Uncharted waters for maritime industry

With enormous amounts of goods and people transported by sea every day, the maritime industry is at the heart of the global economy. The globalization of trade has increased the demand for material and people flows, and the maritime industry continues to play a critical role in helping companies and nations prosper. Now digital transformation is changing the industry.

For a long time, the maritime industry focused on large vessels, powerful engines, radio signals, manual labor and seafaring craftsmanship. The situation has now changed. A technological shift is pushing companies to transform their ways of working, seek new ways to operate and take advantage of solutions in automation, sensors, robotics, AI and analytics. The fact that business models are shifting towards services also has a big impact.

At the same time, environmental concerns are being raised by governments, organizations and individuals. New, powerful technologies offer new opportunities for renewal, efficiency, growth and waste reduction. The maritime industry could have a beneficial influence on what kind of world future generations live in and retain its profitability, with data-driven technology delivering greener solutions while reducing operating costs. For example, choosing optimal weather conditions and routes for reduced fuel consumption not only saves costs, but has a real impact on the environment.

Changes in the maritime industry have a major impact on land, too. The people and cargo it transports eventually arrive at harbors and often continue their journey on land transportation. No one single company can fulfil the needs of the maritime industry. The logistics, processes and systems used connect with other relevant parties can form collaborative ecosystems with end-to-end optimised flows.

Read the whole article from here.

Five ways to benefit from the smart maritime ecosystem of Helsinki and Finland

Where do you find yourself if you search for world-class engineering talent, globally competitive maritime industry, top expertise in ICT and digitalization, and booming startup activity? Why, Helsinki, of course. And when you get here, Helsinki Business Hub will help your company get started and hook you up with the right partners.

We at Helsinki Business Hub recently encountered an interesting question: As Finland has top-class engineering talent and is a global leader in marine technology, why is it still such a hidden gem? Why are Finns not advertising this excellent package every chance they get? Well, let us use this opportunity to do just that. Finland and especially Helsinki is a global maritime hotspot. When it comes to digitalization, arctic technology and innovation in marine tech, we rank right on top, globally.

  1. World class center for marine tech

The Greater Helsinki area is the home base of numerous companies producing world-class marine technology and equipment. International industry leaders, such as Wärtsilä, ABB Marine, Arctech, Cargotech, and Konecranes, have headquarters in the Finnish capital region.

The global, stock-listed players are an important driving force for the Helsinki smart maritime cluster. But the region’s strength lies in the diversity of its business ecosystem and its technical competence. In addition to global giants, Helsinki also has a vibrant innovation, co-creation and startup community.

Helsinki is rich with diverse marine expertise, from ship design and cruisers to marine connectivity and cyber security. From IoT and data collection on vessels to analyzing big data. From cutting-edge cleantech and satellite technology to expertise in smart port and shipping solutions. Because of our climate, we have companies like Arctia, Aker Arctic, and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, specializing in technology and services for Arctic conditions and routes, for example icebreakers.

  1. Top level engineering talent and R&D

Finland is known around the globe for its educational system and results, including world-class universities. The Helsinki region is very research-intensive, with an educated and skilled workforce. This benefits our marine industry. For example, Aalto University’s research group on Arctic Marine and Ice Technology studies the behavior of ships and structures in ice, the behavior of sea ice, and the impact that sea ice has on the safety of maritime transportation.

Another good example of maritime research and development is the INTENS project, run by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and funded by Business Finland. The collaborative, industry-wide project aims to digitalize and disrupt the Finnish marine industry, with a special focus on efficient energy systems and green shipping.

  1. State support to enable digital and autonomous maritime industry

As far as cargo volumes are concerned, the Finnish ports may be small, but their efficiency, digitalization and use of open data benefits all organizations involved with port operations. In fact, our ports are finding new ways to utilize open data and the 5G network through initiatives like DigiPort and 5G Momentum.

The Finnish government has also recently adjusted the legislation to better enable the testing and development of autonomous maritime operations, vehicles and technologies. This has paved the way for the first test area for autonomous shipping in the world. The test area is part of the One Sea ecosystem, which works towards an operating autonomous maritime ecosystem by 2025. The ecosystem combines top research, state-of-the-art information technology and global businesses.

  1. Frontrunner of sustainable shipping

Helsinki is the busiest passenger port in Europe with almost 12 million passengers annually. It is also an environmentally responsible port. The international Green Shipping Summit chose the Helsinki Port as the greenest port of the year. Helsinki wants to lead the way in sustainability, for example by encouraging shipping companies to discharge their waste water directly into the City’s sewer system.

  1. Strong innovation and startup ecosystem attracts investments

Helsinki offers a bustling, closely-connected innovation ecosystem, where even competitors work together. In fact, according to the recently-published Global Startup Ecosystems Report by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Helsinki is #1 in local connectedness. It’s also a strong ICT hub with lots of talent and technological innovation. When you combine connectedness with a booming startup scene and top ICT expertise, you get great opportunities for open innovation and cooperation between large corporations and startups. A good example of this is the Helsinki-based Wärtsilä Digital Acceleration Center, which enables fresh ways to co-create new solutions and bring them to the market.

In Finland, the public and private sectors also work closely together, and the state offers committed support for business projects, for example through Business Finland’s innovation funding. Private business funding is strong as well. According to Ernst & Young’s EY 2018 Nordics Attractiveness Report, Finland is #1 in foreign direct investments in the Nordics, with Helsinki holding the greatest pull and being the most attractive destination for FDI in the Northern Europe. Finland also led the charts in European venture capital investments in startups and early stage growth companies in 2013–2017, hitting a record high in 2017. The number of foreign investments into Finnish companies has increased tenfold since 2010.

Become part of our ecosystem

So, the gem is no longer hidden! Now you know that Helsinki is the hotspot of marine innovation, R&D, and business, and you are most welcome to join and utilize our ecosystem. We, the regional development and investment promotion agency Helsinki Business Hub, are happy to help you establish your R&D operations, find the best partners and set up your business in the Helsinki region.

Contact Maria Hartikainen at maria.hartikainen@hbh.fi to get connected!

Text: Maria Hartikainen & Anu Jussila

Cargotec calls sea trade actors to jointly increase the industry efficiency

The inefficiency of the global container traffic costs about 17 billion euros a year. From a wider perspective, the inefficiency cost of the whole value chain might be as high as 150 billion. The digitalisation of the industry can lower these costs and reduce emission levels at the same time.

It has been estimated that sea transport will grow significantly in the coming decades. Although marine logistics is the least-emission-producing cargo handling method currently, the International Maritime Organization estimates that if nothing is done, shipping emissions will increase by 50 to 250 percent by 2050.

“From the climate point of view, this would be unsustainable. A quick way to curb the growth of emissions is to take advantage of the opportunities that digitalisation can offer”, explains Karoliina Loikkanen, Cargotec’s Corporate Responsibility Director.

The inefficiency of marine logistics increases if the unloading of a ship is delayed, for example. One delay can then force several other vessels ship late, making them miss their scheduled arrivals. If data would be combined from different sources, the operation of the whole logistics chain could be improved. A more efficient flow of goods results in lower emissions and costs per delivered tonnage.

The efficiency leap can happen when data-driven work methods and processes are being developed. “No actor alone can solve the bottlenecks of marine logistics – the change comes through collaboration,” says Jukka Lindström, VP Digital Transformation, Cargotec.

Cargotec plays a major role in global marine logistics. Every fourth container move in the world is being made by a Cargotec solution annually, while every other ship in the world carries its cargo and load handling solutions. Cargotec now calls all sea trade actors to work together to increase the industry efficiency.

“We want to look at the bigger picture together with other industry players. When everyone brings their own perspective and expertise to the table, completely new solutions and ideas can emerge. In our view this would be the best way to achieve the desired environmental and economic goals,” Lindström sums up.

Original text in Finnish: Kai Lintinen

Maritime future – or one of them – concretized

Thinking about the future is aided by seeing futures as a multitude of emerging alternatives, not a single predictable reality. The five images of the future developed by analyzing the materials collected through the Maritime Futurescapes 2050 workshop represent diverse maritime futures worthy of further discussion, but cannot offer ultimate or definitive answers to questions about how the maritime sector will continue to develop and be transformed.

However, considering futures as a set of alternatives enhances the capacity to effectively understand the various potentials of the present, and to explore what decisions and policies can be enacted today to offer the best opportunities for reaching preferable futures. More categories of stakeholders should now become involved in the process of determining what these desirable futures may be.

These future images will ideally be used as a basis for guiding further systemic futures thinking, since foresight should be an ongoing and continuous practice in fast-changing, complex environments such as the maritime sector.


The world’s most eco-friendly bulk carrier now operating on the Baltic Sea

The new bulk carrier m/s Viikki, owned by ESL Shipping, a subsidiary of the Aspo Plc, has started operating on the Baltic Sea. The 25,600-dwt vessel, 160 metres long and fuelled by liquefied natural gas, produces less than half of the carbon dioxide of previous vessel generation, thanks to LNG and many advanced technologies.

M/s Viikki was built in China, and after completion first sailed to Japan to load a cargo of raw materials. From there, she arrived to the Baltic Sea through the Northeast Passage, which shortened the journey from Japan by three weeks and reduced the emissions of the journey by 40 per cent compared with going through the Panama Canal.

”We are highly aware of the discussion about the environmental issues relating to the maritime industry. Design work on m/s Viikki and its sister vessel m/s Haaga was started five years ago, and these vessels are the manifestation of everything that is possible in the way of environmental efficiency today,” says Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director, ESL Shipping.

Viikki, Studio Lindblad

M/s Viikki features the latest in new technology. One of the central innovations is the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in its main engine, three auxiliary engines and the boiler. The ship has been designed in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) that rates the energy efficiency of newbuildings. Even today, the ship meets the environmental requirements of 2025.

Both vessels have been designed for intensive traffic with several port calls a week and cargo handling will often take place with the vessel’s own cranes. A distinctive feature in m/s Viikki are its automatic cranes developed in collaboration with MacGregor that are able to unload the cargo to a conveyor or on the pier unassisted.

Maritime transport accounts for 90 per cent of Finland’s exports and 80 per cent of imports. Because of the country’s geographical position, sea transport is the most important and cost-efficient logistics option.

”Shipping companies are an essential part of the maritime cluster. Over the past eight years, Aspo has invested about 200 million euro in ESL Shipping, because we believe that solutions based on automation and environmental efficiency are the only way to bring the entire industry forward,” says Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ESL Shipping.

Source: Navigator


NAPA and Norsepower partnership in data verification and analysis of Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution awarded 2018 DIMECC Prize.


NAPA, the leading maritime data analysis, software and services provider, and Finnish engineering company Norsepower have won the DIMECC Prize 2018, for their partnership in data verification and analysis of Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution technology.

Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder which uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship forward, delivering fuel-savings and a reduction in all related emissions. Through DIMECC’s REBUS-programme, NAPA conducted a randomised trial of Norsepower’s first installation of the Rotor Sail technology onboard the M/S Estraden. NAPA concluded that through robust data collection and advanced analytics, the Rotor Sail offered clear and significant fuel savings of up to 10%.

Objective data and impartial verification of the fuel savings delivered by Norsepower’s technology has been absolutely critical to the company’s growth and position within the growing wind technology market. There has been significant interest and investment in the Rotor Sails. In April 2018, Norsepower’s technology was installed onboard the M/S Viking Grace, making her the first passenger ship in the world using auxiliary wind propulsion. Separately, in partnership with Maersk, Shell, and the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a Maersk P-class 109,647 deadweight tonne (DWT) oil product tanker, was retrofitted with two 30m tall by 5m diameter Norsepower Rotor Sails at the end of August 2018. The project is the first installation of wind-assisted technology on a product tanker vessel. Data analysis and verification by NAPA, has been fundamental to these developments by proving the effectiveness of Norsepower’s technology.

Tuomas Riski, the CEO of Norsepower, and the Director, Services, Shipping Solutions at NAPA, Risto-Juhani Kariranta, accepted the DIMECC Prize 2018 handed by the CEO of DIMECC, Harri Kulmala. Photo: Ingmar Baarman, DIMECC


Commenting on the partnership, Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said: “Following the first test installation of our Rotor Sail solution onboard the M/S Estraden, NAPA recorded a 6.1% reduction in fuel consumption. Based on the test results, our technology enables average fuel savings of up to 20% for vessels with multiple, large rotors travelling in favourable wind routes – making it a commercially-viable solution that can reduce fuel and emissions in the industry. Since delivering our first proven application with Estraden, our business has grown from strength to strength. Measurement, analytics and verifications has helped Norsepower evolve its Rotor Sail from an innovative concept, to a proven and marketable fuel efficiency technology.”

Riski accepted the DIMECC Prize together with Risto-Juhani Kariranta, Director, Services, Shipping Solutions at NAPA.

Kariranta discusses that the benefits of Norsepower’s Rotor Sails are two-fold: “The shipping industry is a significant producer of greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions. Innovative fuel-saving technologies are simultaneously eco-innovations which additionally help to increase the competitiveness of the users of the innovations. NAPA has a long history improving the fuel economy of ships and delivering better weather-based route optimizations. It’s great that we have also been able to verify the effectiveness of Norsepower’s Rotor Sails and created cleaner and more efficient shipping. Verification is guaranteed success.”

Harri Kulmala, CEO of DIMECC, added: “We are very pleased with the results of the collaboration between Norsepower and NAPA. Through our REBUS-programme, it is great to see how this partnerships has driven the commercialisation of a new innovation in the market. An extremely great result for the maritime industry as the sector reaps the rewards of greater fuel efficiency and sustainable shipping.”

The award was handed out at DIMECC’s 10th anniversary seminar, highlighting the significance of Finnish innovation and technology. “Norsepower’s Rotor Sail has also received various other well-earned awards. This award was granted specifically to the cooperation which opened new growth paths and global value chains for a startup. This is also important with regard to the general discussion around how to finance the RDI activities of large companies”, reflects Kulmala on the far-reaching national significance of the Prize.

DIMECC brings together Top Experts from Industry and Research

NAPA’s verification method has been perfected in the REBUS Program by DIMECC with NAPA, Åbo Akademi, Bore, Transfennica, Norsepower and NANOL Technologies contributing.

Media enquiries:


Harri Kulmala, CEO, DIMECC Ltd, +358 40 840 6380, harri.kulmala@dimecc.com

Risto-Juhani Kariranta, Director, Services, Shipping Solutions, NAPA, +358 40 507 3266, risto.kariranta@napa.fi


Nick Arthur
BLUE Communications
T: +44 (0)1865 514 214


Kwilole Chisuse-van der Boom (Ms)
BLUE Communications
M: +44 (0) 7885 463 927 / T: +44 (0)1865 514 214

The Port of Helsinki voted as the Greenest Port of the Year

The international Green Shipping Summit presented the Port of Helsinki with the award for Greenest Port of the Year. The award is given for implementing environmental projects and adhering to or even exceeding the standards of regulations and environmental requirements governing the reduction of harmful emissions. Winners are selected by a vote among industry operators. The Port of Helsinki got ahead in the race by offering a discount available to cruise liners, encouraging shipping companies to discharge their waste water directly into Helsinki’s sewer system.

– We are very pleased with the recognition that the long-term work on controlling the environmental impact of port operations and shipping at the Port of Helsinki has now received, says CEO Ville Haapasaari.
– Each quay at the Port of Helsinki is well-equipped to receive waste water, and our monetary incentive proved effective. Currently, waste water is discharged during approximately 90 per cent of cruise ship calls in Helsinki.
– We are going to continue our work supporting the environment, as we want to become the forerunner in sustainable development in our industry.

The Green Shipping awards of 2018 highlight the efforts and accomplishments of shipping professionals. Companies are being rewarded for best practices and quality operations in the various fields of shipping. In addition to the Greenest Port of the Year, the awards also acknowledged the Greenest Marine Service Provider of the Year, the Most Extraordinary Contribution to HSSE, the Greenest & Most Innovative Shipbuilding Solution and the Greenest Shipowner of the Year.

The awards were presented during the third international Green Shipping Summit in Amsterdam on 2 October 2018. The summit is intended for maritime professionals who support eco-friendly practices in shipping and maritime operations.

More information:



Fairway as a service – The smart way to aid navigation

Meritaito Ltd is the leading Finnish marine survey service and infrastructure management company. The company has decades of experience in a comprehensive range of services in maintenance of waterways, use and maintenance of canals, hydrographic surveying services, oil spill response, hydraulic engineering, waterways design and manufacturing of aids to navigation.

Already today modern SOLAS requirements have transformed the accuracy of onboard navigation and in the future at Meritaito we see that buoys and other aids to navigation will always have a place in a form or another.

Finland’s maritime strategy for 2014–2022 provides an overall view that serves Finland’s economy, business life and employment account of the new environmental norms. The strategy analyses the changes that have taken place in the past years and the future challenges. It also outlines a vision for 2030 and identifies measures that are required in meeting them. A key aim in the strategy is to ensure that Finland´s maritime transport and maritime industries can operate effectively and that the competitiveness of the national economy and environmental and safety issues are taken extensively into account.

A vision for 2030 is “A prosperous Finland – efficient sea routes”. While the vision towards 2030 has been published, the maritime domain has to recognize that pinpointed things in this vision – increasing environmental regulations, competitive efficient and reliable and safe transport chains, arranging efficient icebreaker services, safe and improved efficiency in pilotage, efficient port operations, improved competitiveness for ports, intelligent Inland waterway transport, intelligent logistics chains – are still issues that needs to be solved.

The fairway itself – especially in Finland – is in a core role when accessing or departing a port. This possibly intelligent fairway can reduce many of the points highlighted in the 2030 vision. But it really has to be intelligent.

We at Meritaito have analyzed this vision and validated the need from the fairway owners and users where as a reflection to this we created a project called InSea – Intelligent Sea. In the InSea – where the maritime cluster in the future can easily access cloud services provided from the fairway and it´s vicinity – we still need to face the challenge of a simple connection. The connectivity of the fairway and beyond, adds value for the transport chain. Today Ports and it´s players own lot of information that is an asset and plays a vital role when a vessel plans a port call.

For example imagine a vessel that enters the port 3 times per week and has a average turnaround of 26 hours (Nisomar, Uk ports). If this vessel can save 30 min on its way in and on its way out it means 3 hours per week which in itself means 156 hours saved approx. 6 days per year to be used to other port calls per year. A average port call costs 38 000 € (Nisomar, Uk ports).

We see that efficiency and connectivity can be achieved simply thru an intelligent, digitalized and efficient fairway that is equipped with proper connections like the superfast 5G.

The connectivity will play a central part in the InSea project and where 5G network microwaves transmits along the fairway it enhances the information flow between the ship and shore and vice versa.


Thomas Erlund

Senior Vice President

Meritaito Ltd

Aker Arctic demonstrates autonomous vessel in model test

An autonomous ship model has been successfully tested in Aker Arctic’s ice model test laboratory in Helsinki, Finland. In the demonstration test the ship model was able to detect obstacles in the ice tank utilizing onboard sensors, maneuver around them without operator input and moor itself automatically to a target pier. The test was carried out in ice free waters. 

The wireless model used in the test is equipped with battery powered propulsion units, data transfer to the “shore facility”, and an autonomous navigation system that routes the vessel around obstacles detected by the onboard sensors. The various components are connected using Distributed Intelligent Vessel Components (DIVEC™), a specially developed network framework that provides a modern protocol for connecting devices and transferring necessary data between them. 

While Aker Arctic’s ice laboratory is normally used to test icebreaking vessels, it is also an excellent facility to develop and test the technology, sensors, algorithms and propulsion control systems being developed for autonomous vessels under harsh environmental conditions. DIVEC™ provides an extensible and adaptable infrastructure that allows interfacing with third party systems and components. The technology used in the autonomous ship model tests in the laboratory is also adaptable to semi and full scale prototypes.

With this technology Aker Arctic is ready for the next step in the development of autonomous ships.

This article was originally published on Navigator Magazine. Read the original from here.

Eniram aims to improve the world through optimisation

Eniram is a Helsinki-based subsidiary of the technology giant Wärtsilä that is helping shipping companies lower their fuel costs and emissions. The company’s competitive advantage is its deep expertise in analytics and modelling.

The optimal functioning of ships at sea depends on many factors. Variables such as the weather and currents, as well as the shape of the ship itself, determine how the ship should be operated.

“Eniram offers solutions that can optimise ship performance and minimise fuel consumption. We collect data about the ship’s systems, weather conditions and currents. These allow us to provide an overall picture of ship performance and energy efficiency. With these solutions, we are trying to do our part to improve the world and promote environmental values,” says Johan Backas, Managing Director of Eniram.

Eniram is based in Helsinki and currently has 130 employees. The company was acquired by Wärtsilä for 43 million euros in 2016.

“We now have better opportunities to grow our customer base. Wärtsilä offers the world’s largest selection of machinery and equipment for ships – not just engines, but everything from propellers to automation systems. Eniram is able to generate added value for Wärtsilä’s products,” says Backas.

Wärtsilä sees Eniram as a valuable partner. Eniram is a good example of how the maritime industry is increasingly seen as a broad ecosystem whose various components can be improved in terms of efficiency and environmental friendliness.

“Eniram is a forerunner in the utilisation of data and analytics. Wärtsilä wants to be at the forefront of the changes affecting the maritime industry, so it is vital for us to combine different elements, from navigation to engines. Fortunately, collaboration within the Finnish maritime cluster is very effective, as no one can manage this change alone,” says Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

Eniram’s Backas also appreciates the close collaboration within the Finnish maritime cluster. The strong network also helps build connections overseas: Eniram already has offices in Singapore, Dubai, London, Hamburg and Miami.

“Nevertheless, all our technological R&D work is done in Helsinki. There is a lot of IT expertise here, and the maritime industry is clearly attractive,” says Backas.