and offshore waters.

Also read: Unmanned autonomous vessels land Demcon Maritime Innovation Award

The other four awards have set the deadline for submitting an entry at Friday 27 May.

KNVTS Ship of the Year

Ships that qualify for the Maritime Award: KNVTS Ship of the Year 2022 must – especially with regard to innovative aspects – have been developed in the Netherlands, have preferably been built (for at least a large part) in the Netherlands and must have been delivered between 1 May 2021 and 30 April 2022. The jury will assess the submitted ships against the criteria Design, Economy, Sustainability and Environment, Safety and Construction Process.

So far, the KNVTS has received twelve entries. The 2021 award was presented to Damen Shipyards for the electric ferry Bryggen.

Also read: Ferry Bryggen wins KNVTS Ship of the Year Award

Maritime Designer Award

The Maritime Designer Award is intended for individual designers, PhD students, recent graduates and start-ups who feel that their work and approach deserve more attention and broader discussion. The award is aimed at the way in which a design, a subsystem of a ship or offshore vessel is realised. Eligible candidates include original or innovative approaches to design or tool development, possibly including demonstration. The winner will receive a cash prize of € 1000, made available by the Cooperating Maritime Foundations. The jury may also decide to make a sum of up to € 24,000 available to the winner from these funds to financially stimulate and facilitate further development of the design method or solution concerned.

In 2021, the Maritime Designer Award was taken home by Lex Keuning for his idea of an extra “flap” to increase the efficiency of the Magnus Rotor, a device that involves vertical cylinders that are placed on a ship. By rotating, they give the ship extra thrust.

Also read: Lex Keuning takes home Maritime Designer Award for Magnus Rotor improvements

RNLN Van Hengel-Spengler Award

To be eligible for the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) Van Hengel-Spengler Award, a student employed by the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) must carry out research as part of his or her studies, the results of which lead to new insights, concepts or innovations that contribute to better operational deployment of naval units. The award is in keeping with the innovative nature of the RNLN and was first presented in 2013, when the navy celebrated its 525th anniversary.

The award is named after two naval officers who, in the early twentieth century, laid the foundations for encrypting messages via a rotating machine. This idea gave rise to the famous German “Enigma” machine, which in turn led to efforts on the English side to break the encryption. The English scientist Alan Turing developed the concepts of a computer on this basis.

Lt Noah Stam performed his BSc. dissertation at the NLDA on the topic of ballistic missile defence with a focus on intercepting ballistic missiles from a naval vessel, which landed him the naval award in 2021.

Also read: Dutch Navy’s Van Hengel-Spengler Award goes to ballistic missile defence research

Maritime KVNR Shipping Award

The Maritime KVNR Shipping Award has been established by the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR) to honour an organisation or individual who, through innovation, has helped the shipping industry in the Netherlands most over the past year. Over time this has evolved from being about technical innovation to being focused on, preferably Dutch, organisations and individuals who have played a distinctive role in an innovative way to the benefit of Dutch shipping.

In 2021, the award was presented to the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) for organising the first extensive vaccination programme specifically designed for seafarers.

Also read: KVNR Shipping Award presented to Dutch seafarer vaccination programme

Maritime Awards Gala

Every year, the Maritime Awards Gala sees the presentation of the five awards mentioned above. At the gala, approximately 850 maritime professionals gather to celebrate the industry’s most innovative feats. This year, the event takes place on Monday 7 November, at the same venue as last year: De Doelen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.