Nor-Shipping Looks to Maritime's Future

Nor Shipping Delegates

Published Jun 3, 2015 8:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

The opening conference for Nor-Shipping 2015 addressed many key concerns for the industry that carries over 90% of the world’s trade. Delegates turned up to listen to the hard-hitting discussions that looked to, among other things, innovation, investment and transformative technology. Global geopolitical and economic scenarios were also debated.

New Norwegian maritime strategy

In her opening address, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg referred to her government’s newly announced national maritime strategy, saying that the Norwegian government wanted to establish a forward-looking framework for the industry.

“The industry has to invest in and adopt green technology. Norway will remain competitive by focusing on knowledge-based products. Our future lies in being smarter, not cheaper. That’s why we invest so heavily in innovation, research and development.”

Regarding regulation, Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland said, “The maritime industry is international. We need international rules and this takes time. But we have to be patient.”

Cyber security concerns

Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant US Coast Guard expressed concerns about cyber security, asking “Are we resilient enough?” This was echoed in the keynote address for the “What’s Next” roundtable by Espen Barth Eide, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum.

“Everything today is cyber. Any future conflict you will see will be a cyber-conflict. As we become more connected, be aware that cyber space is a domain equally as important as sea, air and land,” he said. “Any strategic competition that happens in a physical sense will also happen in cyberspace. Every conflict you see in the future will be a cyber-conflict.”

He said it was very important to understand that, “We are living in a world where strategic competition is back,” referring to geopolitical conflicts around the world.

The conference also turned its attention to developing international security threats. The situations with China in the South China Sea and the conflict with Russia were both at the forefront of concern for conference participants.

“I see the situation becoming more risky,” Strategy and globalization expert Anil Gupta said regarding the Chinese conflict. “Neither side is backing down and this could easily become a more serious conflict.”

Similarly, Eide said that if the conflict with Russia continues much longer, it will have effects that will outlast Ukraine.

Big Data – Here to Stay

The Transformative Technology roundtable concluded with big data, connectivity and ship intelligence as the way forward.

“Are we ready to understand that we have to have open architecture integration platforms for everything that happens?” said Kongsberg Gruppen CEO Walter Qvam. “Hopefully, the times for the proprietary systems are over for good.”

“It is very important to find those who are willing to try new technologies,” said Krystyna Wojnarowicz, Co-Founder of MARSEC Inc. “ But they shouldn’t be left alone to do that. We need to think big and start small. Here is where we can look for support from local governments.”

Nor-Shipping 2015 is taking place this week from June 02-05 in Oslo, Norway. The event is currently celebrating its 50 anniversary and will host visitors from over 80 different countries.