MONACO AND Y.C.M. INCUBATORS OF MARITIME INNOVATION
By Andrea Munari
MONACO. Monaco and the sea are eternally and deeply tied. In every globally complicated period, a vision going beyond is necessary. To imagine today what it should be tomorrow, the “Monaco, Capital of Yachting” project aims to position the Principality as a world benchmark in the sector. Yacht Club Monaco promotes a strict eco-responsible development, according to the will of its President, Prince Albert II, in collaboration with the foundation of his name (FPA2). It is the evolution of yet concrete initiatives on the environment, to continue to preserve the maritime heritage and a long tradition of innovation, of stories of the sea and of passionate boaters. The new objective of the Yacht Club de Monaco consists of a platform to promote more ecological and respectful yachting, as the Secretary General of the YCM Bernard d’Alessandri explains: “Combining facts and words, these initiatives show that the Yacht Club de Monaco pursues its daily mission, indicates the management, teaches and provides support so that yachting is at the forefront of sustainable development and that all players in the sector are mobilized to preserve the ocean”. The success of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, organized last July, is yet witnessing the importance of research and experimentation for the benefit of innovation in clean energy propulsion. This September is also rich in events, starting with the 15th Monaco Classic Week presenting the most beautiful classic and vintage boats, sailing and motor, plus the 30th Monaco Yacht Show. Moreover, the Monaco Smart & Sustainable Marina initiative that will take place tomorrow September 20 is a strong sign of the new course taken by the Yacht Club de Monaco. The international event deals with new generation eco-responsible infrastructures that will give a new look to marinas welcoming the future green yachts: “We want to encourage and support not only the development of motorization yachts and best practices, but also to ensure that these units can call in virtuous marinas, ”said Bernard d’Alessandri. To show the importance of this new meeting, the organizing company Monaco Marina Management and YCM are joined by the Prince Albert II Foundation, by Extended Monaco, which is the Principality’s digital transition program implemented by the Prince’s Government and by Credit Suisse, Bombardier, SBM Offshore, Teledyne, and NGE Connect. Presently, 53 start-ups from 29 countries selected by experts from Smart and Blumorpho, a company specializing also in security innovation, form a digital e-catalogue of innovative solutions that are still little known or unpublished, designed and implemented to preserve the environment. Some of these start-ups are supported by the European Commission within the framework of the Smart Anything Everywhere Program and 17 have already received the “Solar Impulse” guarantee label. The eight criteria for the selection of candidates are biodiversity, energy optimization, water management, waste treatment, equipment, safety, health, and mobility.
Just 15 start-ups will be chosen by a special Grand Jury, made up of 28 leading industrialists and investors in the sector such as Veolia, Bouygues Construction, Colas, Bosch, Suez, LafargeHolcim, PureTerra Ventures, BtoV, Circularity Capital, SNGLR. and SMEG. Tomorrow in the Gala evening the winners will receive the Monaco Smart & Sustainable Marina Awards. They will also have the privilege of presenting their project during the international event organized by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco Ocean Week scheduled on March 2022. Moreover, Monaco Smart & Sustainable Marina is an important initiative also for industry leaders in the sector, innovation experts, investors, and international promoters of marinas, because it offers a platform to share experiences and promote eco-responsible, efficient, and liveable development. The “Monaco, Capital of Yachting” project also raises the fundamental question of CO2 emissions from over 40 meters super yachts. A year ago, the Yacht Club de Monaco has founded the Superyacht Eco Association and a new tool at the service of super yachting. The SEA index monitors and measures CO2 emissions from propulsion systems and generators and is a fundamental step. It is a tool for owners, captains, shipyards, and anyone interested the super yachts’ environment and performance. The SEA Index online allows a rapid assessment of a yacht’s carbon footprint. The certification is then issued by Lloyd’s Register, an independent and globally recognized organization. The SEA index is also used for the annual attribution of the “La Belle Classe Explorer Awards”, awarded by Prince Albert II to owners distinguishing for their commitment to the protection of the marine environment, both in the design phase and during navigation. Finally, the appointment with the eighth edition of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge which will take place from July 5 to 9, 2022 will be another important step to make real the yachting of the future, innovation, and respect for the environment. Born in 2014, the initiative has grown up in participations, ideas and solutions applied to new marine propulsion systems thanks to renewable energies: solar, electric and hydrogen. The international showcase’ last edition recorded the presence of seventeen nationalities, thirty-two teams and twenty-two universities and it will be reiterated next year. At sea there will be motorboating tests between regularity, manoeuvrability, slalom, and speed. On land, conferences led by specialists, a village with exhibitors and a job forum to bring together professionals and students will show the sustainable technological advances made in the maritime sector. As the title of this article sets, Monaco and the Yacht Club de Monaco are building a new balance between the boaters and the sea.