Research themes in the spotlight: Automated and optimised operations require expertise and specialised application developers

One of the R&D themes in the Zero Emission Marine (ZEM) ecosystem focuses on developing automated and optimised operations on fleet and vessel level to increase the efficiency of maritime operations by adapting new intelligent digital technologies. This will result in reductions in fuel consumption and emissions, and increased level of safety, reliability and compliance.

We had a discussion with the theme leaders Henrik Sandsund and Lauri Kovanen from Wärtsilä Voyage to learn what kind of ecosystem partners they are looking for. Together, the ecosystem partners will harness new technologies and applications to accelerate emission reductions and reduce total life cycle costs in the marine industry.

Looking forward to building a strong ecosystem to increase autonomy

Henrik Sandsund works in the Wärtsilä Voyage Strategy team and is engaged in activities to accelerate the transformation of the maritime industry and develop innovative R&D projects. Lauri Kovanen is leading the IoT Data function at Wärtsilä Voyage. His teams provide a scalable cloud platform for Wärtsilä Voyage solutions which, among other things, store and process the data collected from vessels.

According to Kovanen, the development of automatisation and optimisation is a process that requires several steps, and his focus is on the modular data architecture. Wärtsilä is open to using data collected by other parties and welcomes third-party applications to the Wärtsilä ecosystem. Through this approach, Wärtsilä aims to accelerate the transformation of the industry and help develop applications also to the most specific customer needs.

Sandsund looks at the R&D theme from the strategic viewpoint. Optimisation and autonomy are key focus areas in the Voyage business, and through the ZEM programme Wärtsilä welcomes new partners to work with and is looking forward to building a strong ecosystem to join forces in the development work.

“There is significant potential in the co-development work with new actors demonstrating for instance specialised data usage capabilities. It will help us gain better understanding of e.g. vessel dynamics and helps us solve common challenges together. Together, we can develop new solutions and services faster and fulfil different customer needs quicker,” Kovanen says. The benefits of collaboration translate into an even stronger product portfolio and a wide range of specialised partners to further the autonomy and optimisation development.

Welcoming application developers with specialised expertise on many areas

Wärtsilä is looking forward to welcoming application developers who have a good understanding on the use cases within this R&D theme of the ZEM ecosystem. As an example, Kovanen mentions Edge technology as one of the potentially interesting areas. It is a new take of the onboard platform where the ZEM ecosystem wants to build up on expertise regarding Edge platform scalability, stability and orchestration of software services, in addition to developing whole new applications.

Sandsund points out that Wärtsilä is also interested in exploring synergies with other major actors, such as other leading Veturi companies who act in the same industry or develop relevant IoT technologies.

Ecosystem approach enables low thresholds to join co-development activities

As a leader in the marine industry, Wärtsilä works on introducing new technologies for the customers who are eager to implement new solutions and digital technologies. Wärtsilä also wants to be an easily approachable partner for small actors who have specialised know-how and can provide agile solutions to accelerate sustainability in the marine industry.

Sandsund sums up: “Wärtsilä has a long tradition in innovation and the size to make a real difference. We strive towards Zero Emission and work hard to enable decarbonisation, but we also believe it will be a joint effort to get there and invite everyone to join the ecosystem development.”

Is your company developing digital solutions for automated and optimised operations in the marine industry? Do not hesitate to contact us to find out if we can ideate and innovate together!

Read more about automated and optimised operations here.