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Hackathons spawn solutions to measure CO2 reduction and prevent safety incidents.

Earlier in June, the Port of Tyne hosted the UK maritime industry’s first ever Innovation Week and welcomed over 300 senior leaders from across the sector. The goal was to provide an independent forum to challenge traditional approaches and showcase the very best of Industry 4.0 thinking and action for maritime applications.

The event was a huge success and feedback from delegates demonstrated that it was perfectly timed, filling a real gap within the sector for collaboration and knowledge sharing. As Robert Courts MP said, “a brilliant event to bring together industry leaders dedicated to making the sector cleaner and greener.”

A different theme was addressed on each day during Maritime Innovation Week including:

  • Clean Maritime Innovation - showcasing ongoing developments in decarbonisation whilst delivering cross industry insights and collaboration opportunities to drive the net zero agenda.
  • Fit for the Future – exploring the digital skills required to thrive in the maritime industry of the future.
  • Investing in Maritime’s Digital Future – highlighting the role of digital innovation in the Green Industrial Revolution and in positioning the UK as a world leader within the maritime industry.
  • Learning from the Cutting Edge - Sharing insights from those continuously on the cutting edge of technology on making space for R&D, fostering innovation, and tackling technology transfer. 

Speakers included Robert Courts Minister for Maritime, Lord Grimstone, Minister for Investment, Lucy Hedges, Sara Davies MBE, Steve Rader, Richard Ballantyne, the UKSHORE team as well as industry pioneers Equinor, Rolls Royce, NASA and Artemis Technologies.

Progress cannot come without innovation and to help stimulate new approaches, two maritime hackathons took place throughout the 4 days. Thirteen teams competed to find solutions for two of the industry’s most pressing challenges – supply chain decarbonisation and ensuring zero harm, with some fantastic solutions presented by everyone participating. Run in partnership with the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD), the two winning hackathon teams each won a £2,000 cash prize and the chance to showcase their solutions to potential investors.


Winning hackathon ideas for decarbonisation and maritime safety

In Challenge 1 – supply chain decarbonisation - the teams were given different datasets from the Port’s transport and container operations and tasked with developing baseline CO2 metrics to understand the impact of CO2 reduction activities and propose operational efficiency improvements to would lower the CO2 footprint.

Eight teams participated in Challenge 1 and the winning team, all Newcastle University Postgraduates from Indonesia, built a dashboard showing the detailed CO2 profile in both operations, with scenario modelling functionality to forecast the CO2 footprint. Their dashboard could be used with live data and the team also demonstrated how it could be viewed on phones and tablets, to improve the visibility of CO2 information for managers and stakeholders. Congratulations to Team 1 - Mariela Prasetyo, Erine Gunawan, Danica Limawan and Harry Patria.

A further five teams worked on Challenge 2 - Zero Harm. The groups were given sets of incident data and tasked with analysing the data for trends and potential insights to help improve health and safety performance. A team of Newcastle University Masters students from Turkey won this hackathon, for a solution which focused on identifying the underlying reason behind an incident.  Their model used NLP (natural language processing) to analyse words in the incident description and identify trends to focus on, whilst also capturing the incident location and time of the year.  The winning team also proposed an advanced AI solution that users could interact with to analyse incident details and propose remedial actions, therefore prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Congratulations to Team Pîrî Reîs – Muzaffer Senkal and Melike Bektas.

Matt Beeton, CEO at the Port of Tyne, said: “Judging by all the positive feedback received, our industry was more than ready for an event like this. A huge thank you to all our excellent speakers, hackers and delegates. Next year Maritime Innovation Week will be even better, as we continue to to go beyond discussing our industry’s challenges and take a proactive approach to delivering truly viable, innovative solutions.”

In an earlier comment about Maritime Innovation Week, Investment Minister, Lord Grimstonesaid: “The UK’s Maritime sector is pivotal to our prosperity globally and also here at home, creating thousands of jobs and boosting the economy. And the potential for trade-led growth for businesses in this sector is huge. That’s why events like Maritime Innovation Week, bringing together the best minds in the industry, will help progress towards a cleaner, greener, more sustainable maritime trade network.”

To view some of the event highlights from Maritime Innovation Week visit our webpage.

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