French shipping company CMA CGM Group has launched its first global startup incubator, Ze Box, in order to further strengthen its digital strategy.

The Ze Box facility is set to be based in Marseilles, France, and will cover an area of 800m².

It is expected to house a dozen startups from all over the world and will aim to show the companies’ potential for development across the digital network through the creation of new products and services.

CMA CGM plans to launch a call for the Ze Box initiative soon and is slated to begin the incubator project by June.

"With Ze Box, CMA CGM is accelerating its digital strategy and is developing the means to become the transportation industry’s leader in innovation."

The company has also collaborated with France’s Aix-Marseilles University and Aix-Marseille Provence Métropole to develop Ze Box.

CMA CGM will provide its expertise, while the participating academic researchers and PhD students will lend their respective skills for the Ze Box project, which is set to be headed by the France’-based Ecole Polytechnique’s former entrepreneurship and innovation head Matthieu Somekh.

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CMA CGM Group chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé said: “With Ze Box, CMA CGM is accelerating its digital strategy and is developing the means to become the transportation industry’s leader in innovation.

“By combining our expertise with the one of the start-ups that will be hosted within Ze Box, we will develop global innovations that create value for our customers and for CMA CGM.”

CMA CGM also recently appointed Infosys’ Europe and global energy, utilities, telecommunications and services head Rajesh Krishnamurthy as the company’s IT and Transformations Group senior vice-president in order to accelerate the company’s digital transformation.