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Wärtsilä holds ‘An Ocean Awakening’ event in Singapore

30 Nov 2018

The following story below was provided by Wärtsilä to Manifold Times:

With much of the world’s population live in mega cities, a world without these sprawling metropolises is almost unthinkable. However, the global population explosion coupled with climate change, and the ever-growing demand for limited resources require a change in the mega city model if humankind is to continue to thrive.
Wärtsilä, a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, believes sustainable and smart marine ecosystems could be the key to radically reinventing cities and their shores, and ultimately unlocking new city models that are both greener and bluer.

Wärtsilä is working with the world’s great maritime cities to bring “An Oceanic Awakening” to life. Integral to “An Ocean Awakening” is SEA20, which seeks to connect 20 of the most influential marine cities by 2020 into a network that will inspire cooperation as an essential ingredient to driving forward this journey of transformation.  The cities of Hamburg and Helsinki, and the State of Washington, USA, have officially joined the SEA20 network. On November 8, Wärtsilä launched the initiative in Singapore.

As part of the launch, Wärtsilä brought together a diverse panel of high-powered stakeholders to gather at the “An Oceanic Awakening” media roundtable, and discuss issues relating to maritime industry transformation through research and innovation.

Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer & Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä Corporation, set the stage by explaining, “At Wärtsilä, we fundamentally believe we have a leadership, stewardship role in driving sustainable change in the industry. “An Oceanic Awakening” is a movement we are facilitating in order to get the industry regulators, institutes of higher learning (IHLs), and thought leaders together, and make a difference to the industry and society at large.”

He added, “SEA20 is a call to action to stakeholders to stand up and be part of the change.”

Events, such as the media roundtable, are part of Wärtsilä’s efforts to engage these stakeholders and dovetails with its “whole eco-system” approach.

Mr Ryan said that a “whole eco-system” response will help unlock the value of “An Ocean Awakening” initiative, adding, “This panel is a prime example… (as it) represents the full maritime eco-system. That can only happen in Singapore, where you are looking at the thought leadership, the independent view, the corporate industry view, the regulator, the academia all coming together to solve the same problem with the same mindset.”

Roundtable facilitator, Mr Chris Chung, Director, Digital Innovation & Strategic Projects, Wärtsilä, asked panel members how they could curate the eco-system and accelerate the pace of change towards greater sustainability. Collaboration, they said, is the answer.

On the education front, Singapore Maritime Institute Executive Director Dr Sanjay Chittarajan Kuttan said the institute could encourage greater research collaboration through the funds it disburses. “If the funding criterion is constructive collaboration, then there might be an opportunity to accelerate this.”

He also said that since much of the research is being carried out by IHL faculty, the new technologies would seep into these institutes’ syllabi, and help keep the students au courant with the latest developments. In turn, this will help accelerate change.

MPA’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr Kenneth Lim, said that the industry and its stakeholders are already collaborating on their own accord. “Even the newer technologies, such as 3-D printing, are being incorporated into the maritime industry. The industry is responding to, and coming forward to try out new technology as they work with various partners. We need to sustain this momentum so that we can see tangible results from these projects within a shorter period.”

In the Singapore context, he added, the development of the Next Generation Port in Tuas “is a golden opportunity to put in all the relevant research and new technology, and plug into the available research funds”.

Architect Jason Pomeroy pointed to the need for port cities to reinvigorate themselves and move away from their current closed-off environments. “We need to economically, culturally and socially reinvigorate ports. We need to find a way of breaking down these silos.”

One way to achieve this is to bring together the ideas of “the intellectual and the labourer” together.

Wärtsilä’s Mr Ryan said that corporations, which were traditionally rivals, are now becoming “frenemies”. “Each of us has a contribution to make.  That which used to be your competitor is now partly your friend, and partly your enemy.”

This, he added, was part and parcel of the “whole eco-system” approach.

“In adopting this approach, some truisms apply. First, there must be a shared real value in doing this together. Second, it only works with scale, like the Tuas mega port, and scale requires technology to ensure cost efficiency. Finally, a cyber security element is needed because the data has to be protected, or you would be putting your business model, your future, your operational efficiency at risk.”

Photo credit: Wärtsilä
Published: 30 November 2018


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