PortVision announces grants to spur port and waterway safety

PortVision, a maritime software and communications company, has created a $500,000 grant initiative that it hopes will lead to safer, more secure waterways and more efficient ports.

The grant program, called PortVision Connect, offers nonprofit maritime organizations including harbor safety committees, trade associations, marine exchanges and other similar groups access to free and discounted technical services and support, the company said.

“Our goal is to help grantees facilitate better coordination and awareness of waterway impacts and vessel scheduling so they can greatly enhance safety and achieve the most efficient waterway utilization,” said Jason Tieman, PortVision’s director of maritime operations.

“These efforts will also help improve visibility so these organizations can make more informed decisions for their stakeholders, while delivering a number of other benefits, including less congestion, better traffic prioritization, and a reduction in fuel consumption, excessive emissions and wait times,” he said.

PortVision, a subsidiary of Airsis, offers web-based software services such as detailed vessel tracking, maritime terminal management and other services. The company has offices in San Diego and Houston.

Although the grant program is new, spokeswoman Andrea LaVorgna said it formalizes what the company has been doing on an informal basis since it launched in 2006.

“By providing a defined approach through this initiative, we are hoping that nonprofit organizations that support the maritime industry will be able to access technology that would otherwise be unavailable to them,” she said.

“And even in the case of major trade associations, the individual member companies are frequently large and well-funded, but the association or consortium typically does not have a budget large enough to support significant technology initiatives.”

PortVision will pay for up to 100 percent for web development, hardware and software costs and operations associated with each grant-funded project. The company also will assign a project manager to develop a detailed work plan for each project, LaVorgna said.

The company expects most projects to consist of two- to four-month development periods with awards between $40,000 and $100,000 per recipient.

There are no maximum grants associated with the Connect initiative and there is no application deadline.

Examples of pending projects include gate pass portals that streamline terminal access, information portals for real-time data access, real-time resource scheduling, and waterway alert systems, the company said.

Organizations interested in the grant program can apply online at www.portvision.com/connect.

“Our goal is to facilitate the deployment of collaborative web-based systems that fundamentally improve efficiency, safety, and security in our industry,” LaVorgna said. “And we are very interested in working with forward-looking organizations to drive measurable results.”

By Professional Mariner Staff