The shipping industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing global trade and commerce and the need for efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable sea transportation solutions, as well as growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial and augmented intelligence, advanced vessel operation monitoring systems, and hydrogen fuel cells. In the last three years alone, there have been over 67,000 patents filed and granted in the shipping industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Ship: Offshore wind motor anchoring. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

30+ innovations will shape the shipping industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the shipping industry using innovation intensity models built on over 25,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Vessel propulsion systems, gas turbine-propelled vessels, and vessel internal combustion engine are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are underwater drilling support systems and anti-fouling ship hull coatings, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the shipping industry

Offshore wind motor anchoring is a key innovation area in shipping

Mooring and anchoring systems play an important role in ensuring the stability of floating offshore wind turbines. Anchoring solutions, however, differ based on the seabed conditions and mooring loads. Unlike oil and gas rigs, wind turbines are usually installed in arrays, which facilitates shared anchoring systems.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established shipping companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of offshore wind motor anchoring.

Key players in offshore wind motor anchoring – a disruptive innovation in the shipping industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to offshore wind motor anchoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 46 Unlock company profile
GWave 15 Unlock company profile
General Electric 14 Unlock company profile
IFP Energies nouvelles 14 Unlock company profile
Big Moon Power 11 Unlock company profile
QED Naval 11 Unlock company profile
Exponential Renewables 10 Unlock company profile
Makani Technologies 9 Unlock company profile
Havkraft 9 Unlock company profile
Single Buoy Moorings 9 Unlock company profile
BW Offshore 8 Unlock company profile
X Development 8 Unlock company profile
Aerodyn Engineering 8 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 7 Unlock company profile
Occidental Petroleum 7 Unlock company profile
Tidal Generation 6 Unlock company profile
Naval Group 6 Unlock company profile
Floating Windfarmsoration 6 Unlock company profile
Shanghai Electric Group 5 Unlock company profile
Linnhoff Offshore 5 Unlock company profile
Ocean Power Technologies 5 Unlock company profile
Boeing 5 Unlock company profile
Federal State Budgetary Institution 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the leading patent filer in offshore wind motor anchoring. It filed patents related to methods and systems of mooring float type wind power generation plants.

Other leading innovators in the offshore wind motor anchoring space include GWave, General Electric, and IFP Energies nouvelles.

In terms of application diversity, QED Naval leads the pack, followed by Occidental Petroleum and Big Moon Power. By geographic reach, GWave is the leading company, followed by Big Moon Power and QED Naval.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the shipping industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Shipping.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.