Kotka Maritime Research Centre

Research for sustainable maritime transport

Controlling seafaring risks

Merikotka is an international research centre. We do multidisciplinary, applied research in order to improve maritime safety, prevent accidents and protect the marine environment.

Merikotka has an extensive, global partner network. In addition to universities and research centres, we also work with many different organizations.

Merikotka was founded in 2005 at the initiative of the City of Kotka. Because seafaring is important to the city, they wanted to know more about the risks related to maritime transport and how to control them. For this purpose, a research centre was created to make use of the knowledge held by various universities and to produce high-quality research on marine traffic, marine safety and the marine environment.

Cutting-edge research by four universities

Good societal decision making needs to be based on scientifically verified information. Merikotka’s expertise is built upon research performed at the University of Helsinki, the Aalto University, the University of Turku and the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. At the moment, our multidisciplinary researcher network consists of 33 researchers.

Some of Merikotka’s researchers are members of the Aalto University research group led by Professor Pentti Kujala. They study risk management in maritime transport, particularly under winter conditions, as well as ways of utilizing new technologies.

In the University of Helsinki, our researchers are members of two different research groups. Professor Sakari Kuikka’s group studies the environmental effects of maritime transport. Professor Päivi Haapasaari’s group focuses on risk management and risk communication.

In the University of Turku’s Brahea Centre’s Centre of Maritime Studies, research work is led by Professor Tommi Inkinen. The group studies maritime logistics systems.

In the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, a group led by Research Director Ville Henttu focuses on the development of port logistics and delivery chains as well as the management of seafaring-related risks and preparing for problem situations.

Highly valued project expertise

Merikotka is also known for its high level of project expertise. The research centre manages five research projects and is involved in several others in the role of a project partner. In 2017, our project budget was over 3.7 million euros.

Maritime research association Merikotka ry is the core that that the research centre has been built around.

The members of the association are the Aalto University, Cursor Oy, the Etelä-Kymenlaakso Vocational College, the Helsinki University, Kotkan Maretarium Oy, the City of Kotka, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Metsähallitus, Natural Resources Institute Finland, the University of Turku, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Environment Institute.