GYROSCOPE project studies digital solutions in the green transition of marine logistics

Kotka Maritime Research Centre (Merikotka) is strongly represented in a new research project GYROSCOPE. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland and has started in January 2023.

Under the 2022 call for research on key areas of green and digital transition, the Academy of Finland has granted a total of around 19 million euros of funding to projects that contribute broadly to the green and digital transition by developing new solutions to promote carbon neutrality and mitigate and adapt to climate change. The funding granted is based on the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland.

The total budget of the three-year project is over two million euros. The project investigates opportunities provided by and risks associated with smart digital solutions in the context of green transition of the maritime sector.

New smart concepts and services are claimed to have a significant role in cleaner, safer, and more efficient logistics. However, the introduction of new devices and instruments across the operating environment by multiple actors may increase the risk of both technical issues and human errors. To ensure the sustainability of the digital transition, it is therefore important to proactively identify potential risks that the new smart solutions may bring along.

GYROSCOPE produces a multidimensional picture of the sustainable digital transition to low-carbon maritime logistics by applying stakeholder-participatory processes and modern risk analytics, considering alternative implementation pathways. Through a sectoral example, the project aims to understand the nature and preconditions of sustainable green transition also more generally, as well as the development picture of digitalisation as part of it.

In the project consortium, Kotka Maritime Research Centre is represented by Research Director Annukka Lehikoinen and professors Osiris Valdez Banda from Aalto University and Sakari Kuikka from the University of Helsinki. The other principal investigators are Professor Janne Hukkinen from the University of Helsinki and the consortium leader, Professor Toni Ahlqvist from the Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku.


The press release and funding decisions of the Academy of Finland

Written by: Annukka Lehikoinen

Research article: new toolkit helps to develop disaster preparedness training

Researchers of the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Science, and Kotka Maritime Research Association have published a scientific article presenting a new science-based toolkit for organisers of environmental disaster response trainings. The article is published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and is one of the outputs from the Merikotka-driven project SIMREC, co-funded by the European Union.

The diversity and frequency of major environmental disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires are growing globally. Major oil and other chemical accidents form one type of environmental disasters as well. Typical for the disaster management operations is that they call for effective collaborative response activities across organisational, sectoral and, in many cases also national borders. However, different operational systems, cultures, and norms of the participating agencies may hamper the collaboration. Multi-agent disaster response simulations help creating shared understanding of how the collaborative response activities should be implemented and thereby improve preparedness and resilience of communities.

In the article, the researchers pay specific attention to shared situational awareness among the response actors as a key to successful cooperative disaster management. They suggest a novel protocol for analysing the formation of such joint awareness during the response exercises.

The suggested protocol consists of thematic series of analytical questions and practical indicators to be monitored during the response exercises. It provides the training organisers a structured framework for identifying critical issues to be practiced with a particular team, or to be developed in terms of a certain exercise. This supports the planning of optimal disaster response trainings in the future.


Written by: Annukka Lehikoinen
Photo by: Matt Hardy on Unsplash