Pioneering Maritime Industry Event Breaking Waves Brings Leading Professionals to Helsinki
The Breaking Waves 2018 conference will take place in Helsinki on 3-4 December. The event aims to secure the competitiveness of the European Maritime Cluster in the global markets also in the future. Breaking Waves 2018 is part of the world’s leading startup event Slush.
Breaking Waves 2018 is a new conference that is being held for the first time this year and is aimed at international maritime professionals, from shipbuilders and technology suppliers to shipowners, ports and decision-makers. The ultimate goal is to make shipping more responsible and cost effective, as well as to improve safety and process efficiency.
“We want to stimulate active dialogue within the industry, while also introducing new ideas from outside the industry. Breaking Waves is being organised in connection with the startup event Slush, which we hope will offer ideas for utilising other IT and technology sectors to develop the maritime cluster”, says Tiina Tuurnala, Managing Director of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association.
The two-day conference comprises a Think Tank forum for invited guests on Monday 3 December and a seminar on Tuesday 4 December. During the Think Tank forum, leading industry representatives will formulate a joint statement on the future challenges and targets of the European Maritime Cluster. The forum will include representatives of ports and shipowners, decision-makers from the European Commission, and representatives of pioneering companies such as Wärtsilä, ABB and Rolls Royce.
The challenges and targets identified by the Think Tank will be presented at the seminar, which will also seek solutions through startup accelerators and various case studies. Key figures within the maritime industry, among them Wärtsilä President & CEO Jaakko Eskola, Magda Kopczynska of DG Move, Karin Orsel from MF Shipping and Hamburg Port Authority CEO Jens Meier, will discuss the development and competitiveness of the European Maritime Cluster as part of the panel discussion.
Helsinki and Finland leading the way in Europe
The international maritime industry and shipping are experiencing a period of profound change. Stricter environmental legislation, new service chains, automation and digitalisation are transforming shipping in an unprecedented way. These changes demand closer collaboration within Europe to ensure the region’s competitiveness also in the future.
Finnish expertise is setting an example in the maritime industry: the Port of Helsinki is the busiest passenger port in Europe, and the Finnish maritime cluster is an internationally recognised leader in maritime technology. As the nation’s capital, Helsinki is playing a key role in bringing together key actors in the maritime industry, providing an important opportunity also for local actors.
“The success stories of the Finnish maritime cluster spring from diversity and effective synergies. We have both passenger and freight carriers, specialised shipping companies, and a maritime industry that ranges from shipyards to startups, as well as ports and port operators. Digitalisation, Arctic expertise and environmental innovations are among our biggest strengths, and these are exactly the areas that are transforming the industry right now. Breaking Waves 2018 will promote broader dialogue between different actors and increased collaboration, which in turn will help stimulate continued competitiveness”, Tuurnala adds.
Finnish companies are enthusiastically participating in Breaking Waves and the joint development of the European Maritime Cluster on the whole. The conference is being made possible by partners representing a wide range of Finnish expertise. Wärtsilä sees it as a unique opportunity to develop the global maritime industry and present Finnish know-how to international experts.
“It’s fitting that a new channel leading the way to the future of seafaring is being opened here in Finland and Helsinki. Even though transporting people and goods by sea is already the most cost effective and environmentally friendly option, there is still huge potential within the industry to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. It is vital for the industry to create a common will and collaborate more broadly. Creating a smart ecosystem requires a commitment both from actors within the maritime industry and from parties outside the industry, such as cities and startups. In order to support exactly this kind of collaboration, we at Wärtsilä have launched an initiative we call “An Oceanic Awakening” to inspire others to work with us to create an integrated, effective and ecological operating environment for the maritime and energy industries”, comments Jaakko Eskola, President & CEO of Wärtsilä.