Wärtsilä makes smart shipping strides in Singapore

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

17 October 2018


Cyber security response, autonomous tugs and a project to develop the port’s ecosystem were all set in motion in Singapore by the technology group Wärtsilä this week.

In what it claims is a first for the marine industry, Wärtsilä together with its strategic partner in cyber security, Templar Executives opened an International Maritime Cyber Centre of Excellence (IMCCE). The IMCCE consists of a Maritime Cyber Emergency Response Team (MCERT) and a cyber academy it is hoped it will provide a focal point for the industry to help drive the cyber awareness and response to cyber incidents.

“Cyber is such a critical topic to all players in marine. Taking stewardship in something as important as this, shows that Wärtsilä is committed to transform and digitalise the marine industry. This is the next step in our Smart Marine vision and supports our Oceanic Awakening and Sea20 initiatives,” says Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer at Wärtsilä.

“There are three main drivers for the maritime industry to collaborate in improving our cyber resiliency: the vast attack surface that the maritime industry offers to cyber criminals; the inclusion of maritime into the critical national infrastructure of nation states and the pending cyber security regulation by the International Maritime Organisation in 2021,” said Mark Milford, Vice President, Cyber Security at Wärtsilä.

The MCERT is based on a membership model and for those who want to lead the cyber agenda in the industry, it offers an Advisory Board membership. The Advisory Board will comprise of key stakeholders from the Maritime ecosystem in the areas of shipping, oil & gas, ports and cruise ships.

The MCERT is an international cyber intelligence and incident support platform enhancing cyber resilience for the entire maritime ecosystem. It provides international intelligence feeds, advice and support, including real-time assistance to members on cyber attacks and incidents, and a Cyber Security Reporting Portal (CSRP) for its members. The MCERT operates from the Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre facilities also launched this week.

The Acceleration Centre is a purpose-built centre which promotes innovation and collaboration with industry, academia, and local partners to strengthen and develop Singapore’s maritime ecosystem. The opening marks a key milestone following the agreement signed between Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Wärtsilä in April 2018 to collaborate in areas of intelligent vessels, connected smart port operations, cyber-physical security, and digital acceleration with start-ups.

“The setup of the Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre in Singapore will support our aim to be the global maritime hub for connectivity, innovation and talent, and add to the vibrancy of our maritime innovation eco-system. I am pleased that Wärtsilä and PSA Marine are working together to develop and test the autonomous harbour tug as an initiative under the MPA Living Lab. Such projects will enable us to develop new concepts and capabilities that support more efficient operation and regulation of our future port,” said Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health, who was the guest of honour at the Centre launch event.

The first project to be co-created at the Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre is the Wärtsilä IntelliTug. The project to develop a harbour tug with autonomous navigation is being carried out together with MPA and PSA Marine. The vessel will be capable of performing a range of routine missions designed to further improve tug safety and efficiencies, while reducing operator workload and pressures in one of the world’s most demanding harbour environments.

The IntelliTug project will involve a combination of technologies, innovations and capabilities within Wärtsilä’s vast portfolio, to generate a tailored solution for Singapore’s unique situation. This will include a new-to-market near-field wideband radar and real-time video analytics, integrated with a light-weight human-centric mission control system to supervise the close quarters and alert users on collision avoidance using adaptive, dynamic route planning capabilities. In 2019, together with MPA and PSA Marine, Wärtsilä will test-bed the IntelliTug concept on an existing tugboat in Singapore’s actual operational port.

“We are always scouting for innovative ideas to enhance our Tug Masters’ situational awareness so that they can navigate the busy port waters in Singapore more safely. To achieve this objective, we have teamed up with MPA and Wärtsilä to explore and test-bed new technologies, turning ideas into reality,” says Peter Chew, Managing Director of PSA Marine.

“In contrast to many existing conceptual ideas in the industry, with IntelliTug we are creating a technology that will find a real application in the commercial maritime market. We want to help the industry improve by leveraging the use of automation technologies on ships to boost safety and efficiency, while at the same time augmenting the human’s role within the loop. This solution will empower Tug Masters by actively assisting the crew in different situations, allowing them to focus on critical tug operations whilst dynamically maintaining safe distances during navigation and preventing potential collisions. It will also give them additional decision-making support and the ability to work with their colleagues ashore via real time data connection,” comments Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä Corporation.