Meet the Innovator | Next Ocean’s Journey of Innovation and Growth

2 May 2024 | Accelerator, Buccaneers and Meet the Innovator

The Buccaneer community is constantly evolving, innovations are further developed, companies are scaling up and products might be ready to be deployed. For this Meet the Innovator interview, we talked with Karel Roozen from Next Ocean. Next Ocean was founded in 2016 and is located at the Buccaneer right from the start. From a theoretical concept to pilots, to successfully commercially selling their products. How did Karel experience their journey so far and what does he expect for Next Ocean in the near future? Let’s find out!

From Concept to Commercial Success

Next Ocean’s journey began as a TU Delft spin-off, joining the Buccaneer initiative in 2016. Fast forward to 2024, the company now operates with a dedicated team of 8 and has successfully deployed over 10 WavePredictor systems so far, all currently operational at sea. Reflecting on their path, Karel shares some key highlights:

“There are of course multiple things we achieved with the team that makes me feel proud, but I would like to mention one in particular. In 2019, our technology underwent a successful pilot on a supply vessel, where the WavePredictor accurately predicted waves and ship motions in real time for the first time. It was amazing to see the technology we had been working on so hard, coming to life in a real operational environment. Together with the crew we experienced the magic of seeing a predicted extreme ship motion appear in the user interface, and then actually the ship started to rock minutes later. To our knowledge, we were the first worldwide to achieve this milestone. Achieving this wouldn’t have been possible without the support from multiple companies within the offshore industry as well as other parties that believed in us from the start. Parties, like for instance the Buccaneer, who gave us a stage to present our story on multiple occasions, and connected us with the right people to lay the correct foundation for growing our business. We’re both pleased and proud to be part of this industry and we are eager to continue expanding the roll-out of our prediction technology.”

Scaling up for the Future

Looking ahead, Next Ocean aims to double the number of WavePredictors and expand into new markets:

“Our motion prediction systems are there to revolutionize ship operations, particularly in the offshore renewable sector. We aim to double the number of WavePredictors operational at sea, by the end of this year. There is a strong need from the maritime and especially the offshore renewable industry to make operations as safe and as efficient as possible and our system has proven itself and is there to help. In the long run, we expect that motion prediction systems will be implemented in all newly built ships. Given the need for many more ships capable of installing and maintaining offshore wind turbines, our potential market is growing rapidly. Especially with the additional challenges that the upcoming market of floating offshore wind brings, and the estimated 20-50% gain by utilizing wave prediction in boosting wave energy converter (WEC) systems’ output, we’re scaling our company in a very interesting time.”

Support to scale up successfully

Karel emphasizes the invaluable support of the Buccaneer and its community in their journey so far:

“We are privileged to be part of the Buccaneer community, which fosters collaboration and offers valuable coaching and networking opportunities. This has resulted in development partnerships with other Buccaneers, in pilots and in sales. The Buccaneer is ran by a great team that really thinks in opportunities and is neither afraid to roll up their sleeves and help along to achieve the goal we’re all after: getting our innovative technologies to the market by growing successful businesses.”

As an accelerator, Buccaneer Delft proudly supports innovative companies in the ever-evolving energy & maritime sector. We accelerate growth, connect, inspire & help realize potential. Can we help you along your journey to become a successful entrepreneur? Find out more.