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From ship design to ship management, and from the bridge to the engine room and the cargo hold, digitalisation has entered all aspects of ship operation. Identifying smart ways of combining digital technologies is one of the topics of this year’s Maritime Future Summit[ds_preview]

Kicking off SMM once more, at the Maritime Future Summit on 5 September 2022 experts will discuss the latest digital trends. The course has been charted: »Increased automation in shipping has the potential to enhance safety, to improve environmental performance, and to ensure more efficient and sustainable shipping,« says Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization IMO.

And indeed, the digital toolbox is full of technologies: Weather monitoring allows crews to optimise their routes and minimise fuel consumption; digital twins provide an efficient way to detect the root causes of ship performance issues; and remote surveys enable safe inspections without having to be physically present – a great advantage especially during the Covid 19 pandemic. Finding ways to combine all these digital tools effectively is the topic of the Maritime Future Summit.

Featuring top-ranking experts, the conference will take place on 5 September, one day before the launch of the leading international maritime trade fair. »Connected Technologies On The Rise« is this year’s motto for the meeting of the international digital experts. »Forming smart alliances and developing multidisciplinary solutions is the order of the day,« says Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress (HMC). »At the Maritime Future Summit, the maritime industry will enter the next stage of the digital transformation.«

Smart hulls

The shape of a ship’s hull decides about its stability, cargo capacity and fuel consumption. No wonder hull condition is a key area for monitoring technology. The French company notilo plus combines subsea robots with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to perform hull inspections. »Our autonomous underwater drone ›Seasam‹ not only allows you to inspect the hulls of boats, but it can also, thanks to artificial intelligence and image analysis tools, do predictive maintenance to prepare for the next drought,« says notilo plus Vice President Solène Guéré who will present the system at the Maritime Future Summit. The ship classification society DNV pursues a similar approach for ship hull inspections. In his speech, Pierre Sames, Senior Vice President Group Research & Development, will explain what technologies DNV relies on. Hull monitoring frequently reveals an annoying form of ballast: In extreme cases, plankton, algae and muscles growing on the bow and propeller can increase a ship’s fuel consumption by more than 50 %. Hasytec has developed an effective method to avoid biofouling. The company, nominated for the German Environmental Award 2022, will highlight its innovative ultrasonic anti-fouling technology at SMM.

Towards a transparent future

Saving fuel to minimise costs and emissions is one of the top goals for the fleet control centres of ship operators. At the Maritime Future Summit, Sean Fernback, CEO of the leading ship engine manufacturer Wärtsilä Voyage, will discuss how the digital transformation can unlock the full potential of shipping. »The maritime world is entering the digital era where mutualising our investments into common platforms and standards is a prerequisite to successful innovations for a more sustainable and efficient maritime industry.« For Patrick Müller from Siemens Energy Marine, data transparency is key to achieving this goal. In his presentation he will advocate an open digital ecosystem. »It is important to have a holistic view on all your assets, available in real time, from machinery to navigation, combined with environmental conditions,« says Müller.

Digital security

More transparency and data traffic increase efficiency – but also risks. Data networks are favourite targets of cyber criminals. Not long ago Hapag-Lloyd fell victim to a cyber attack. Donya-Florence Amer will describe how her shipping company defends itself against these kinds of attacks and charts its future digital course. The IT specialist has been Chief Information Officer at Germany’s biggest container liner operator since the beginning of the year. For autonomous shipping in particular, an effective cyber security management system is of utmost importance. The on-board sensors must be able to function error-free to avoid collisions on the water. The team of the CAPTN project focuses on sensor fusion and deep learning. Initiated by Kiel University in 2018, they develop low-emission, autonomous ferries for the Firth of Kiel. The team will present the current status of the project at SMM. »Digital transformation, climate change and the maritime energy transition – what better headlines fit our initiative, which, with its collaborative projects and numerous partners from the maritime industry and excellent research institutions, focuses on precisely these topics,« says Dr. Wiebke Müller-Lupp, General Manager of Wissenschafts­zentrum Kiel GmbH and the coordinator of CAPTN.

Numerous high-tech innovations will be featured at the Maritime Future Summit and can be viewed by visitors at the stands of SMM exhibitors on the days after the conference. The entire programme for the Maritime Future Summit can be found on the SMM homepage at

The conference will once again be co-organised by HANSA – International Maritime Journal. HANSA invites you to join the Maritime Future Summit and discuss the latest digital trends and innovations. ED

Donya Florence Amer Hapag Lloyd Kopie
© Hapag-Lloyd

The keynote of this year’s Maritime Future Summit will come from Hapag-Lloyd CIO Donya-Florence Amer on »Defining Position and Course in Digital Transformation for a shipping liner company«. Amer started her professional career in 1999 at IBM, where she held various management positions. She has played leadership roles at Bosch since 2017, initially as Executive Vice President and as a member of the CIO Management Board. Since 2020, she has been the CEO of Bosch Climate Solutions, of which she was a co-founder. In November 2021 she joined Hapag-Lloyd.

Sean Fernback 001
© Wärtsilä

Smart ship operation will be the subject of a presentation by Sean Fernback, CEO of Wärtsilä Voyage. »Intelligent vessel control, fleet and port optimisation provide immediate answers to reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions while laying the framework for a shift that’ll touch every part of maritime transport’s value chain«, he says. Fernback is the President of Wärtsilä Voyage and Executive Vice President of Wärtsilä Corporation. Prior to this, Fernback served as Chief Technology Officer at Navico and was responsible for driving the company’s digital marine agenda.

Pierre C Sames DNV

Pierre C. Sames, DNV Group R&D Director, will speak on the subject of »AI and Drone-Assisted Ship Hull Survey«. How will advanced digital technologies augment and improve the inspection of ship hulls? Based on DNV research & development, Sames will share details on the involved technologies and discuss the impact on processes and people. As Group Research and Development Director at DNV, he is responsible for managing the corporate strategic research and technology development projects. He joined GL in 1995 after studying naval architecture in Hamburg.

Ken Goh knud e hansenret
© Knud E. Hansen

With »Design Cooperation in COVID-19 Times using VR« Virtual-Reality will also be on the MFS agenda again. Kenneth Goh, who works for the Danish-based ship design firm Knud E. Hansen, in the Perth/Australia office, reports on lesson learnt and feedback from colleagues and customers. A sneak preview: »Even reluctant users are comfortable and being productive in less than half an hour.« Goh has been responsible not just for innovation in the ship design products, but alsothe processes, including the role Virtual Reality can play in multinational design projects.

© notilo plus

»From Hull to Cloud: Hull Condition Monitoring 4.0«. Solène Guéré is the Vice President of the French start-up company notilo plus which has revolutionized underwater hull condition monitoring using underwater drones and A.I. for machine vision. She received Hansa’s »Maritime Innovator Award« in 2021. Notilo plus combines underwater robotics and AI technology to create underwater inspection reports with ease, simplicity, speed, and consistency. The approach is seen by many stakeholders as a role model of future hull condition monitoring.

2016 Patrick Mueller
© Siemens Energy

»Are you sure that you know all essential information that you need to achieve the best performance of your fleet?« This question will be posed by Patrick Mueller, Siemens Energy Marine. »It is important to have a holistic view on all your assets, available in real time, from machinery to navigation combined with environmental conditions. The solution is an open digital ecosystem, open to gather any kind of information, onboard a vessel and onshore from different sources«, he says. His topic will be »Ultimate data transparency as the key to a brighter future«.

Ludmila Seppala
© Cadmatic

Ludmila Seppälä, Director Business Development, Marine Industry at Cadmatic, will provide insights on model-based development for marine projects and digital continuity of processes along with data flow, resources, and materials are the core of data-driven shipbuilding. »Gains in quality and optimization start with the digital model and expand to cover a complete life-cycle of vessels and digital tread of data in the shipbuilding«, she says. Her presentation is titled »A Vision for CAD/CAM Integration for the Shipbuilding Industry«.

Jilin Ma CCS MFS 2021 ret

Ma Jilin, Director of Intelligent Technology & Safety Laboratory at China Classification Society (CCS) will share details on the accelerated digital transformation at the class society. At the digital edition of SMM in February 2022, as one of the panellists Ma already prodvided some insight into CCS’ perspective on the the feasibility of of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) – bottom line: realistic but still a long way to go to become real. China Classification Society once again acts as sponsor of the Maritime Future Summit.

Volker Bertram MFS 2021

Both MFS panels, »Connecting Digital Technologies« and »Connecting Data to Move Ahead«, will be moderated by MFS »veteran« Volker Bertram, professor for ship design at the World Maritime University, well-known as a conference organizer and author. »I like this year’s common theme. Come together, not just the people at the summit and SMM, but the technologies that get connected to move to the next level of IT solutions. And it often happens in smart alliances and joint ventures, big established players in the industry teaming up with agile start-ups. I find the excitement contagious.Maritime Future Summit

Connected Technologies on the Rise – The Next Phase of the Digital Transformation

5 September 2022, Hamburg Messe