Wärtsilä speeds up intelligent vessel development

October 11, 2017 – In an effort to speed up innovation and co-creation on new business models, including intelligent vessels, Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä has opened the first of four Digital Acceleration Centres (DAC).

The first such centre was launched in Helsinki, Finland on October 11, the second will open in December in Singapore and two further acceleration centres, one in Central Europe and one in North America, are anticipated during 2018. In addition “pop-up” DACs will be tested around the globe, the company said.

Opening DACs is an integral part of Wärtsilä’s digital transformation, designed to shift the company towards a data-driven, insights led, smart technology firm that enables sustainable societies.

“The Digital Acceleration Centre is all about getting business outcomes at pace. By adopting a start-up mind-set, we can rapidly prototype ideas with customers; including the use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, block chain and virtual reality,” Marco Ryan, Wärtsilä’s Chief Digital Officer, said.

Wärtsilä’s first Digital Acceleration Centre in Helsinki has already been running as a beta version for a couple of months and several projects have been accelerated there with different partners. Current projects include co-creation with one of major cruise companies. One of the greatest successes incubated so far in the Helsinki DAC is Wärtsilä’s Intelligent Vessel Strategy.

The Digital Acceleration Centre shows its true power in such complex concepts like Intelligent Vessels. In a matter of weeks we created an aligned strategy, concepts, roadmaps, and technology requirements that would have taken months or years,” Ryan added.

Wärtsilä’s start-up acquisition, Eniram, has worked together with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCL) for years in optimising fleet and ship operations as well as reducing emissions and cutting fuel costs. Building on this experience, Wärtsilä and RCL are now working together to develop all aspects of the intelligent vessel further, using the DAC to accelerate some of the prototyping.

Wärtsilä has also partnered up with Accenture Interactive in the Digital Acceleration Centres to speed up innovation and go-to-market as well as to help grow Wärtsilä’s own talent for creating world-class digital services.

The latest example of the Intelligent Vessel strategy being driven at pace is Wärtsilä’s acquisition of Guidance Marine Limited, a technology leader in the marine industry for sensor solutions relating to dynamic positioning and other vessel control systems.

Source: World Maritime News