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UK tech innovators pitch to South Korea’s biggest maritime corporations

UK tech innovators pitch to South Korea’s biggest maritime corporations

This week, seven UK scaleups offering innovative technologies for the maritime sector pitched their offerings to five of South Korea’s largest shipbuilding and ship owning corporations during a trade mission to the UK.

We organised this event as part of the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme, the initiative we’re running on behalf of the government to help tech scaleups to explore and secure commercial opportunities in 11 markets across the Asia Pacific region, including South Korea.

Taking place in London on 17 April, each company was given the chance to pitch its technologies to Korean maritime and logistics giants HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, Hanwha Ocean, HMM and Hyundai Glovis. The companies then took part in Q&A and networking sessions to take discussions further forward.

The participating UK companies were:

  • Ninety Percent of Everything – a supplier of maritime digital intelligence
  • COMET – a provider of a technology-enabled root cause analysis tool
  • Ceto – a supplier of data analytics to improve shipping industry processes
  • Darktrace – a provider of AI-powered cybersecurity
  • HiLo – a maritime risk management company
  • Marine AI – a supplier of artificial intelligence systems to enhance manned vessel safety and enable autonomous marine operations
  • Signol - a provider of software to reduce fuel usage and optimise operational practices

The event was part of a broader inward maritime trade mission, organised by the British Embassy in Seoul and the UK’s Department for Business & Trade.

The maritime industry is strategically important to South Korea, with its shipbuilding sector alone forecast to be worth KRW 44 trillion (£30.1 billion) by 2030. While it is already a global player and is making huge investments in the digitalisation and decarbonisation of the field, it lags regional rivals China and Japan in the development of smart ships and smart ports. The country’s corporations are keen to collaborate with western companies offering technologies which can help strengthen its position in the sector.

Following the pitches, the startups and delegates were able to discuss their technologies further during the networking event

Richard Newnham, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Ninety Percent of Everything, said: “We were excited to be selected to participate in the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme, and to have the opportunity to pitch to such prestigious Korean companies.

“Our commitment to maritime excellence through our next-generation platform, OpenOcean STUDIO, aligns perfectly with the forward-thinking approach of the Korean shipping industry. Engaging with representatives at the event gave us valuable insights and opportunities for collaboration at a time when the industry is increasingly embracing digitalisation to elevate operations and enhance sustainability.

“We look forward to nurturing these connections and advancing discussions that will mutually benefit our organisations and contribute to the growth and sustainability of the maritime industry.”

Euan Henderson, Business Development Manager at COMET (pictured), commented: "We were delighted to have the opportunity to take part in this pitch event, hosted by the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme. Our participation marked a significant milestone for our product as it expands its global reach, helping businesses to enhance their operational and organisational performance. By combining our expertise, data-driven software and technology solutions, organisations can reveal and resolve past, present and future risks to their business.

“Our recent partnership with South Korean firm RIMS and our participation in events like this demonstrate our dedication to supporting organisations in South Korea and beyond as they strive to achieve the highest safety and compliance standards."

Gavin Cleary, Head of the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme at Intralink, said: “Pitch events such as this offer a unique opportunity for some of the most innovative UK tech scaleups to introduce their solutions to potential partners and customers from Asia Pacific. We run them regularly for UK companies involved in the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme and they’ve proved successful in helping to spark commercial relationships between the UK companies and carefully-selected corporations from APAC.”

He continued: “Korea is committed to building an even stronger presence in the maritime sector and it is major Korean companies, such as those attending this latest pitch event, that will deliver this. We were happy to showcase some of the most exciting maritime tech being developed in the UK and the interest from the Korean companies was clear from the outset.”

The UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme provides support for UK tech scaleups to expand in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Our teams on the ground in Asia Pacific can identify participants’ business opportunities, provide market entry advice and help them sell their products, forge partnerships and raise investment.

The programme – backed jointly by the UK Government’s Department for Business & Trade and Department for Science, Innovation & Technology – is aimed at scaleups throughout the UK with significant international growth potential.

For more information and to apply to join the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme, visit

You can also contact our Programme Manager, Tom Miller, at

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