Birgit Liodden, Director of Nor-Shipping, argues that Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland have the infrastructure, understanding and ambition to drive the digital transformation shipping requires for future sustainability and success. The world isn’t standing still, and shipping can’t afford to.
The pace of change in society is accelerating every day, enabled by digitalization and facilitated by individuals and firms that see potential rather than challenges. New business models can be born overnight, efficiencies unlocked with the tap of a screen, and resources utilized as never before.
So where do we, as an industry, fit in? How can we ensure we keep up with developments and, where possible, push them forwards?
I believe we have to look to the Nordics.
The Nordics lead the way, defined by sophisticated skills, business digitalization and near universal access to high-speed services and connections.
There is no other place where digital technology is as well integrated as it is here, in the Nordics. It has emerged as a natural part of our collective culture.
This understanding, in combination with our distinct maritime heritage and expertise, gives us, and the industry as a whole, a unique opportunity. We can be a global centre of excellence for advanced digital maritime solutions.
My home country’s decision to take the lead role in autonomous vessel research provides a case in point.
And have no doubt, this endeavour is underpinned by digital expertise. The sharing of information, seamless connectivity between assets and teams at sea and on shore, and collaborative technological solutions form the very life and soul of this project.
From threat to opportunity
Shipping is facing a series of challenges – from unpredictable and hugely damaging cyclical shifts, to environmental concerns, geopolitical threats, economic macro-trends, and more. We need new solutions, new technology and new ways of working together, as we’re seeing in the Trondheim fjord, to tackle these challenges and chart a course to a sustainable future.
In short, we need to disrupt. To question convention and embrace innovation.
That’s why, at Nor-Shipping 2017, we’re dedicating the whole of Hall A to the concept of Disruptive Sustainability. This will see innovative exhibitors from the maritime field rubbing shoulders with leading players from the wider business and tech/digital industry arenas, allowing for the sharing of insights and a cross fertilization of potentially disruptive ideas.
By opening the doors to the best minds from outside the industry we can help push maritime forwards in new directions that would not have been possible working in isolation. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and anyone, and shipping needs to accept that to realize its true potential.
There’s no doubt that digital technology will be at the heart of not just our exhibition hall, but also the next generation of shipping solutions.
It therefore makes perfect sense to look to the most digitally advanced countries in the world to seek them out. Welcome to the Nordics.
Nor-Shipping 2017 takes place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from May 30 to June 2, 2017.
The main exhibition features five themed halls –
- Disruptive Sustainability in Hall A
- IT & Navigation in Hall B
- Safety & Rescue in Hall C
- Shipbuilding & Repair in Hall D
- Maritime Services & Logistics in Hall E
- Propulsion & Machinery in Hall E
A full programme of events, initiatives and keynote speakers will be released on the Nor-Shipping website soon.