University of Turku to Lead €4M International Maritime Industry Digitalisation Project

​The aim of the ambitious research and development project of the maritime industry is to increase eco-efficiency of the maritime industry in the Baltic Sea region with digitalisation. Over 20 research institutes, companies and stakeholder groups from around the Baltic Sea region are involved.

The ECOPRODIGI project has been granted over €3 million from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme of the European Union, and the overall budget of the project is circa €4.2 million. In Finland, the project is also funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The project is coordinated by the Pan-Europe Institute of Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, and also the Centre for Maritime Studies at the Brahea Centre of the University of Turku is involved. Other Finnish partners of the project are Carinafour, Machine Technology Center Turku Ltd., Meyer Turku Oy, Sininen Polku and Centrum Balticum Foundation who is in charge of the project's communication.

The ECOPRODIGI project creates and pilots new digital solutions in order to improve ship performance, cargo loading and shipyard processes. For example, technology related to the optimisation of process control is being developed in shipyard environments. The utilisation of 3D scanning in the optimisation of cargo loading, among others, is tested in co-operation with shipping companies.

– Digitalisation is discussed a lot but, for example, utilisation of big data, 3D scanning and IoT is still in its initial stage in the networks of the maritime industry. ECOPRODIGI is a unique project as it involves several major actors, such as shipyards Meyer Turku from Finland and JSC Western Baltic Engineering from Lithuania, and shipping companies DFDS and J. Lauritzen from Denmark. Also medium-sized enterprises, who are rarely seen in corresponding EU projects, are involved, says Project Manager Eini Haaja, from the Pan-Europe Institute of the University of Turku, who has been in charge of the preparation of the project.

Meyer Turku, a partner in the project, expects visible benefits for the shipyard's operation.

– The Meyer Turku shipyard is facing positively challenging years due to its record-breaking volume of orders. The ECOPRODIGI project's research and development activities together with other on-going development are necessary to us, in order for us to be able to secure the successful delivery of agreed ships. Especially, when it means multiplying our production capacity compared to the current situation, says Kari Sillanpää who is in charge of Meyer Turku's research and development.

Within the framework of the project, Carinafour, among others, is helping increase the efficiency of the shipyard's operation.

– Carinafour develops its own digital Smart Operations service in the ECOPRODIGI project, with which the total factor productivity and resource utilisation of project industry can be radically improved, explains the company's Chairman of the Board Ari Viitanen.

In addition to digital solutions, ECOPRODIGI produces, for example, a road map to support the digitalisation of the maritime sector, policy recommendations to different authorities, and training and seminars for increasing the digital expertise and networks of the companies in the field.

– The actors of the maritime industry must have the keys to assess and develop their own eco-efficiency with the help of digitalisation. In the long run, it is the only way to survive in the global competition, notes Project Manager Haaja.

Information on the open events and publications within the framework of the project will be available at www.ecoprodigi.eu and on Twitter (@ECOPRODIGI_BSR / #ECOPRODIGI).

TS / SY

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Published date 11/6/2017 4:30 PM ,  Modified date 11/6/2017 4:44 PM

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