Kotka Maritime Research Centre

Research for sustainable maritime transport

Controlling seafaring risks

Merikotka is an international research centre. We do multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, 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 other types of 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 maritime transportation, marine traffic 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 done at the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, University of Turku and the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. At the moment, our multidisciplinary researcher network consists of over 30 experts.

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 four research projects and is involved in several others in the role of a project partner. In 2018, our project budget was over 3.1 million euros.

Maritime research association Merikotka ry forms the core of the Centre.

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 and Communications Agency Traficom, The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and the Finnish Environment Institute.