DigiPort port digitalization report published

The digitalization of ports requires a lot of cooperation, as port communities are made up of numerous actors. Better sharing of information among port operators would streamline traffic and improve safety. In the future, port communities need to find ways and means to promote digitalization. Among other things, these themes are highlighted in the DigiPort project’s current state of the art of digitalization of Finnish ports. From this link to the report (in Finnish).

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.

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.

New Research Project for Development of Inland Navigation

The INFUTURE (Future potential for inland waterways) project kicks off in October for a duration of three years. Aiming at developing improvements to inland waterway transport, the project is funded by the South-East Finland – Russia CBC 2014-2020 programme beginning next month.

“We will be analysing legislation relevant to cargo transport as well as customs practices in Russia and Finland. This will be accompanied by an IT system designed to help customers home in on the most suitable service for their cargo”, says Ville Henttu, Director of Research at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
The research team behind INFUTURE will be examining a wide range of solutions for the development of sustainable and cost-effective inland waterway transport. Project partners include South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Aalto University, the Finnish Waterway Association, Meritaito Seahow Oy, Admiral Makarov State University for Maritime and Inland Shipping and the North-West Russia Logistic and Information Development Center. Tarja Javainen will be responsible for project coordination at the Kotka Maritime Research Centre.

Children Inspired to Draw by Introduced Species

The Baltic Sea Village challenged Kotka’s schoolchildren to get creative with introduced species, i.e. plants or animals living outside their native habitat as a result of human activity. Introduced species pose a grave threat to biodiversity. The young artists’ drawings depicted species both real and imagined, with family tickets to the Maretarium aquarium raffled among the participants. One of the winners was 5-year-old Joanna, whose interpretation of an introduced species can be seen below.

The Baltic Sea Village is organized annually in the context of the Kotkan Meripäivät festival. Organizers included the Environmental Centre of the City of Kotka, Haili Nature School, Kymen Vesi Oy, Metsähallitus, Natural Resources Institute Finland, The South-Eastern Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, and the Southern Finland Fishermen’s Association.

Open data in ports – requirement or opportunity?

Writing in “A Hundred New Opportunities for Finland in 2018–2037”, a publication by the Finnish Parliament’s Committee for the Future, futurologists Risto Linturi and Osmo Kuusi argue that transport is the fastest-developing of all sectors. Digitalisation is becoming a reality for the logistics sector, but are ports ready?

This is a fear also expressed by the Finnish Government, which issued a decision in then spring stating that transport hubs such as ports and airports will be required to generate more open data in the future. Open data is essential to digitalisation efforts, which the transport sector will also need to undertake.

Read the blog post in its entirety on the Centrum Balticum site.