COMPLETE at the 9th meeting of the Joint HELCOM/OSPAR TG BALLAST

Gothenburg, Sweden, 13-14 December 2018. The status report of the COMPLETE project was presented at the 9th meeting of the Joint HELCOM/OSPAR Task Group on Ballast Water Management Convention Exemptions (HELCOM/OSPAR TG BALLAST). The COMPLETE project also presented the project output 3.1 “Advanced target species selection criteria”. The  proposed  selection  of  TS  is  based  on  all  pertinent prioritized and ranked values (potential to pose threat to human health, impact on economy, and environment)  and  on  the  IMO Guidelines on  risk  assessment  under  regulation  A-4 (G7).

The meeting documents and outcome can be found at the HELCOM meeting portal.

Research Director’s blog: Who are we?

Who are we?

On a rainy Monday in November, 29 persons from Merikotka network got together onboard M/S Viking XPRS to cross the Gulf of Finland and get to know each other and our research topics.

Many new persons have recently joined the network, and several researchers had wished for a chance to meet the others. By using a scheduled five-minute presentation template, all participants were able to describe who they are, what they are doing and how they would like to collaborate.

The day was intense and full of information. However, I felt that the gathering was very successful. In addition to meeting many new people myself, I was deeply impressed by the broad expertise Merikotka network contains. The research teams include engineers, social scientists, safety researchers, marine biologists, geographers, master mariners and fisheries scientists, for example. There are persons with several years of industry experience, recently graduated young scientists, distinguished academics, students, and project management & funding professionals. Experts on maritime transport and marine environment are accompanied by specialists applying methods or knowledge from other fields to the maritime problems.

Also, practical experience in areas such as leisure boating, road traffic, journalism and educational material can be found within Merikotka. And talk about the connections and networks of this international group of experts! I would argue that with all of this expertise and contacts, Merikotka could provide science-based information to support almost any maritime traffic related challenge or decision problem.

The mission of Merikotka is to conduct research for sustainable maritime transport. Solving maritime transport related research questions typically requires that multiple disciplines and experts are working together. However, interdisciplinary collaboration does not just happen but it needs common goals, good communication and motivation to solve the problem together.

In the researcher meeting, it was fascinating to observe how in the beginning the discussion was done in groups consisting of people from the same university or otherwise already familiar with each other, but as the day and presentations progressed, mingling with new people started to happen and new collaboration ideas popped up. Connections based on mutual methodology were also made: a person looking for guidance on Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation found someone who was able to help, and Bayesian network literature tips were shared to those asking for them. I have been happy to hear that the participants found the day useful and it has already resulted in new meetings.

I believe that the researcher meeting was small but significant step towards strengthening the interdisciplinary research and collaboration. This is a good basis on which to proceed!

Maria Hänninen
Research Director at Merikotka (Kotka Maritime Research Centre)

Port digitalization gained interest at DigiPort AamuAreena

DigiPort project partner TIEKE arranged an AamuAreena event on Friday 9.11.2018 at MOW Helsinki. AamuAreena events are all about discussions and making contacts in a nice atmosphere and with a cup of coffee. At this time under discussion was port digitalization and open data.

Deputy director Kirsti Tarnanen-Sariola from Finnish Port Association opened the session with a brief description of the duties of port authorities. When entering a seaport, the digitalization is clearly visible as automated gate operations. At the moment there are development activities going on to build value-added services around gate operations, such as detection of a cargo unit.

Then, DigiPort researcher Janne Saarikoski from Kotka Maritime Research Centre presented the current situation of the project. He stated that open distribution of data is of high importance when it comes to smooth functioning of the whole traffic system. Also, within port community, increased data sharing will lead to improved situational awareness.

Discussion after the presentations was intensive and lots of new contacts were formed. A shared vision was that port digitalization is a growing area of interest that has no easy solutions. It will require lots of cooperation and also flexibility in sharing of information.

KMRC involved in the trilateral co-operation of Gulf of Finland

KMRC participated the Trilateral Science Days which was organised on 17-18 October 2018 in St. Petersburg. The theme of the event was “Gulf of Finland – natural dynamics and anthropogenic impact” and it was dedicated to the past 50 years of trilateral cooperation between Finland, Estonia and Russia. The event was organised in the A.P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute. Research director Maria Hänninen presented our interdisciplinary research targeted to oil transportation in the Gulf of Finland.

 

 

Flagship project developing management strategies for ships’ ballast water and hull fouling

The EU project COMPLETE (Completing management options in the Baltic Sea Region to reduce risk of invasive alien species introduction by shipping) gained flagship project status from the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) on 26th of September 2018. This demonstrates the high political relevance of ships’ ballast water and hull fouling management to reduce the risk of introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens. The project’s aim to minimize this risk by the development of user-friendly tools and management options is recognized as essential. The flagship status supports conveying the relevant results and recommendations of the COMPLETE project to the policy level and contributes to ensuring that the project results are used in practice.

Aim to minimize the introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens

The COMPLETE project develops consistent and adaptive management options for the Baltic Sea Region addressing both major vectors for invasive species introductions: ballast water and biofouling. The project is tackling several gaps in current knowledge and proposing both operational frameworks and user-friendly tools for the management of these two vectors. The COMPLETE project aims at developing a roadmap for a regionally harmonized biofouling management strategy by involving all relevant stakeholders in all phases of this process.

Co-operation between all Baltic Sea Region countries

COMPLETE partners from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden are working together with 23 associated organizations from all Baltic Sea states. These organizations include research organizations, maritime and environmental ministries, their agencies, relevant private companies (e.g. shipping companies, shipowners, port authorities) and NGOs.

 

Project web page: www.balticcomplete.com

Project can also be followed in twitter and ResearchGate.

 

Maria Hänninen Appointed Research Director at Kotka Maritime Research Centre

Doctor of Science (Technology) Maria Hänninen has been appointed Research Director of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre. Having earned her Doctorate at Aalto University in 2015, she dedicated her doctoral thesis entitled “Bayesian network modeling of potential patterns in maritime safety performance” to examining the multilevel modelling of maritime safety. She has since also held positions in the private sector.

The new Research Director will actively participate in research efforts and coordinate the work of various research communities, thus forming an integral part of the Research Centre’s scientific profile.

– Maria Hänninen is not only a gifted researcher, but she also brings to the table a vision of how our research can be further developed. We see multidisciplinary research that also supports the needs of relevant stakeholders as very important. Hänninen will also contribute to our work from this point of view, says Executive Director Anna Kiiski.

Research Director Maria Hänninen takes up her post from the beginning of October 2018.