Already one year of successful development work at the Maritime Logistics Research Center
The Maritime Logistics Research Center was launched in early 2021 to respond to the development needs of the maritime transport and logistics sector and to contribute to the growth strategy of the Satakunta region. The first year of research and development has been successful. The center has consolidated its position and strengthened the development prospects of the sector.
The preparation of the Maritime Logistics Research Centre started at the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences already in spring 2020. The potential for a contribution to Satakunta's growth strategy had been identified – maritime knowledge, logistics and security of supply being the strategic priorities for the region. SAMK's long tradition and broad expertise in maritime and logistics education and research provided a good basis for planning the center's operations and objectives. SAMK's organizational revision in 2021 gave a boost to the planning process and further clarified the center's operational form.
Diverse skills in projects
The Maritime Logistics Research Center was launched on 22 April 2021, led by experienced research manager Minna Keinänen-Toivola. Existing projects were aligned with the center's environment, and new project ideas were developed diligently. Now a year old, the center has around 25 projects in total, with roughly the same number of experts working on them.
– Efficiency, security, digitalization, and blue and green growth are the main themes of the ongoing national and international projects. Our current project range is excellent, says Keinänen-Toivola.
In line with the objectives of the universities of applied sciences, SAMK students are also involved in the center's activities, for example, in internships or theses.
Achievements in many areas
The activities and results of the Research Center's projects are relevant to the growth of the region and the success of businesses. Research and development work is carried out in a practical way so that the results and achievements benefit actors in the Satakunta region.
– Supporting the business activities of companies in the region and finding synergies is key to the development of Satakunta, says Keinänen-Toivola.
The results of successful development work are successful in competitions, as well. For example, the Port Activity App, developed by the center's Efficient Flow project to promote the timely arrival of ships, was internationally successful in both the SeaTrade Awards and Sea4Value competition in 2021. SAMK also participated in the national RDI competition in spring 2022 with a video from the Maritime Logistics Research Center, the winner of which will be announced at the national UAS event in May.
The ISTLAB project developed an intelligent maritime test laboratory and successfully carried out the world's first remote piloting simulations. The project's final seminar presented its achievements in November 2021. In the same month, Rauma also celebrated 141 years of maritime education with the Maritime Network Day.
The Center has thus had a busy year, with a wealth of events and successful research and development results. To ensure that these achievements are visible and heard, and thus accessible to stakeholders, the center has invested in communication since the beginning. The website is updated on a regular basis with the latest news, and Twitter keeps followers up to date on the center’s activities and innovations.
Cooperation on the horizon
After the first year of operation, the pace of the Maritime Logistics Research Centre is not slowing down, quite the opposite.
– National and international research activities will continue to be intensified. New openings are also being planned and implemented. Above all, they will be based on the needs of companies in the region, says Keinänen-Toivola.
In addition, SAMK's Academy of Business and Technology will boost its role as a link between research, teaching and business cooperation. In addition, cooperation between SAMK's five research and development centers will be intensified and refined.
One of the highlights of the coming years will be the organization of the 2023 Annual General Assembly (AGA23) of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) in Rauma. This will be the first time the conference will be held in the Nordic countries and in Finland. SAMK has been an active member of IAMU for 15 years.
SAMK was selected from nine applicants to organize the conference. The main themes of the conference are the development of maritime education and research. In 2023, the main theme will be the quality of education for maritime professionals.
– Organizing the annual conference enables us to showcase the maritime expertise of Satakunta and Finland to the global maritime community on our home ground, says Keinänen-Toivola cheerfully.