Comprehensive Academic Studies on Finnish – Russian IWW

INFUTURE Steering Group and Working Group meetings were held in St. Peterburg at the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping October 15-16th.

The Chairman of the Steering Group, Pekka Koskinen, as opening the meeting noted that the project has been on-going for a year now and it is time to have a look on the results so far.

All 4 work packages presented the outcomes so far including very comprehensive academic studies and practical analyses.

1) Transshipment Hub Development – Cargo potential from both sides, Finnish and Russian, has been studied and evaluated

2) Inland Waterways Fairway Technologies – the water areas have been studied and analyzed. The aim is to conduct a pilot on the Neva river.

3) Inland Waterway Vessel Concept – based on the information from the WP1 a new vessel type concept for multipurpose vessel has been studied. The aim is the have a design of this vessel by the end of the project.

4) Dissemination and Stakeholder Engagement – A lot of work has been done within the WP1-3 and now we have good material for dissemination and having round tables, like within the NEVA Trans.

The next steps on each work packages were also agreed during these two meetings.

The project members visited the Museum of the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping, which tells about the history of academic maritime education.

Text: Heli Koukkula-Teixeira

Final evaluation of the DigiPort project, part 4.

The realization and social impact of the DigiPort project can be assessed through four themes, the fourth of which is presented here.

Theme 4: Port Data Innovations Based on Open Data

To accelerate digital innovations, the project organized a hackathon event in April 2019 in Mussalo harbor in Kotka. The aim of the event was to bring in open data-driven innovations for the identified challenges of ports by multidisciplinary student teams. The challenges to be solved were shaped by workshops in Kotka and Turku. The event was successfully marketed and 20 students from different educational programs were invited to attend. They represented education in maritime and logistics, service design, data analytics, game design, information technology, and cyber security. In solving the challenges, students were instructed to use various open data sources and data processing tools to create new service concepts. The hackathon event culminated in a pitching competition that rewarded the three best innovations. The judges of the competition were representatives of companies, who also acted as mentors for students. All participating teams were given the opportunity to participate in the *Ship Startup Festival in July 2019 to further develop their idea. The social impact of the theme is the creation of new port innovations for further development.

Final evaluation of the DigiPort project, part 3.

The realization and social impact of the DigiPort project can be assessed through four themes, the third of which is presented here.

Theme 3: Opening and publishing data

The project developed a policy for port authorities to open and publish data on port infrastructure. Initially, the information needs of the port users were identified. An attempt was then made to find a working method of cooperation to support the opening of data from pilot ports (HaminaKotka and Turku). The management of the port companies was given guidance and recommendations on how to proceed with the mapping exercise. The intention was to progressively open up the data sets with the greatest potential for exploitation. In addition, material already in the public domain at the ports was mapped. Technical information on port infrastructure, i.e. roads, railways, waterways, structures, areas, networks, etc., is already publicly available on the internet. Only publishing as open data gives the port authority control over the accuracy of the information. The description or metadata of the data can influence the correct use of the data.

An Excel-based tool for port data inventory listing was developed. It was triggered by operational problems detected in ports, where data reserves could serve as a raw material for developing solutions. The problems were formulated on the basis of the results of workshops held in Kotka and Turku. The pilot ports made the listings, which served as a basis for reflection on the material to be opened. During the mapping of the data it was noticed that the infrastructure information of the port is scattered and organized in different information systems in the organizations. Information can be found in both paper and digital formats in personal folders and workstations.

Open source requires a publishing platform to make the data and its metadata available to application developers and other users. The materials were stored in a data catalogue located on the database server created for the project, where they can be utilized. The server, software and related peripherals were installed as a thesis at Xamk. The actual deployment was made by Xamk’s ICT management. A domain name, www.datasatama.fi, was opened for the service. This created the world’s first data catalogue focusing on port information. At the end of the project, the data catalogue contains infrastructure data opened by the ports of HaminaKotka and Turku, as well as links to the materials of the Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The social impact of the theme is the emergence of a new operating model and the opening up of port infrastructure information for application and software developers. This will enable the development of new digital services for ports that can improve the flow, performance, security and environmental friendliness of ports.

Final evaluation of the DigiPort project, part 2.

The realization and social impact of the DigiPort project can be assessed through four themes, the second of which is presented here.

Theme 2: Research data for the digital development of ports

Exploiting the potential of digitalization and developing new solutions in ports requires research knowledge. The project produced new information on two different themes. In the first half of the project, a report on current state of digitalization of ports in Finland was prepared. It mapped out how data and digital technologies are utilized in Finnish ports and what possibilities digitalization raises for port authorities. The material was collected through a literature review, expert interviews, a questionnaire for port authorities, an overview of the systems used by the ports, and expert workshops in Kotka and Turku.

The second theme is the future of digitalization of ports. Future scenarios were developed in the second half of the project to outline how the digitalization of transport, logistics and society will affect ports over the next ten years. The study identified extensive data on the forces of change in the operating environment, various programs and roadmaps related to digitalization that touch ports. In addition, experts were interviewed for additional information. Future tables and scenarios were compiled on the basis of the data. Reports on “Current state of digitalization of ports in Finland” and “Future scenarios of digitalization of ports” have been published in the publication series of the Centre for Maritime Studies of University of Turku. The societal impact of the theme is to improve the preconditions for port development work through new knowledge.

Final evaluation of the DigiPort project, part 1.

The realization and social impact of the DigiPort project can be assessed through four themes, the first of which is presented here.

Theme 1: Open Data Awareness and Knowledge

Open data is a new phenomenon in ports. Because of this, the project organized training on open data and its opportunities for members of the port community. In March 2018, two open data training workshops were held, one in Kotka and one in Turku. Events went well and were fully-booked. The participants represented a variety of port-related organizations from several Finnish ports. In addition to the training, the program included a workshop section that gathered information on what operational problems participants encountered in port operations. At the same time, it was considered how they could be solved by digitalization and open data.

In addition, the project produced an open written guide, “ABC of Opening Data in Ports”, in support of data opening and use of open data in ports. The guide has been updated during the project and the latest version has been published on the project website, and publications and updates have been made available, for example Twitter and direct communications to stakeholders. The social impact of the theme is the increased awareness and knowledge of open data in the port community.

New article on Port Digitalization published

An article on Port Digitalization and Open Data was recently published in the Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity. Professor Tommi Inkinen from the Brahea Center of the Turku University, Centre for Maritime Studies (CMS), has acted as the main author. The research data and analysis are based on the work of researchers at the DigiPort project, Janne Saarikoski (Kotka Maritime research Centre) and Reima Helminen (CMS) in a report on the current state of Port Digitalization.

The article can be downloaded from this link: