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International Windship Association | October 20, 2021

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Wind Propulsion Innovation Awards 2021

Wind Propulsion Innovation Awards 2021

The second Wind Propulsion Innovation Awards recognise pioneering projects, technological innovation and the key people and companies making a real difference in advancing wind propulsion as a low carbon, truly sustainable option for the world’s commercial shipping fleet. There are seven categories of award this year that will help us celebrate the innovations and developments in the sector since the first awards in 2016.

The shortlist of submissions will be announced in mid-October and then after nearly three weeks of voting the winners will be announced at the virtual awards ceremony to be held during the second week of COP26, being held in Glasgow. These awards are about telling positive stories of shipping innovation at an important event in our voyage towards a sustainable world and averting the worst ravages of the climate emergency.

“Wind propulsion solutions are increasingly being viewed as a vital component in the drive to decarbonise the shipping industry. This is a sector that is gaining a lot of momentum and has a really powerful and positive story to tell, but still has a relatively low profile especially outside of the industry. We see that this situation is slowly changing and we hope that these wind propulsion innovation awards will help to further propel that change.” Gavin Allwright, IWSA Secretary General

We have just concluded the Call for Nominations with over 70 submissions across the board and now the panel of shortlist judges have the challenging task to whittle those down to just five in each of the seven categories.

The shortlist panel of judges is drawn from across the industry, academia, wind propulsion advocates and some general renewable energy/sustainability backgrounds. The open vote entries will be shortlisted using the following general criteria:

(i) Viability: how technically or economically viable is the design/tech/project
(ii) Commercial: does the submission have scalability in the niche they are operating in or across the industry.
(iii) Impact on Further Development of Wind Propulsion: will the submission help develop the wind propulsion segment as a whole further.
(iv) Out-of-the-Box Thinking: does the submission push the boundaries, bring new ideas etc.
(v) Wider Impact – does the tech/project speak to non-industry people – policy makers, cargo owners, the logistics chain, the media, NGO’s, general public.

We are delighted to now announce the category sponsors


1 – Wind Propulsion Innovation Award: developers of innovative technology & ship designs. [Open Public Vote]


ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design, construction and operation. Focused on safe and practical application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and clients to develop cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets. ABS has a commitment to support, promote and develop sustainability oriented technologies and measures for the Marine and Offshore industry. Wind Assisted and Wind Powered vessels are one of the drivers towards achieving sustainable operations and reducing GHG emissions reductions set by the IMO. 

2 – Wind Propulsion Technology User Award
: to be presented to any company championing the use of wind propulsion in the maritime sector through prototype testing or commercial use of wind. [Open Public Vote]


Thordon Bearings is the leading manufacturer of bearing and shaftline products that eliminate grease and oil from marine equipment – deck/sailing equipment, propeller shafts, rudders and other shaftline products for the global market. Thordon provides a maintenance-free solution to replace greased bronze bearings, eliminating safety issues when manually greasing bearings in hard-to-reach locations onboard ships. Thordon non-metallic bearings are easily and safely machined; installation is quick and easy. Thordon’s line of zero-pollution products ensures that the merchant marine, workboat, passenger and Navy & Coast Guard vessels that have our products installed are not discharging oil or grease into the ocean and waterways.

3 – Wind Propulsion Projects
Award: is for projects that are focused on policy, regulation, multiple technology development, R&D, network building or business development in the field. [Open Public Vote]


Wärtsilä Marine Power leads the industry in its journey towards a decarbonised and sustainable future. Our portfolio of engines, propulsion systems, hybrid technology, and integrated powertrain systems deliver the reliability, safety, and environmental performance that Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision encompasses. We offer our customers performance-based agreements, lifecycle solutions, and an unrivalled global network of maritime expertise. 


4 – Small Vessel Sector Award is reserved for vessels and technologies developed for the small vessel segment, including traditional sail cargo, fisheries, small inter-island ferries etc.  [Open Public Vote]


MARIN is a globally recognised top institute for hydrodynamic and nautical research, extended with aerodynamics for wind propulsion. Our mission is ‘Better Ships, Blue Oceans’: we stand for clean, smart and safe shipping and sustainable use of the sea. We do this as an independent knowledge partner for the maritime sector, government and society. We support the decarbonisation in shipping by doing in depth and collaborative research into new propulsion, powering and energy configurations and we continue to improve methods do improve hydrodynamic efficiency, based on our 85 year experience. But we specifically also support wind propulsion in many research projects for the industry as a whole, as well as specific new build and retrofit projects. MARIN, Better ships, Blue oceans

The following three categories will be voted on by IWSA members only. The research categories will be shortlisted using the following general criteria:
(i) Relevance – does the research cover an area of importance/relevance.
(ii) Impact – has/will the research further our understanding/application/uptake of wind propulsion.
(iii)Clarity – are the objective, content, benefits/impact made clear and are easily accessible.
(iv) Stakeholder engagement – level of input/collaboration
(v) Wider Impact – does the submission speak to non-industry/non-academic people – policy makers, cargo owners, the logistics chain, the media, NGO’s, general public.


5 – Completed Research Award: one for completed research papers/reports and projects that been impactful and have furthered our understanding of wind propulsion over the last five years. [IWSA Member Voting]


The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), is an internationally renowned professional institution whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures. Members of RINA are widely represented in industry, universities and colleges, and maritime organisations in over ninety countries.

Kühne Logistics University (KLU) Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL)  Kühne Logistics University (KLU) founded the Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) under the auspices of Hapag-Lloyd in 2018. The purpose of the CSGL is to combine rigorous academic research with practical experiences and insights in the area of shipping and container transport, to increase the competiveness of the sector, enhance its sustainability profile and contribute to the development of Hamburg as an international maritime knowledge hub. The CSGL research team focuses on the advancement of shipping and maritime transportation in areas such as digitalisation, sustainability and the creation of value.

Dealfeng New Energy Technology focuses on marine energy saving and emission reduction products in decade. The main partners of the company are senior experts and designers in the shipbuilding industry. Dealfeng has developed Flettner rotor sails that are 1M×3M on the 100T test ship and 4M×24M on the ground. Through calculation, Dealfeng rotor sails can reduce 10%-20% fuel and CO2 emissions for ships under different wind conditions. This year, Dealfeng plans to install a 24 meters × 4 meters Flettner rotor sail on a bulk carrier.

Econowind is a Dutch based company, related to HCP and Conoship international, a ship design and engineering office in Groningen. Econowind is fully dedicated to wind-assisted ship propulsion. We developed the eConowind-unit, supported in the form of a subsidy by the European Union and the three northern Dutch counties (SNN) with the VIA funding for regional development. The company offers a series of wind-assist solutions based on the Ventifoil® system which can fixed to a vessel, deployed on a movable Flatrack system or the eConowind-unit where the ventifoils are placed inside a 40ft container, with the size of the foils not limited to the container size. The Ventifoil® is a wing shaped element using modern innovations in aerodynamics creating high propelling force relative to its size. Smart suction is integrated in the wing, resulting in double the force of the Ventifoil while reefing when needed.


6 – Proposed Research Award: this second research category is for exciting new proposals for research projects and papers. The shortlisted for this award will be forwarded for future consideration for research support under the future Wind Propulsion Accelerator program.


Yara Marine Technologies provides technologies to enable a greener maritime industry. Since 2010, YMT has been a frontrunner in the emissions reduction industry. Today, Yara Marine offers a portfolio of green technologies, such as SOx scrubbers, fuel optimization systems, turnkey shore power solutions, and the cutting-edge, advanced wind-assisted propulsion system WindWings. Yara Marine works with ship-owners, yards, and naval architects as partners in its effort to reduce maritime emissions and drive the change towards a greener maritime industry. Yara Marine Technologies is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with branches in Sweden, Poland, and China. 


Green Marine is a voluntary environmental certification program for the North American marine industry. It is a rigorous, transparent and inclusive initiative that addresses key environmental issues through its 14 performance indicators. Participants are shipowners, ports, terminals, Seaway corporations and shipyards based in Canada and the United States.  The program encourages its participants to reduce their environmental footprint by taking concrete actions. To receive their certification, participants must benchmark their annual environmental performance through Green Marine environmental program’s exhaustive self-evaluation guides. They also need to have their results verified by an accredited external verifier and agree to publication of their individual results.

Norsepower’s mission is to reduce the environmental impact of shipping through the commercialisation of innovative and modern sail power. Norsepower Rotor Sails provide a reliable and easy-to-operate auxiliary wind propulsion system with a proven savings record. Norsepower Rotor Sails have until today been installed on board six ships and they can typically reduce fuel consumption and all related emissions by 5-20%.


7 – Outstanding Contribution to the Wind Propulsion Sector Award: given to an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to the wind propulsion sector.



We are delighted to introduce the panel of shortlist judges that will select the projects that proceed to the voting round. They come from across the industry, representing a whole swathe of different stakeholders and this includes a number of wind propulsion specialists. The judges will be assessing the submissions on a number of criteria: 

Aleksander Askeland – CSO, Yara Marine Technologies
Andrew Stephens – Executive Director, The Sustainable Shipping Initiative
Bertrand Charrier – Founder, BC Consulting
Bud Darr – Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group
Carleen Lyden Walker – Executive Director, NAMEPA
Craig Eason – Owner, Fathom World
Daniel Barcarolo – Senior Engineer, Sustainability at American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
David Bolduc – Executive Director, Green Marine | Alliance verte
David Patraiko – Director of Projects, The Nautical Institute
Dmitriy Ponkratov – Technical Director, Royal Institution of Naval Architects.
Edwin Pang – Chair, Royal Institution of Naval Architects IMO Committee
Frank Berrens – Director, Berrens Maritime
Frédéric Moncany de Saint-Aignan – Président du Cluster Maritime Français
Giovanni Bordogna & Nico van der Kolk – CEO/CTO, Blue Wasp Marine
Grant Gassner – Director of Integrated Systems and Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine Power
Haris Zografakis – Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP
Helene Smidt – Lead, Maritime Industry Decarbonisation Council, Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association (RBSA)
IMO Maritime Technical Co-operation Center for Caribbean (MTCC-Caribbean)
John Buckingham – Chief Mechanical Engineer, BMT
Lars Robert Pederson – Deputy Secretary General, BIMCO
Octavi Sadó Garriga – Ship Design Manager, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping
Peter Rae – President, World Wind Energy Association
Ruan Wei, Professor – Head, IMO Maritime Technical Co-operation Center for Asia (MTCC-Asia)
Sara Skold – Project Manager, Clean Shipping Index
Sofia & Conor Fürstenberg Stott – Partners, Fürstenberg Maritime Advisory
Vasileios Kosmas, Dr – Senior Researcher, Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) of Kühne Logistics University (KLU)

See Judges Full Profiles 


All submissions will be no longer than one-page long and any submissions received that are longer than this will be returned to the submitter with a request to reduce the length.

No cash prize is being offered, winners will receive a certificate and a banner for their website or other uses.

All those submissions shortlisted will be presented on this webpage and the final winner will be requested to make a short presentation at the virtual award ceremony.

Late submissions will not be accepted after the close of the stated submission date, unless a general extension has already been announced prior to the original submission deadline.

The voting system will be an automated one and the digital results will be retained confidentially for a minimum of one year after the voting is completed.

Judges will be asked to inform us of any conflict of interest – i.e. they have been involved with the project in question, hold shares or other financial interests in the project etc. If there is a conflict of interest, then the judge will be asked not to vote on that category of award. All judging material will remain confidential and at no time will judges be held liable for any participation in this shortlist judging process.

Sponsors may take part in the judging process, however they are equally bound by the conflict of interest clause.

IWSA will be responsible for collating the shortlist recommendations and adding these to the voting system and webpage. At no time will IWSA be responsible for the voting behaviour of the judges, the open vote or that of the IWSA members

The shortlist will be limited to 5-6 projects under each category. The top five will be guaranteed to make it through to the shortlist, with a sixth slot available for a close runner up, if there is one. In the case of a tie, or very close vote the number of first choice or ‘5’ scores will be deemed the separating vote, and so on down to ‘4’, ‘3’ etc. If it is deemed to be too close to call, then judges may be asked to tiebreak this with a simple Yes/No vote.

If there is any formal questioning of the vote, a mutually agreed third party will be appointed to access the voting and nomination results under a non-disclosure agreement and both IWSA and the person or group questioning the result will agree to abide by the that third party recommendation.

If you have any further questions, please send these to


IWSA will not be held liable for any actual or perceived damages created by participation in this awards procedure or through the voting process or publicity activities undertaken in the promotion and execution of these awards.

All disputes will be handled in an amicable and professional manner and where agreement cannot be reached and where necessary all parties agree to abide by a mutually agreed third party adjudication.  

Archive – Wind Propulsion Awards 2016 – Further Details