(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) Front row innovator METIS Cyberspace Technology, has been offering industry-leading expertise and innovative thinking in the field of Information Intelligence for the global maritime transportation. Mr Mike Konstantinidis CEO, talks about how these innovations and solutions will transform the maritime industry.
What practical problems can the technical solutions of METIS Cyberspace Technology help solve for the maritime industry?
The maritime industry is oversupplied with data-driven efficiency tools that offer insight into a single metric, such as engine performance. Gaining the full picture of vessel efficiency requires a comprehensive evaluation of onboard systems and how the ship responds to its operating environment.
Using the power of artificial intelligence, METIS offers a cloud-based solution which combines fully automated data acquisition from multiple sources with high-grade analysis, delivering a comprehensive picture of ship performance. Its inclusive nature provides the basis for decision-making for multiple vessel stakeholders – including owner/operators, fleet managers, charterers, etc. This game-changing approach has been shown to improve efficiency and reduce costs, but also opens the way for broader evaluation of data on whether a ship’s charter party agreement terms are being met or that its future environmental performance needs merit investment under current financing arrangements.
Recently, METIS Cyberspace Technology launched a predictive AER emissions INDEX for Poseidon Principles. What is this and what added value can it provide for ships?
As an upgrade to the METIS platform, the METIS predictive AER Emissions INDEX is an ‘industry first’, built on our existing infrastructure using thousands of data points from shipboard sensors and external sources to establish meaningful indices that evaluate a ship’s future funding under the Poseidon Principles.
This allows owners needing to cut emissions to calculate deviations from the AER (Average Efficiency Ratio) - the IMO efficiency standard for an existing ship - and predict the impact of investments or operating guidance on costs, including debt servicing. One owner using this tool to consider the viability of its fleet in the context of coming emissions restrictions has already been able to determine which of its ships require investment, which may never need investment and which should be disposed of immediately. In addition, the AER Predictive Emissions INDEX will also help owners comply with the IMO’s forthcoming Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) regulation, coming into force in 2023.
The maritime industry is facing increasingly stringent environmental regulations. How can METIS Cyberspace Technology use its own advantages to help the industry achieve compliance and emission reduction targets?
METIS helps shipping companies to comply with regulations and meet emissions reduction targets in a number of ways. Our cloud platform as a whole contributes to reduced emissions by providing actionable insights on vessel performance and fuel efficiency, but we also offer solutions whose primary focus is sustainability.
For example, METIS offers an emissions monitoring solution specifically to verify where an operational ship stands in relation to existing and expected environmental regulations for SOx, NOx, particulates and CO2. Drawing on a range of data sources, it supports eco-friendly operations by correlating variations in emissions over time with engine performance, hull fouling, route optimisation, etc, in order to enhance decision-making for improved environmental performance.
We are also proud to be collaborating with manufacturers and others in delivering green solutions. In August this year we signed an MOU with Carl Baguhn to establish a long-term strategic partnership to improve the environmental performance of existing ships and land-based power plants, as part of its GreenFuture initiative.
Looking further ahead to the rise of interest in alternative marine fuels such as ammonia, METIS is part of the ENGIMMONIA project, contributing digital expertise to the EU-backed initiative which is testing clean energy solutions and supporting the steer towards decarbonisation in shipping.
From your perspective, what obstacles and challenges are still facing the uptake of intelligent digital technologies such as AI, big data, and machine learning etc. in the maritime industry?
Shipping is often portrayed as a conservative industry where new technology is concerned but the reality is that shipping companies are fully entitled to view unproven disruptive technologies with scepticism. Before they invest their time, effort and money in unfamiliar solutions, they want to be absolutely certain that the advantages outweigh the costs.
Part of our job is to show owners that the power of AI, big data and machine learning has brought real reductions of 27.5 percent in fuel consumption, or that another owner used our platform to achieve a one and a half day voyage time reduction and fuel savings. Another part is to explain that the benefits of AI and machine learning are cumulative. Eventually, these technologies will be as ubiquitous in shipping as they have become elsewhere but it is the responsibility of solutions providers to show owners and operators how we help them in the business of shipping.
How do you see the relationship between digital technologies and human element in the digital transformation of the maritime industry?
We see digital solutions as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, human expertise. Technologies provide better and better support as they mature, but the human element remains key to successful vessel and fleet operations.
As technology experts with a strong focus on efficiency, part of our mission is to support greater efficiency among those working onboard ship. Our Virtual Personal Assistant – the first chatbot designed specifically for shipping – is one option embodying this approach, providing immediate, detailed information on vessel status and performance that would ordinarily require hours of investigation.
What else is new at METIS Cyberspace Technology, in terms of expansion and further support for your clients?
2021 has been an excellent year with the roll-out of numerous innovative functionality updates, as well as many ‘landmarks’ reached. The METIS platform is now installed on 270 ships, measuring 6.3 billion performance points each month, and we have opened regional offices in both Vancouver and in Singapore, in order to support our US, Canadian, and Asian clients. Further, our next-generation data-acquisition system was launched this month, setting new standards for the interoperability which will shape shipping’s digital future.