Swansea University announces new collaboration with global shipping firm

Swansea University and a global shipping firm have announced their plans to collaborate on a unique online platform.

Idwal Marine, which is part of the Welsh 100-year old Graig Shipping PLC, launched www.inspectmyship.com in 2016 to service the needs of the global merchant shipping industry in the digital age.

Idwal Marine, a specialist ship inspection company with offices in Cardiff and Shanghai, and with over 150 marine surveyors & specialists located globally, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Swansea University’s School of Management to develop the world’s first online ship inspection platform.

The firm is now working with the university to grow the platform with a fully funded PhD scholarship based at the School of Management on the university’s £450million Science & Innovation Bay Campus being offered as part of the collaboration.


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Exciting Collaboration

Swansea University’s vice-president and Dean of the School of Management Professor Marc Clement said the new collaboration was exciting for the school and part of its wider plans to link the institution to a range of commercial partners.

Professor Clement said: “Swansea University is well placed to deliver collaborative solutions by drawing on its strong track record of teaching research and innovation.

“Research carried out by Idwal Marine demonstrates the current spend on ship inspections is circa $600million (USD) per annum highlighting a significant sector-specific business opportunity. The School of Management is delighted to be able to work with commercial partners across a variety of sectors to deliver impact through research, enterprise and innovation.

“This is a disruptive and innovative platform technology business positioned within a major global industry. This collaboration with Idwal Marine fits with the School’s aims to embed the world of business into our ecosystem in order to optimise sustainable value creation. We also aspire to educate our students in new ways which are relevant to today and tomorrow.

“We are looking for a PhD candidate who is technologically-savvy, possesses a deep interest in the emergence of platform business model, lean start-up concepts and their global economic impact to work with the university and Idwal Marine.”

Platform development

InspectMyShip.com generates instant quotations for several types of ship inspections in hundreds of ports around the world. The aim is to:

  • streamline the process of obtaining inspection quotations
  • enable instant purchasing, 
  • trigger an automated process of surveyor booking and internal workflow
  • generate standardised high-quality report for the client.

Idwal Marine director Nick Owens said: Clients can track progress of their surveys, access and share quotations and reports, manage their portfolio of vessels and benefit from a host of industry-specific tools, and value-added services. The platform has already had a great reception from clients, including the most demanding and valuable banking sector.

“Creating this easy access online ship inspections platform was a logical step to unlock our further growth capability. We are delighted to be working with one of Wales’s top universities to grow this project. The School of Management has a track record of partnering with the private sector to drive forward research and innovation.

Graig Shipping’s Commercial Director Chris Williams added that the development of the platform was part of their group’s culture of finding innovative ways to grow their business.

He said:  “Graig’s culture is to be innovative and partnership-minded. This collaboration between Swansea University, and Idwal Marine into the inspectmyship.com platform, is proof of that. It will also allow us to undertake extensive market research into the size, scope and psychology of maritime professionals and businesses immersed in the industry.”

Professor Clement added: “To remain relevant we all must embrace change and constantly seek better ways of doing business, Idwal Marine’s new platform is a great example of innovation in the digital sector. We are excited to help them grow this part of their business."