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Omani startup wins global competition to save oceans

9 Jun 2020

An Omani startup has won a global competition launched by the World Economic Forum, which aimed to come up with the best innovative technology-based ideas to save oceans. 

Cubex Global, the Omani Startup, backed by the Oman Technology Fund (OTF), won the UpLink Ocean Solutions Sprint, which saw 50 participants representing 15 countries taking part in the competition among more than 300 applicants.  

The Omani innovation team, including Hooda al Hawqani, Hamza al Kharousi and Sheikh Ihsan Tariq, won the competition, with the aim to reduce global shipping emissions by up to 20 per cent through buying and selling unused container space on existing cargo ships routes. 

‘Over 100 million shipping containers are 50 per cent empty while travelling from port to port, a massively wasteful practice that results in 280 million tonnes of carbon emissions and costs US$25bn every year,’ Cubex Global stated. 
Cubex provides an innovative opportunity for the world’s traditional shipping and shipping companies, which use a real-time blockchain-enabled online marketplace, to optimise empty cargo space on any container heading to any destination, they said.  

Since its launch in October 2019, Cubex platform has reserved 5,100 shipments in consideration of amounts exceeding US$100,000, and got investments from international funds as well as OTF, valued at US$750,000.  

The UpLink platform brings together key stakeholders who are championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): change-makers, social innovators, thematic experts, investors and technology titans. The platform was launched with the Ocean Solutions Sprint, which has sourced almost 50 entrepreneurial solutions from more than 15 countries to respond to the most pressing challenges facing the Ocean today. 

This competition facilitated connections among ocean experts, innovators, investors and change-makers, provide expert insight demonstrating the diversity, expertise and innovative approaches flowing through the UpLink Ocean community and culminated in a pitch competition that saw six finalists represent UpLink in the World Economic Forum’s Virtual Ocean Dialogues. From among the six, Cubex Global was chosen the winner.

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