FUTURE ORIENTATION. HOW WILL FINX’S PRODUCT INNOVATIONS HELP CUSTOMERS IN THE FUTURE
FinX is revolutionizing the nautical world by developing an undulating membrane for boat engines, imitating fish swimming. This bio-inspired and electric new propulsion, which replaces the propeller by a fin, represents the future of nautical mobility. Indeed, FinX meets the major needs of the sector by providing key advantages. This proven technology is totally safe (no risk of cut, injury, or entanglement), efficient, robust and easier to maintain (low maintenance, as the motor is composed of only a few parts).
Interview with Alexandra Corsi Chopin, Institutional Relations Manager at FinX.
Easy Engineering: Which are the most futuristic products / solutions from your portfolio? What are the characteristics of these products / solutions?
Alexandra Corsi Chopin: The Fin5 is the first finned boat motor in the world, without propeller, 100% electric and safe, 2kW (equivalent in thrust to a 5 HP engine). First FinX product, it is dedicated to small boats (boats and dinghies) and sailboats up to 3 tons.
As true technological innovation, this new linear (non-rotating) engine has the particularity of not “mixing” the fluid as a propeller does, but of propelling it in a straight line, like the silent power of marine mammals. Already available for pre-order, the Fin5 will equip small pleasure boats (boat rental companies, manufacturers/renters of watercraft, sailing schools and private individuals). The first series will be industrialized at the end of 2022.
The Fin150 is the second FinX finned boat engine, currently under development. With a power of 150HP (120kW), it is based on the same undulating membrane technology as the Fin5, equipped with two planar membranes. It will benefit from the same disruptive advantages as the Fin5, with the addition of hydrogen, an innovative and emerging energy solution on the market. The Fin150 will be dedicated to river and/or tourist shuttles, shipyards, workboats, boat rental companies, etc.
By the way, the Fin150 has been selected by France Mobilités for passenger transport on the Seine during the Paris 2024 Olympics. FinX is indeed one of the winners of the France Mobilités Call for Innovations (Ministry of Ecological Transition), which aims to make Paris a global showcase for French-style disruptive innovation, social and environmental responsibility.
After the Fin5 (5CV-2kW) and the Fin150 (150-120kW), FinX will develop intermediate ranges, as well as higher powers, with an objective: the generalized replacement of the propeller.
By choosing bio-inspiration and future, FinX is in line with the dynamics of the energy transition and honors its goal of becoming a player in the decarbonized world of tomorrow. Everything is interdependent. While the ocean has been suffering from major anthropogenic pollution for decades, little considered because it is less visible, projects are springing up, multiplying and the concept of the blue economy is becoming more widespread. Humanity is beginning to realise that without a healthy ocean, it is no more.
E.E: Tell us about the company’s long-term goals / prospects?
A.C.C: FinX has already developed a 5 HP outboard engine, the Fin5, validating the technology. The objective is now to enrich the range with 150 HP membrane engines, outboard and inboard, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and industrializable. Other intermediate ranges will follow afterwards.
For the Fin150, the revenue model will be almost entirely focused on B2B sales, because this type of engine is particularly suitable for fleets of boats for passenger transport or for lake boat rental companies, and water sports, for example. License sales will also be planned in a very targeted manner for other applications.
E.E: Tell us about product innovation and how does it impact the future?
A.C.C: The climate battle must be won because it conditions all the others. The living, of which we are an integral part, depend on the Ocean, being abused by human activities.
Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels has become a priority worldwide. The different COP have confirmed that, as the IPCC.
FinX aims at revolutionizing the nautical industry and is committed to taking marine propulsion in a new direction, treating the Ocean with respect and humility.
E.E: How will product innovation help the customers?
A.C.C: FinX technology is completely safe, because there is no rotating part, it is quieter, it provides greater responsiveness, a simplified use and reduced maintenance. Besides, the fluid, propelled in a straight line, also produces less eddies and avoids lifting particles from the bottom and damaging marine animals and fragile shallow aquatic ecosystems (coral reefs, mangroves, etc).
Environmental awareness is still low in the marine industry, which is not immune to the challenge of the century: designing clean and sustainable transport. But the mindset is ready today, which was not the case 10 years ago. The technology is ready, the need is real and important. The market is there, the customers are waiting. Indeed, FinX will actively participate in the reduction of energy consumption to achieve the objectives set by the IMO by 2050.
E.E: How do employees shape your company’s future orientation?
A.C.C: We are deeply convinced that drawing inspiration from nature to innovate is one of the keys to a brighter future. Nature is our ally, and a source of solutions with 4 billion years of R&D.
The Fin5 marks the advent of a profound transformation of the marine industry, of which the Fin150 will be, in the near future, the figurehead of FinX.
The team FinX is delighted to present the Fin150 at the Olympics. It is the biggest event ever organised in France. Paris has a date with history and with 1.5 billion television viewers. Maritime mobility is at the dawn of a new era and FinX is already sketching out the contours. With its boat motors inspired by fish swimming, FinX proposes a soft mobility, respectful of human and aquatic biodiversity.
E.E: How does the digital transformation affect your products / business?
A.C.C: FinX has developed a WebApp to provide geolocation and autonomy monitoring for the Fin5. It will be switched to the Fin150 engines. By the way, FinX is currently developing an engine configurator for its website. Indeed, we want to create a smooth user path, optimized, offering for the visitor the possibility to see the adapted motor on his boat.
E.E: Tell us about research and development in your company.
A.C.C: Today, the FinX team is composed of 10 people. Within the next few months, new talents will join the team, reaching 23 members at the end of 2022.
Emergence of risky innovations will create jobs and work for progress! The Fin150 project and the development strategy of the FinX company are totally in line with the European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050, with the objectives of the French government investment plan France 2030, and also with the green ship and retrofit themes of the GICAN roadmap (organization that federates more than 220 manufacturers in the French maritime sector, and from which FinX is part of).
E.E: How do you overcome the new challenges and this more competitive environment?
A.C.C: Originating from the medical field, FinX is a technological adaptation of cardiac assistance pumps. FinX is a deep tech technology, in total rupture with the existing one because without propeller, and made in France. As a result, FinX also plans to develop its technology for various applications in the field of industrial pumps of different sizes and powers, for which the system will have to be adapted. This technology has real potential, being self-priming, unlike propeller centrifugal pumps.
Tell us about the company’s future strategies and how will you adapt to the future. FinX wants to replace propellers of boats and will become a leader in the energy transition, targeting pumps and fans markets. The aim is to provide wider access to the FinX membrane technology. Indeed, 20% of the electricity used in Europe is used for pumps!
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