This Tuesday marked our second on-campus meeting, and it proved to be a successful day of learning, information exchange and industry insight!
We began bright and early, welcoming our guest, Eva Errestad, guest speaker and representative from Swedish Maritime Technology Forum. Eva’s presentation focused on her work at SMTF in bridging the gaps between policy makers, academia and the maritime industry – one of the most vital aspects in achieving sustainability goals. Eva’s work involves hosting booths at international shipping exhibitions, seminars, and representing the industry in national and international projects. SMTF cooperates with both large and small companies within the shipping industry as well as the EU, and works diligently to bring forth such projects as the Vanguard Initiative, NÖKS II, SUMMETH, and others.
Later, we heard from Gavin Allwright, Secretary of the International Windship Association, who brought to light some alarming information about the future of sustainable transport, and the fact that the shipping industry needs to cut down on CO2, NOx and SOx emissions and PM now in order to continue to grow in the way it will. With the world population reaching 2 billion by the year 2100, and with 90% of the world’s goods being moved by ship transport, reliance on fossil fuels must decrease to 0 as soon as possible. Secretary Allwright introduced a variety of options for (partially) wind-powered ships, including those that employ Flettner rotors, kite sails, hard sails, and advanced hull design. Some of the challenges facing the wind shipping industry however, is getting all stakeholders – ship owners, government, public, funders – to agree to the importance of investment in wind shipping. Charterers are a group of stakeholders whose investment is so short and minimal that they often prove to be a hindrance to advancing this cause. Gavin offered some thoughts as to how we can help to bring change to sustainable shipping, such as what the IWSA does: (1) Incubate – Assist in the development of wind propulsion projects: securing funding streams, project collaboration, grant applications, research and the pooling of resources; (2) Facilitate – Initiate the establishment of common approaches/ criteria for all stages of wind-propulsion projects. Advise stakeholders & lobby legislative bodies – policy, activities, funding & incentives required to retrofit, upgrade and new build commercial wind-ships.
Also during the day we looked ahead, towards our final project and what we’re going to do to approach. Catherine held a seminar during which we discussed ways in which we could build an action plan towards accomplishing a vision for sustainable shipping in the future. Students are encouraged to hold online meetings and discuss with each other how they will attack their final project, and answer a specific sustainable problem that the shipping industry faces today – and what can we do about it? The final project will be presented at our final meeting in June!
Finally, we were welcomed into the warm offices of Kalmar’s Harbourmaster, Mats Gustafsson, where he presented information about Kalmar’s port activities, and how it will need to change to fit the needs of the fast-growing harbour community, which will include more tourists and the encroaching Linnaeus University faculty and students.
In all, it was a packed day of learning, filled with innovative challenges for the future and thoughts of how we can facilitate change. We look forward to our next class module – the role of government in shipping!
More photos from the day: