Finland to take the lead in automation experiments in the maritime sector
A comprehensive project to promote unmanned maritime systems is being launched in Finland. Its aim is to create the world's first unmanned maritime systems and services as well as an efficient autonomous maritime ecosystem by 2025.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications supports the project by examining possible test areas for unmanned vessels and by providing a suitable environment for flexible testing operations. The project involves nearly 60 companies and is included in the Arctic Seas programme of the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes.
"Promotion of digitalisation and extensive utilisation of automation and information are the driving forces of the Government key projects. In the maritime sector these can significantly enhance safety, reduce emissions and improve productivity. Finland is especially well equipped to take the lead in maritime transport and the related automation and information industry," says Ms Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland.
The coastal areas of Finland provide a diverse testing environment for automated shipping. The coastal areas are large, an open-sea environment is easily accessible and it is possible to test vessels also in ice conditions.
Advanced communications connections and established practices of the public authorities that have developed through experiments in other transport modes lend support for the project. Access to information resources necessary for autonomous shipping and comprehensive and high-quality support services related to it are among Finland's strengths. Extensive expertise in the ICT sector also lays the groundwork for the digitalisation of maritime transport services.
"Finland has highlighted the opportunities of digitalisation in the International Maritime Organization, IMO. Both in the IMO and in developing the European Union maritime transport services, Finland is working for the efficient use of digitalisation and automation," Minister Berner says.
On 2 June 2016, the Government outlined measures to promote the use and development of intelligent robotics and automation in Finland. One of the most important aims mentioned in that resolution is to create open, interconnected ecosystems that efficiently promote intelligent robotics and automation.
Ms Laura Vilkkonen, Director-General, tel. +358 295 34 2391, firstname.lastname@example.org, @vilkkonen
Ms Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 295 34 2101, email@example.com, @PaiviAntikainen