Our Story

Norsepower was founded in late 2012 with a mission to reduce the environmental impact of shipping.

Norsepower Rotor Sail™ is a radically modernized version of the old Flettner rotor. The concept of the Flettner rotor was first devised by Finnish inventor and architect Sigurd Savonius and German engineer Anton Flettnerin the 1920s. The first Atlantic crossing – by a vessel using Flettner rotors only – took place in 1926. However, technical challenges and the market situation prevented more widespread application.

A hundred years later, Norsepower’s business concept was initially developed in collaboration between founding board members Moray Martin of MB Martin and Partners Limited, and Erik Floman from Korkia Venture Insight.

After exiting an IT company in 2012, Tuomas Riski, the CEO of Norsepower, started looking for a new cleantech concept—something that would have a big impact on global CO₂ emissions, and potentially a base for a new start-up company. Tuomas happened to meet a team of people, including famous naval architect, Professor, Dr. H.C Kai Levander from Finland. Levander had an idea of bringing a radically modernized Flettner rotor to the market. His ideas are still reflected in the core mechanics of Norsepower Rotor Sail™.

From this union of well-known principles and radical innovation, a novel product was born. The Norsepower Rotor Sail™ functions just as a traditional sail – uses wind and produces thrust. Later on, the name “rotor sail”, coined by Norsepower, became widely used by the whole industry. We are proud of our contribution to the naming, as well.

Our mission is to decarbonize the maritime industry by providing reliable and efficient wind propulsion solutions.
Heikki Pöntynen
CEO, Norsepower

Since its establishment, Norsepower has raised more than $40 million to facilitate development, piloting, and commercialisation of the Norsepower Rotor Sails™. 

The main investors supporting Norsepower are Power Fund III, Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital, OGCI Climate Investments, our first venture capital investor Lifeline Ventures Oy, EAKR Aloitusrahasto Oy, Valve Ventures Oy and Korkia Venture Insight. Norsepower is also funded by Business Finland – official government agency for innovation funding, and the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.