Naval Architects, Michalis and Evangelia are passionate about the Maritime industry. They have recently launched a start-up Company that provides innovative Shipping solutions to tackle the adverse effects of climate change.
Their motivation and commitment has recently led them and their team to complete the Accelerator Phase of the IDEA programme and win the first prize of the Cyprus Digital Championship 2017.
Muriel: “Michalis and Evangelia, you are the co-Founders of a start-up, Syndeseas. What is Syndeseas and what was your motivation to create this idea and launch your project?”
Michalis & Evangelia: “There is a specific quote that inspires us and affects our way of thinking and acting, both in life and work: “Creatures with conscience, like humans, can never escape their responsibility” - E.P. Papanoutsos, in “Science and Responsibility”.
As Naval Architects and Maritime professionals, we felt that the main responsibility we could assume was to form part of the global efforts for facilitating the Maritime industry’s contribution towards tackling man-made climate change.
In fact, tackling the adverse effects of man-made climate change is a global priority, as it poses a serious threat to our very existence. It is our responsibility to act now, to preserve our planet for us and the following generations.
The EU Shipping Emissions MRV Regulation (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Regulation) and the IMO Mandatory Fuel Consumption Data Collection System, along with the IMO Ship Energy Efficiency Management Regulations, form part of the new global strategy for the reduction of GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Emissions from Maritime Transport, aiming towards the effective tackling of the adverse impacts of Climate Change.
The Syndeseas Integrated Solution is a response to the above declared global priority: an innovative tool, a software, managed by a team of Shipping MRV Auditors, designed to support and facilitate the enhanced implementation of new as well as existing maritime regulations.
Most importantly, this is achieved by utilizing existing technology onboard ships (AIS) for automated data collection and analysis and by using existing ship reporting formats. As a result, cost, time, effort and administrative burden are reduced to the absolute minimum, for both shipboard and shore personnel.
Designed with functions and capabilities that enable it to serve at once all requirements as well as the specific needs of all parties that have to comply or are in any way involved in the implementation of the above regulations, Syndeseas makes compliance easy for all.”
Muriel: “Well done for such a ground-breaking idea! Why did you choose the name Syndeseas for your project?”
Michalis & Evangelia: “Evangelia had the idea to name our project “Syndeseas”. The word 'syndesis' in Greek language means connection, link. By replacing the ending with the English word “seas” we created a symbolic name, which means: connecting the seas.
We believe that Syndeseas can form the vital link, connecting all parties involved in Shipping Emissions MRV process, from ships and Ship Management companies to Regulatory Bodies.
Moreover, Syndeseas provides the ability to all ships, regardless of age and technology available on board, to more effectively comply and benefit from valuable insights on their performance, without the need to use any additional resources.
Taking all the above into consideration, Syndeseas sounded as the perfect name for our project and so, we are now the Syndeseas Team.”
Muriel: “That’s a great reference, indeed. It is a very good choice. What are the strategic objectives of Syndeseas, as well as its Mission and Vision?”
Michalis & Evangelia: “Our Mission and Vision, is to utilize Information and Communications Technology, towards engineering innovative solutions for the maritime industry, serving the global shared vision for: novel, safer, greener seas.
Our strategic objectives are:
- To strengthen the Syndeseas network through significant strategic cooperation, both in aspect of international services coverage, and key strategic partners that can contribute to the enhancement and expansion of Syndeseas capabilities.
- To engage Syndeseas in a series of training, research and development activities, within its area of expertise. We believe that through such activities, Syndeseas may grow and expand.
- To achieve participation of Syndeseas, in as many major forums and decision centers as possible, for raising its status as a key contributor to the Maritime industry’s global efforts.
- To generate revenue from offering high quality technical services on Fuel Consumption Data Collection and Shipping Emissions MRV, in order to be able to secure high profitability and finance all above mentioned activities.”
Muriel: “Tell us about the Syndeseas Team; how did you decide to work together?”
Michalis & Evangelia: “Michalis Agapiou (Naval Architect) and Evangelia Fotopoulou (Naval Architect), were the co-founders of the project, which was initially named “Shipping Emissions Reporting & Verification (SERVer) Integrated Solution” and was an EF-MA novelseas Ltd project.
The other team members, joined at critical stages of the initial project:
Christoforos Antzouli (second from the left), a Maritime Economist, joined upon entry of our team in the IDEA Programme Accelerator Stage, offering valuable support to the project.
Angelos Hadjiphilippou, an IT expert, joined us soon after, and actually just in time to offer his valuable assistance in developing our MVP, which led our team to win the first prize of the Cyprus Digital Championship 2017.
Nikolaos Felesakis (first from the left), Mechanical and Environmental Engineer / Sales Engineer (MSc in Oil & Gas Engineering), joined our team adding his valuable knowledge and experience for finalizing the corporate structure of Syndeseas.
With its current form and structure, Syndeseas Team is in a unique position to bring our idea to life. Having realized that fact, we made the strategic decision to establish Syndeseas as a start-up company, with full intellectual property rights to the Syndeseas Integrated Solution.”
Muriel: “You recently completed the Accelerator Phase of the IDEA programme. Congratulations on your achievement! How would you describe the experience of being part of such an amazing programme?”
Michalis & Evangelia: “Thank you very much. It is a fact that through the IDEA Accelerator stage we had the chance to better plan, organize and execute our idea.
The collective knowledge and experience we received from the training sessions of the programme are valuable assets for any start-up. By successfully completing the accelerator stage, we feel more knowledgeable, more inspired and more confident than ever to face all challenges ahead and bring our idea to life.
Most importantly, the IDEA programme offered us crucial ethical and moral support. We have felt every step of the way that we are not alone, that we have a companion and trusted partner supporting us, motivating us, inspiring us. We are lucky enough to be still receiving as a Stage B Team great support, understanding and motivation / inspiration from the IDEA program Management, especially from the Manager of the Program, Mrs. Angela Panayiotou.
We highly appreciate all the time, concern and effort invested in us from the Management, Trainers / Mentors and all people involved in the IDEA program and taking this opportunity we would like to sincerely thank all of them.”
Muriel: “What other plans do you have for 2017?”
Michalis & Evangelia: “Our immediate plans include the official launching of the Syndeseas Integrated Solution at full scale and the initiation of relevant promotional activities. We emphasize on the online marketing of Syndeseas and we have developed a set of tools to maximize its efficiency. Such tools are our e-Newsletter, e-Magazine and Forum.
At the same time, we are quite busy working towards fulfilling all of our set strategic objectives. Discussions for possible strategic cooperation are ongoing, with companies that will be acting as Syndeseas agents and also with companies that will be contributing through their expertise to the enhancement of Syndeseas capabilities.
We hope that soon we will be in a position to announce a lot of exciting news, recognitions and achievements for Syndeseas.
For us the remaining period of 2017 is the preparatory period, which will enable us enter 2018 under the best possible conditions, in pursuit of our main goal: to effectively contribute to the Maritime Industry’s response to the challenge of reducing shipping emissions and enhancing ships energy efficiency.”
Michalis Agapiou (BSc Naval Architecture) has been active in the Maritime industry since the completion of his studies in 2006.
Within that time, he has served as a Naval Architect in a Technical Consultancy Office in Athens, as a Marine Surveyor, Marine Management Systems Auditor and Maritime Labour Inspector for a Classification Society in Cyprus (CBS, for seven years) and as a member of the Technical Department of a Ship Management Company.
In 2016 he co-founded EF-MA novelseas Ltd and on the same year he was assigned as Shipping Emissions MRV Auditor for an Independent Verifier.
Evangelia Fotopoulou (BSc Naval Architecture) has completed her studies in Naval Architecture, before working as Naval Architect in Technical Offices in Athens, engaged in the preparation of various Technical Studies and Shipboard Manuals.
In 2014 she moved to Cyprus and joined Cyprus Bureau of Shipping as a Naval Architect, before co-founding EF-MA novelseas Ltd in 2016 and being assigned as Shipping Emissions MRV Auditor for an Independent Verifier on the same year.
Muriel Matta (BSc, MSc, MPhil, Cert CTT Practitioner) is the Founder of Maravilhosa.
She is a multilingual Human Resources Management expert, with extensive cross-cultural experience, spanning 26 years in MENA, Europe and CIS.
Through her work with Organizations and Individuals, she helps solve the toughest HR challenges by customizing unique training and coaching solutions to inspire change, positive thinking and transformation.
Muriel can be contacted via email: Muriel@maravilhosa.net