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Extracts from Danish Maritime Technology Conference 2-3 May 2018

Two days, 2-3 May, at the DMD flagship event Danish Maritime Technology Conference on maritime technology provided the many participants with insight and visions. Below are extracts of messages from some of the speakers.

Jenny N. Braat, Managing Director at Danish Maritime, opened this fourth Danish Maritime Technology Conference with a short welcoming speech in which she mentioned the excellences of the Danish maritime industry and the future possibilities of having an increased share of the ocean-based economy. She ended her speech by calling on everyone to make a difference but working together to create changes before she finally welcomed H.R.H. Prince Joachim.

H.R.H. Prince Joachim: We are all depending on the maritime industry
In his speech H.R.H. Prince Joachim highlighted digitalization and automation as important issues that would be addressed during the conference. He mentioned that we are all depending on the maritime industry in our everyday life when we trade products from other countries. This gives us favourable business opportunities, and consequently most large ships are equipped with Danish technology and products, said the Prince.

Jon Key: Don’t forget that only human beings can think new
Jon Key, Strategy Manager at V. Group, talked about digital innovation in practice. One of his points was that solving problems is not only about technology but to a large extent about human beings and their ability to think new. He replied to a question that for him it is quite natural to work with colleagues of different nationalities. In our everyday work we do not think about this at all, he said.

Thomas S. Knudsen: Maritime industry is heading towards brighter times
On the second day of the Danish Maritime Technology Conference, Thomas Knudsen, Chairman of Danish Maritime, initially thanked for the support from The Danish Maritime Fond. He mentioned that the maritime industry is heading towards brighter times because the market for newbuildings is improving and because many ships are about to install new equipment in order to meet new rules related to environment and climate.

Poul Woodall: We will probably not avoid the use of nuclear power
Poul Woodall, Environmental and Sustainability Manager at DFDS, was the keynote speaker on the second day of the conference. He talked about energy optimization of ships and informed about the climate objectives recently determined by IMO. At the meeting in the Environmental Committee (MEPC 72) one of the decisions was to introduce a 40% reduction of CO2 per transport in 2030 as compared to 2008. But what is the baseline, and which data for 2008 do we actually have, he asked. If we have no documentation of the discharge in 2008, how can we decide what should be obtained in 2030? This was stressed as a paradox by Poul Woodall. No matter how we measure the discharge, we will aim at totally avoiding SOx and NOx in the future. However, there is not enough biofuel, and other solutions like wind power may help but cannot provide sufficient supply. Nuclear power may be the only technology which can meet the requirements of the future challenges. However, we will be left with a large and unsolved image and waste problem. Within the nearest future, electrically powered motors will probably be the best and most energy efficient solution, however, the batteries are not good enough. In general, it will be difficult for shipping to meet the targets set by IMO to obtain essential reductions of the discharges in 2030, said Poul Woodall.

Nicolaj Hansen: Underwater drones are cleaning hulls
Nicolaj Hansen of C-Leanship participated as an example of a Danish maritime start-up company. The company specializes in cleaning hulls from fouling, while the ships are lying in port. This takes place by means of an underwater drone, developed by the company. The drone is presently being used in Singapore, where C-Leanship has an office. A clean hull is primarily saving fuel but is also preventing that animals and plants are carried along to other parts of the world. By cleaning the hull while the ship is being loaded and unloaded, the shipping company is also saving time. The drone cleans the hull by spraying water at high speed and catching the fowling in a filter.

Mathias Engell Holmstrup: Measuring ballast water makes out a challenge
Mathias Engell Holmstrup, marine biologist at the maritime startup company MicroWise, talked about test of ballast water. With the new rules on ballast water, authorities require that measurements are made on the ships to document whether the ballast water has been cleaned sufficiently. MicroWise has seen the business opportunities of this niche. The challenge is that there are many methods for testing of ballast water, and they are not yet fully developed. The methods must be able to measure directly. They must be able to measure on any organism and they must be fast and simple to use. It is complicated, however, we have succeeded in finding a method involving f.ex. video recognition and computer simulation, said Mathias Engell Holmstrup.

Brian Mikkelsen: Disruption as catalyst
Brian Mikkelsen, Minister for Industry, Business and Growth, closed the talk series at Danish Maritime Technology Conference. He predicted that the coming 10 years will bring a total transformation of the sector of transport and logistics, f.ex. by introducing autonomous ships. Right now we are in the middle of a disruption of shipping and other businesses, the minister pointed out. Everything changes these years, and what happened to the farming sector will now happen to the maritime industry. The question is how we react and how we use the changes as catalyst for increased business opportunities. Increased use of data, on ships and in containers, is one of the ways forward. Fortunately, there are many possibilities for innovation together with Blue Denmark, for example by building test areas for autonomous ships, said Brian Mikkelsen.