Panel: Leveraging digital innovation for sustainability
Photo: Hoeppner Sport- und Markenkommunikation GmbH
The use of digital innovation for sustainability was the focus of a panel discussion at the blue innovation dock. Leading providers of digital solutions discussed the technologies that can contribute to efficiency and solve sustainability issues in nautical tourism.
The panel, moderated by Anouk Groen (RNA Design, Owner), featured the following speakers: Björn Jónsson (Hefring Marine, COO), Idan Cohen (The MIA & Pick-A-Pier, Chaiman & CEO), Clément Douet (Beneteau Group, VP Digital Business), Patrick Häbig (SEA.AI, Sales Manager EMEA & APAC, SEA.AI) and Yannick Vereerstraeten (Sailsense Analytics, Co-Founder & COO Programmes).
The participants presented their digital solutions that help to make marinas and boats more sustainable. It is evident that the application of software and hardware solutions are diverse.
SEA.AI, for example, detects floating objects early and uses thermal and optical cameras to detect objects that escape conventional systems such as radar or AIS: ships that are not using relevant signals or other floating obstacles such as containers, buoys, inflatable boats, but also people and animals. This helps make suggestions for safer and more sustainable routes.
The online platform Pick a Pier makes it easier for boaters to reserve berths and provides marinas with innovative tools to increase their capacity utilisation and customer friendliness, make optimal use of resources and apply environmentally conscious business practices through the 'Smart Marina' concept. Sustainability is achieved through the best possible utilisation of existing marinas, as the construction of new marinas is often difficult to implement.
Hefring Marine's IMAS system is an intelligent boat assistance system that addresses two of the biggest cost and risk factors in fleet operations: accidents and fuel consumption. The AI solution is installed on the boat and helps to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions through speed control on the one hand, and safety increase through real-time sea navigation on the other. Through data analysis, the AI is continuously learning and improving. Fuel consumption can thereby be reduced by 15 to 20 per cent.
Beneteau has been pursuing a digitalisation strategy for some time and collects data from its suppliers, for example, in order to identify the most sustainable among them. Beneteau's Seanapps app makes it possible to collect important technical data from boats via sensors and manage it externally. Regular and seamless maintenance can thus increase the lifespan of boats.
Sailsense Analytics provides intelligent boat monitoring solutions for boat manufacturers, boat owners, fleet managers and other stakeholders. With its sensors and solutions, the company can find out which on-board systems consume particularly large amount of energy and thus suggest improvements.
The panel discussed that collecting data through smart digital technologies helps stakeholders in nautical tourism gain a better understanding of where optimisations can be made to achieve greater sustainability in marinas, boats and tourism.
The different technical solutions should be open-source and connected. For example, a common platform for sensors is recommended. The automotive industry is a role model in areas such as connectivity, sensor technology, energy efficiency, vision technology and tracking through to autonomous driving. Collaboration between start-ups and existing industry players is also recommended to drive digital transformation.
Data collection is the basis for smart nautical tourism. The collection of data is not considered problematic in this context, as GDPR ensures user data protection. In addition, many boat owners also have a vested interest in sharing their data because they can obtain important information or save costs. However, the transparency of the use of data is important.
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