Welcome to the first Maritime Informatics seminar in the world

Information Systems have the potential to save the ship owners enormous amounts of money and at the same time have a great impact on the environment. By sharing some information about the ships whereabouts to a few operators the shipper may use the exact right speed to get to port just in time. And this is just one of many ways to use information systems. 
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Mikael Lind, research manager for Sustainable Transports at Viktoria Swedish ICT and associate professor at the Swedish Centre for Digital Innovation, you are one of the key speakers at the seminar. What is Maritime Informatics?
Informatics is applied information technology and within Maritime Informatics we want to help the maritime sector apply IT-solutions. The maritime sector is good at adapting to new components, but when it comes to information systems they could learn from other industries. We investigate how to make the shipping industry more efficient by digitalisation.
Why a full day of Maritime Informatics?
The questions are so many. There are both questions about the informatics aboard the ships and in the ports as well as for authorities and other players.
At the same time we must talk about how to weave these players together with a system of systems. There is such a great payoff potential in efficiency when applying informatics to the maritime sector that we need to highlight many different aspects. That is why we need a full day.
Who should come to the seminar?
All from business developers within the maritime sector to those who can give us information about what kind of technology that already today exists on ships that might be of use in the information system.
Those who work with transport within the maritime sector, that is ports, ship agents and authorities, but also those who want to develop the transportation system as a whole to save the environment or to increase efficiency.
We also hope for representatives from the academic world. I would like to be very clear that here are research possibilities of gigantic proportions.
Since Maritime Informatics is a rather new field it is possible to transfer and apply quite a lot of knowledge from other fields into the informatics-field.
Which possibilities do you see for the ship owners that are early adapters in Maritime Informatics?
We have just applied for a project that will validate the Sea Traffic Management concept. The project has a 43 billion Euro in turnover, 300 connected ships, 10 ports, 3 service centres and 2 test beds; one in the Nordic countries and one in the Mediterranean. One important focus is to facilitate a more connected port and the just-in-time approaches/ turn-around processes.
17 percent of all ships that arrived in the port of Gothenburg in August 2014 anchored and had to wait in average 18 hours for its turn, and Gothenburg is a rather small port compared to the rest of the world. Instead of going full speed all the way and then wait, the ship could instead get information about its slot in the port and slow down and hence use much less fuel and avoid laying for anchor.
If the shippers could trust the ports that they will get the slot they are promised and if the ports could be more efficient then this could be a valuable money saver for the ship owners.
At the same time it is important that the ship owners can feel safe about sensitive information not ending up in the wrong hands. That is something we deeply take into consideration in our projects.
What status does Maritime Informatics have in the informatics community? It seems like there is something going on!
Yes there is! I was just informed that I will have the opportunity to head a track about Maritime Informatics at the European Conference on Information Systems which is a highly respected informatics conferences in the world. This means that Maritime Informatics gets recognised as its own field. We already have three guest professors that are world famous within their community.
Richard Watson for example was the guy who made Energy Informatics a great field of research. He will dedicate serious efforts to study and develop Maritime Informatics.
So yes, there is definitely something going on and it is we within the Swedish cluster that are the originators!