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Cargo Fire Initiative to Test Cutting-Edge E-Nose Technology for Early Fire Detection in Cargo Holds.


London – February 8th, 2024 – Safetytech Accelerator, in collaboration with Anchor Partners in the Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative (CFLII), has selected SmartNanotubes Technologies and duotec for the evaluation of their innovative smell recognition technology aimed at ‘early-stage fire detection in cargo holds of containerships’.


SmartNanotubes Technologies’ and Duotec’s Innovative Technology

Duotec, a principal investor in the German start-up SmartNanotubes Technologies, is working with them to trial the company’s groundbreaking new wireless e-nose nanochip onboard container vessels. The technology uses ultra-fine nano-tubes to mimic the receptors in a human nose, configured in a wireless sensor module.  This presents major advantages over traditional gas sensing techniques, which typically need to be designed/programmed to detect the concentration of a specific singular gas.  The e-nose instead can detect a specific signature in the air that may contain multiple gases in varying amounts, which when combined with advanced analytics can be used to profile and then detect dangerous scenarios.  In the case of early fire detection, this could mean that a molecular signature of a fire event could be identified e.g. EV battery breakdown, long before the fire itself has ignited.

So far, CFLII has identified and evaluated innovative cargo monitoring technologies, with a specific emphasis on early fire detection. Out of over 200 companies assessed, Safetytech Accelerator has chosen 13, and now SmartNanotubes Technologies and duotec have been invited for further evaluation through the Initiative. This involves conducting feasibility studies and pilot programs in collaboration with CFLII Anchor Partners.

Viktor Bezugly, CEO & Co-Founder of SmartNanotubes Technologies said: “As a provider of innovative sensor components, we are very happy to have been selected by Safetytech Accelerator and the Anchor Partners and are excited to contribute with our technology to fire prevention on cargo vessels. For several years we have heard about an increased risk of serious fires on cargo ships that are sometimes impossible to extinguish. Our innovative smell recognition technology helps to reduce these risks by triggering an early alert based on the detection of smells related to fire development processes, even before any smoke can be detected. The earlier a potential fire is recognized, the faster it can be fought in order to save lives and prevent severe infrastructure damages.”


The evaluation

Smart Nanotubes Technologies and duotec will undergo an initial feasibility study in a test environment, where they will burn material agreed with the Anchor Partners to monitor the speed of detection against current methods. If successful, they will advance to trials aboard Anchor Partner cargo ships.

Seb Corby, Principal Consultant at Safetytech Accelerator, said: At SafetyTech Accelerator, we are pleased to have SmartNanotube and duotec joining our Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative. Their Smell Recognition technology holds great potential for early fire detection in cargo holds, which is crucial for maritime safety. This collaboration highlights our commitment to practical, innovative solutions for the challenges faced in maritime operations. Through our upcoming evaluations and pilot tests, we aim to pragmatically assess and integrate this technology, enhancing safety and efficiency in the shipping industry.   


Launched in February 2023 by Safetytech Accelerator, CFLII, brings together industry leaders, technology innovators, and maritime stakeholders to advance technologies that mitigate large-scale cargo fire, loss, and damage at sea. Aligned with the objective of enhancing shipping’s reputation as a safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally responsible link in the global supply chain, CFLII currently includes leading shipping companies and maritime insurers as its Anchor Partners.


For details on the technology and its maritime applications, please contact us at



Notes to editors

About Smartnanotube

SmartNanotubes Technologies was founded, after 10 years of research on nanomaterials, in 2020 by Dr. Viktor Bezugly and Dr. Birte Sönnichsen together with two other colleagues in Freital near Dresden as a spin-off of the Life Science Incubator Saxony. With his team, Bezugly had previously spent several years on the development of a smell detector chip. SmartNanotubes’ sensors can detect single gases, smells and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Applications range from environmental and security applications to home and industrial safety, wearables and IoT lifestyle products. The multi-channel sensor module can be easily integrated into various devices.


About duotec GmbH

duotec is a globally operating electronics service provider. duotec has invested for years in innovative manufacturing technologies as well as in basic research and the development of state-of-the-art microelectronics. duotec uses its existing know-how to think out of the box with the aim of pushing innovations and always being a little ahead of the competition. This claim is expressed in the new slogan” Ahead of Innovation”. For more information, please visit:


About Safetytech Accelerator

Safetytech Accelerator, established by Lloyd’s Register, is the first fully dedicated technology accelerator focused on advancing innovation in safety critical industries, with a mission to make the world safer, more resilient, and more sustainable through the wider adoption of technology.

CFLII Full list of members.

COSCO Shipping Lines, Evergreen, HMM, Lloyds Register, Maersk, Ocean Network Express, Offen Group, Seaspan, TT-Club and UKP&I

Read more about the initiative here.

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