October 11, 2017. United Arab Emirates: The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has today (Wednesday, October 11, 2017) held an interactive workshop on ‘Maritime Innovation and Digitization’ as part of its efforts to attract more investments in research, technology, and maritime innovation. The workshop updated the local maritime community on the latest developments in maritime technology to support ongoing efforts to build a safe and sustainable maritime sector. It was organized as part of a strategic partnership with DNV GL, the world’s leading classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry, to advance innovation, research and development. These activities help promote the competitiveness, inclusiveness, and attractiveness of the local maritime cluster and position the Emirate of Dubai among the world’s leading maritime capitals.
The workshop was attended by high-level maritime industry leaders who exchanged insights on ways to use modern technology to promote the components of the maritime sector and keep abreast of the requirements of the 21st Century. The panel discussions were moderated by Shahrin Osman, Head of Digital Solutions & Advisory Middle East, DNV GL - Maritime, and discussed prospects for technological development with a special emphasis on Autonomous Waterborne Applications and Drone Applications for Maritime Reconnaissance. The digital transformation of leading regional ship owners was the major focus of extensive talks that revolved largely around Big Data analysis for the shipping industry, the maritime data platform, and sustainable water transport.
The agenda also featured the successful DMCA and DNV GL launch of the ‘Dubai Innovation Quay,’ a much-lauded initiative aimed at supporting the UAE’s transformation into a global hub for developing and employing innovative technologies and solutions supporting the growth and sustainability of the maritime sector.
Among the workshop’s spokespersons were Oskar Levander, Senior Vice President for Concepts and Innovation, Rolls-Royce Marine; Ali Shehab, Deputy CEO of Kuwait Oil Tanker Company; Anwar Siddiqui, President of the Bahri Data of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia “Bahri”; Jan Kvålsvold, Director Market and Business Development at DNV GL - Maritime, based in Norway; and Mahmoud Ewidah, Director for Information Technology at DMCA.
Amer Ali, Executive Director of the DMCA, said that the workshop marks an important milestone in promoting knowledge and transport experience relevant to research, innovation, smart navigation, digitization, and Big Data which have emerged as robust foundations for building a safe, renewable, reliable, and sustainable maritime sector capable of meeting future needs. He also hailed the fruitful cooperation with DNV GL in carrying out initiatives that foster maritime innovation supportive of the national direction towards investments in innovation as the gateway to the future which will position the UAE among the most innovative countries in the world.
Ali said: “We recognize the emerging importance of technological innovations such as Autonomous Waterborne Vessels and Drones in shaping the future of the maritime industry. We thus strive to facilitate closer communications between leaders and experts to identify clear-cut frameworks for adapting research and development, innovation, and modern technology in building an integrated and competitive maritime economy. This supports national programs aimed at establishing a Post-Oil Economy.”
“At DNV GL we believe that increasing digitalization is the future of shipping, which is why we are so pleased to be working with DMCA and to be part of Dubai’s 10X Initiatives,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL- Maritime. “Since the signing of this cooperation agreement only twelve months ago, we have already seen some interesting projects launched, for example a 3D ship survey simulator and zero emissions ferry concept, with several more in such key areas as predictive computational algorithms, machine learning, and data platforms in development. We look forward to a continuing and productive cooperation with DMCA, identifying new opportunities to make the maritime sector in Dubai safer, smarter and greener.”
Mahmoud Ewidah, the DMCA’s Director of Information Technology, also highlighted some of the main features of the Dubai Innovation Quay, including its strategic importance as a driving force for maritime innovation, development, and training. He said that the initiative’s strengths include encouraging and enabling research and manufacturing institutions to conduct field studies and new experiments on innovations related to drones, 3D technologies, and smart and autonomous Ships.
He said: “The workshop is an ideal opportunity for showcasing the benefits of the Innovation Quay which will be an incubator for developers, innovators, and researchers. It also provides a platform for transforming creative ideas into real applications with tangible positive results in developing the components of the maritime cluster to keep pace with the requirements of the digital era.”
For his part, Shahrin Osman, said: “One of the most pleasing aspects of the workshop is how it brought together many different maritime stakeholders, including representatives of government bodies, international companies, regulators, research and academic institutions, yards, designers, and information technology leaders, who were eager to participate in these exciting projects and discuss the cutting edge of maritime technology and innovation. It is the result of a very fruitful cooperation between the DMCA and DNV GL and our commitment to working towards accelerating the digital transformation of the maritime sector. Over the next few years, we are looking forward to deepening our cooperation with the Dubai Maritime City Authority to explore more prospects for capitalizing on new innovations and technologies to drive the growth of the global maritime industry.”
The workshop’s high-level turnout included senior government dignitaries, top executives from institutions interested in the maritime sector, and leading regional and international maritime firms.