Research themes in the spotlight: Developing commercially viable business models to enable emission reduction across marine ecosystem

One of the R&D themes in the Zero Emission Marine ecosystem is led by Juho Nurmi from Wärtsilä. The theme focuses on creating business models that enable the commercialisation of the developed solutions for customers and help with the current and future challenges in the implementation. All this whilst following the new regulations imposed on the marine industry regarding emission reductions and sustainability aspects.

Juho Nurmi works as Lead Business Innovation Manager in the Business Innovation and Performance Services at Wärtsilä Marine Power. His unit develops future business offerings for customers. Nurmi explains that this Zero Emission Marine (ZEM) theme can be considered as a kind of an overarching enabler for the other themes. It links to the other technically oriented themes focusing on decarbonisation technologies – introduction of new fuels and technologies, and optimised operations. In addition to commercialisation, the new business models also aim to enable the adaptation of new technologies and solutions created in the ZEM ecosystem.

Supporting the initiative for zero emissions for customers through collaborative contract models

In this ZEM theme, new and more collaborative contract models for customers are being developed. The objective is on sharing the risks and benefits with the customer. Nurmi explains: “We need to show that our business models enable the current and future technologies to decarbonise our industry, and that Wärtsilä is willing to share the risks related to the commercialisation of these new technologies. This is how we, for our part, will help our customers comply with the regulations aiming to decarbonise the marine industry.”

Within the four-year timespan of the ZEM project, Wärtsilä is looking into changing the way solutions are sold to customers – the company is creating a new model where the investment is made easier for the customer and Wärtsilä will participate in the customer’s investment into new technologies. The benefits for the customer will translate into emission reductions and savings in fuel consumption.

According to Nurmi, changing the way to sell the solutions at Wärtsilä will require a big culture change both at Wärtsilä and among customers, and this will bring a win-win result to everyone.

Gaining understanding on the risks related to the adoption of new technologies

Nurmi explains that the possible collaboration with third parties in the business models theme could be broken into capabilities. Wärtsilä could learn from the other actors how to measure and model the performance of fuel savings and where the savings are made. It will also be important to be able to understand how the adopted new technology impacts the end result. When the impact can be measured, the pricing and modelling of the related risks can be better adapted to apply to the new technologies.

Bringing end-to-end solutions to complex challenges

Wärtsilä’s value proposition to customers is to reduce risks associated to technology choices for emission reduction for their customers. The new indices by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), mainly EEXI and CII, will affect the requirements for emission reduction already from 2023 onwards, but end-to-end solutions will be needed. Wärtsilä Voyage and Marine Power cover both the software and hardware. In other words, the efficiency of the whole vessel in terms of fuel consumption and emissions can be improved by exploiting the capabilities the company has to offer to manage this complexity. In addition to regulatory pressure, requirements for emission reductions come from big end-users heavily engaged in shipping activities.

Nurmi concludes by saying that he would like to see Wärtsilä as a partner who delivers relevant value to customers who are engaged in emission reductions and use of fuels. The customer faces a challenge of how to adopt the new fuels and Wärtsilä wants to the be the actor who can take on this challenge! Now is the time to form a strong basis with the ecosystem for the future work which Wärtsilä will continue together with customers.

Is your company engaged in business solutions and risk management in the marine industry? Do not hesitate to contact us to find out if we can ideate and innovate together!

Read more about outcome-based business models here.