Finland is on a steady course to become a global forerunner in the development of next-generation shipping solutions following the opening of a new test area for autonomous vessels and technologies outside Eurajoki, Western Finland, in mid-August.
The Jaakonmeri Test Area is the first test area in the world that is open to companies, research institutions and other interested organisations from around the globe.
The test area covers an open-water area of roughly 125 square kilometres. It is controlled and managed by DIMECC, the innovation platform co-ordinating the efforts to establish a co-creation ecosystem for autonomous maritime transport in the Baltic Sea by 2025.
The One Sea ecosystem has grown rapidly to encompass roughly 80 companies after its foundation in 2016 by ABB, Cargotec, Ericsson, Finnish Marine Industries, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), Meyer Turku, Rolls-Royce, Tieto and Wärtsilä.
Rolls-Royce in March announced it will establish a research and development facility in Turku, South west Finland, to focus on the development of land-based control centres and the use of artificial intelligence in autonomous and remote-controlled shipping.
The facility and the co-creation ecosystem as a whole provide a competitive advantage to Finland, believes Arto Pussinen, the head of ICT and digitalisation at Finpro’s Invest in Finland.