Hacking the sea
MacGregor, part of Cargotec, organised its first hackathon "Hack the sea" on 11 - 13 November 2016 at the Interschalt Maritime Education & Training Centre, in Schenefeld, Germany. The event brought together over 70 participants, including 33 hackers in ten teams. The hackers, with their wide experience from software, technology, design and business development, worked intensively on given challenges and developed concepts that will help reducing the unnecessary waste in the maritime industry. "The MacGregor hackathon was very successful and exceeded our expectations. The participants had brilliant ideas already in the beginning of the event, and the excellent quality of the outcomes surprised us. In addition to exciting demonstrations with state-of-the-art technology, we saw many solutions that truly address our customers' current challenges as well as their future needs. Many concepts have high potential to become real products", says Alexander Nürnberg, Senior Vice President, Technology and R&D at MacGregor. MacGregor hosted altogether 10 teams in the event and provided them, together with several event partners, with understanding of industry characteristics. The teams worked on three challenge areas, namely safety - increasing safety on vessels; efficiency - increasing fleet efficiency through optimised maintenance of installed products; and environment - improving the vessel sustainability. The participants represented companies and individuals, including start-up and SME companies as well as universities. The teams had access to many MacGregor data sources and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and could use the offshore crane operations simulator C-How and the vessel monitoring and reporting software Bluetracker. Various other tools and devices were also provided by the event technology partners. Additionally, the participants had an opportunity to experience how it feels to operate a vessel with the bridge simulators at the Interschalt Maritime Education and Training Centre. "Creating new service and business concepts to meet our customers' current and future needs is essential. In the hackathon, we experienced how these needs can be satisfied with novel technology solutions, for example, by utilising and analysing the data from different sources.", Michel van Roozendaal, President of MacGregor and a member of the jury says. "It was delighting to see how many teams chose to develop safety related concepts, aiming at improving safety onboard the vessel as well as in the ports. There were also interesting proposals which looked into general industry challenges, for example reducing waiting times in ports. Other interesting concepts aimed at visualising the vessel operations, crew locations and safe crane operating conditions." "We were very pleased to see that all teams had customer and business value high in their thinking. Customer and business value was one of the key criteria when choosing the winner of our Hack the sea. The winning concept was presented by the team Cybercom, who developed the Apps for Ships solution. Apps for Ships is a platform for rapid application development, not just for MacGregor, but also for MacGregor customers, to build the applications on. The proposed concept supports MacGregor's strategic targets very well." "This event showed that hackathons are of great value when looking for new and radical ideas and concepts. Being open to external view in the early phase of development brings fresh thinking to our company. The ideas presented in the hackathon are very unique and novel, and we will move forward with selected concepts and integrate them into our development and technology roadmaps," van Roozendaal concludes.