The Christmas holidays are now over and the final year of ECOPRODIGI has commenced. But even though the end is drawing near, the best is still yet to come! The pilotings of our three cases are all ready to launch in the coming months, trainings are getting their final forms, roadmaps are being drawn and finally, and perhaps most importantly, all the innovative results and best practices are shared for the benefit of the whole of maritime industry. Year 2020 will definitely be full of excitement, read on to discover what we are planning to do.’

For a quick recap of what we have done this far, the synthesis of our first completed work package is now out! The synthesis explores the potential of digital technologies for solving various eco-inefficiencies in the industry and it acts as a foundation for all the work done later in the project. The report summarises the eco-inefficiencies identified in the processes of the involved end-users, and it introduces the digital technologies that are currently in use and the most promising digital technologies and concepts for improving eco-efficiency. The report also addresses challenges and requirements that the implementation of new technologies and concepts involves. On that basis, the report provides an outlook for the future in regard to capitalising the benefits of digitalisation. You can find the report here.

Based on the findings of the aforementioned synthesis report, new cloud-based digital vessel performance monitoring solutions, more efficient cargo stowage operations utilising 3D scanning and virtual reality, and leaner shipyard processes using 3D scanning and novel process management systems will be piloted this spring. The synthesis shows that they all carry a lot of potential for decreasing emissions, increasing productivity and just simply saving money. The pilots are scheduled to be completed in the summer.

New innovations lead nowhere if the people who should be working with them cannot use them properly in their daily work. Implementing, understanding and using innovative digital systems in an appropriate way requires thorough theoretical and operational knowledge. To address this, the project is piloting training programmes which aim to provide concrete answers on how to efficiently educate students and crew members on the possibilities and best practices of different digital solutions. The trainings will include innovative digital tools such as VR, AR and mobile applications making them easily accessible for more people than traditional class lessons.

Last year, the project ran several policy seminars in order to gather input to prepare a Digitalisation Roadmap. The Roadmap will encompass all three ECOPRODIGI cases, and present what needs to be done in order to improve eco-efficiency in the industry. The Roadmap will examine, for example, technological drivers and constraints, alternative technologies, and recommendations for implementing new technologies and processes. Its primary focus group will be other industry end-users and it aims to give them a vision of a more eco-efficient future and to present the steps that are needed to reach it.

Keeping the policymakers informed on the needs of the industry is crucial in improving eco-efficiency. Winds of change are blowing everywhere in the industry but proper incentives and legislation are needed to fully capitalise the momentum. To address this, the project is developing policy briefings and recommendations that are aimed specifically at influencing policymakers. These recommendations will be introduced to policymakers in a policy briefing event in Brussels on the 5th of May. Put the date on your calendar and follow our communication channels for more information later on!

Finally, the final conference of the project will be organised in Turku in September. All the exciting results of the project will then be ready to be published and shared to all our stakeholders.

As you can see, a lot of exciting things are still going to happen before the project ends. There are only nine months left, and still a lot of things to do, so this year will most definitely be one filled with hurry and creative chaos – but hopefully and most likely with also enthusiasm and fulfillment.