ACCSEAS Annual Conference presented e-navigation test-bed to reduce navigational risk and help bring e-navigation for the North Sea Region closer to reality
ACCSEAS, an EU-funded project to support improved maritime access to the North Sea Region through minimizing navigational risk, welcomed over 80 regional and international shipping experts to Edinburgh for its second annual conference, held last week.
The ACCSEAS Conference presented an array of e-Navigation test-bed solutions, all of which are aimed at increasing accessibility and improving navigational safety in the increasingly busy shipping waters of the North Sea Region.
Spanning three days, the conference included demonstrations of potential e-navigation solutions including the Vessel Operations Coordination Tool, Dynamic Predictor, Multi-Source Positioning Service and No-Go Area. The conference also hosted a number of lively panel discussions and workshops that looked at the future training needs for e-navigation, the implementation of future e-navigation services and the critical issue of the impact of e-navigation on the wider logistics chain.
The ACCSEAS Conference was officially opened by HRH, The Princess Royal, in her capacity as Master of the Corporation of Trinity House and Patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board. In her remarks, HRH The Princess Royal commended the success of the ACCSEAS project and the progress already made by its partner organizations: “It is a huge achievement that this number of countries have come together to achieve this and are driving maritime innovation forward. It is important that technical innovations happen within the maritime industry and this is the first time that such solutions are being brought to fruition in this way.”
The Conference was excellently chaired by Rear Admiral Nick Lambert, former Hydrographer of the Royal Navy. Rear Admiral Lambert commented, “The second annual ACCSEAS Conference convincingly corroborated the vision and value of this project’s unique approach to testing potential e-navigation solutions that are of practical use to mariners going about their daily business. Lively discussion, great ideas and active engagement by articulate, focused and realistic international delegates endorsed the project’s approach and encouraged further development over the next 12 months. This well organized conference was a joy to chair and I’m convinced that the efforts of the highly professional multinational project team will create great benefits for the digital navigator in the future.”
Impressed by the value of conclusions reached, Michael Card, Deputy Secretary-General, International Association Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) remarked that IALA will draw on the excellent results of the ACCSEAS project in its current work of creating e-Navigation technical guidance for aids-to-navigation authorities.
The Conference participants also included Jukka Savo, Policy Officer for Maritime Transport & Logistics within the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport, who remarked, “This has been an excellent conference, with a very positive and forward-looking atmosphere. I found the topics interesting and the balance between presentations and empirical activities were good.”
Reaching beyond its focus of the North Sea Region, the ACCSEAS Project also caught the attention of representatives in the Asia-Pacific region, who were present at the Conference.
“The excellent speakers and the presentations that were made at the Conference not only gave me an understanding for the first time of what e-navigation actually is, but also showed that projects such as ACCSEAS are going to make e-navigation a reality that the shipping industry needs to start preparing for today,” said Mick Kinley, Deputy Chief Executive, Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Jin Young Park, Korea Research Institute Ship and Ocean Engineering (KRISO), commented that he could see the fruits of the efforts made by the ACCSEAS project at this years’ Conference: “They made great achievements in every essential part they have devoted their efforts to. I am sure that the ACCSEAS project will play a crucial role in applying e-navigation to the region and I hope, as a researcher of a non-European e-navigation project, that the project has the chance to be extended for the construction of a bridge between regional e-navigation projects after its first three years."
Alwyn Williams, ACCSEAS Project Manager concluded, “The ACCSEAS conference proved to be a great opportunity for the stakeholders in the North Sea Region and beyond to come together to discuss the issues and potential solutions for improved accessibility for maritime transport in the region. I thank all the participants for their invaluable input into the discussions as it certainly helps to shape a better future for the users of the North Sea.”
The third and final ACCSEAS Annual Conference will take place next year from February 17- 19.