Maritime Cloud Project Kicks Off
The EU has approved a Danish-led, maritime e-navigation project designed to increase safety and efficiency at sea.
The Danish Maritime Authority is to lead the project “EfficienSea2”, and an important part of it is the development of a “Maritime Cloud” – a communication tool that will strengthen the exchange of information in and around the maritime sector.
The technology developed could, for example, mean that vessels receive an electronic warning on a monitor when entering a potentially dangerous area, rather than the current radio or Navtex warnings which require additional work for the bridge team to determine their relevance to their current passage.
The project is also expected to develop a wide range of new digital services within the areas of navigation and automatic ship emission reporting and monitoring, which will increase efficiency. It is envisaged that ship operators could monitor scrubber performance and emissions remotely and then allow authorities access to this and other relevant data in order to fast-track reporting requirements when entering ports.
The project will focus on the development of more inexpensive and more efficient communication channels at sea – such as intelligent use of the most inexpensive communication channel available and the development of an entirely new cost-effective communication channel referred to as VDES (VHF Data Exchange System).
The EU interest is interested in implementing the project’s solutions in the Baltic Sea and Arctic waters. The declaration of support from the EU states:
“There’s no doubt that this project is ground-breaking and holds a high potential for innovation. This will pave the way to, and fast track to, the introduction and use of modern communication, navigation and administrative systems that better match the companies’ requirements for efficiency and increased safety as well as improved usability.”
The project consortium consists of 32 partners from 12 different EU countries. The EU has granted funding in an amount of DKK 73.5 million of the project budget of DKK 85 million ($12.5 million). 13 of the partners are Danish organizations and companies.
The actors will be frontrunners in the area of e-navigation, and the project will function as a showcase of the global unleashing of e-navigation solutions, says the Danish Maritime Authority.
The full list of participants is available here.
In a separate development, Ericsson announced earlier this year that it aims to introduce its Maritime ICT Cloud designed to connect vessels at sea with shore-based operations, maintenance service providers, business partners and authorities. It will also enable services used to manage fleets, monitor engines and fuel consumption and navigation.
Ericsson will provide everything required including satellite connections and application support in one package. The company will also manage operation of the Maritime ICT Cloud on behalf of its customers.
Orvar Hurtig, Head of Industry and Society at Ericsson, says: “Vessels at sea do have systems in place that allow them to monitor critical functions and fuel usage, set and maintain an optimal course and ensure the welfare of their crew, but they are not particularly well integrated with fleet management systems onshore and they do not maximize the potential of real-time data. As the driving force behind the Networked Society and the world leader in telecommunications, Ericsson is the right partner to help connect these disparate systems and enable them to share information with low latency.”
Maritime ICT Cloud delivers benefits in three main categories: voyage optimization, cargo monitoring and crew welfare, says Ericsson.