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ITXMaritime at Shippax:Calling for diverse range of participants

Following the opening key note at the Shippax Ferry Conference in May, Rikard Karlsson from Stena Line and Roger Vimme from Telenor Maritime invited key participants to an information sharing session. Rikard presented a comprehensive overview of the ambitions and plans for the ITXMaritime initiative for several key players of the ferry industry.

Reading time: 4 minutes

The goal of the non-profit organisation, pronounced “IT for Maritime”, is to streamline and standardize how IT is handled in maritime industry by encouraging collaboration between stakeholders. The presentation covered several key topics, with a particular focus on the goal of standardization, initiative’s independence, and the need for global collaboration.


Standardization Goals

A central objective of ITXMaritime is not necessarily to create new standards but to unify existing ones across different areas of the industry. Collaboration with the regulatory organizations like IMO and DNV is considered especially important. Rikard noted, "Our goal is not to make rules and standards from scratch, but to agree on standards that can be adopted industry-wide, facilitating smoother operations and greater interoperability."


“No data, No AI picture”

Standardization is crucial for cost-effective compliance to new rules and regulations, such as automated regulatory MRV reporting. At the same time, it will bring numerous benefits, including faster and cheaper digitalization and use of AI. As Tim Mooney, the chairman of Interferry and president of Fire Island Ferries, stated, "Standardization will make digitalization both safer, faster and cheaper. It may not look important now, but when troubles come knocking (and they always do), everyone will turn to standards for security and efficiency."


Independence and Member-Driven Approach

Rikard further emphasized that the ITXMaritime initiative should largely be member-funded and completely independent. This structure ensures that the initiative operates free from external influences, acting in the best interest of the maritime industry. Rikard explained, "The strength of ITXMaritime lies in its independence, which allows us to make decisions that are best for the entire industry, rather than being influenced by a few strong outside interests."

The starting point for the initiative will be decided collaboratively by its members. The members will agree on a plan and identify the critical pain points that need to be addressed first. This approach ensures that the initiative remains relevant and focused on the real challenges rather than theoretical future problems.


Global Scale and Diverse Stakeholder Involvement

For ITXMaritime to succeed, it must operate on a global scale. Numerous stakeholders have already stressed that this cannot be a Scandinavian or even European initiative alone. This is why the initiative makes its biggest effort now to attract a wide range of stakeholders, from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to shipowners and application providers. Ensuring diverse participation is vital for addressing the needs of the entire industry across the world. Tim Mooney acknowledges this and offers to take the initiative across the Atlantic: "I'd like to bring it home to the US to see what traction it gets, and to see what our specific challenges are."


The first ones to benefit from this will undoubtedly be ship-owners and application providers. Standardisation will inevitably strengthen competition among the suppliers, reducing prices. While manufacturers might initially find the increased competition challenging, it will ultimately lead to better products and cost reductions through easier implementation for them as well.


In conclusion, the ITXMaritime initiative represents a significant milestone for the maritime industry. By encouraging collaboration and establishing a unified IT standard, the initiative aims to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and lay a foundation for future innovations in maritime like AI and autonomous ships. The final message of the meeting was to highlight the critical need for global participation and support from diverse stakeholders. Rikard encouraged everyone to spread the message and invited all who are interested to get in touch.


Read more about the initiative:

Navigating the Digital Seas


Rikard Karlsson from Stena Line
Rikard Karlsson from Stena Line