After a long stretch of patience, CIMAC Circle was held during SMM 2022. The Circle focused on the topic “Ship as a data eco system". It took place on Thursday, September 8th, Hamburg fair grounds. The interactive event was kicked off with a keynote from Prof. Jahn, TU Hamburg, Fraunhofer CML, and was moderated by Dominik Schneiter, Vice President R&D, Winterthur Gas & Diesel. 
The diverse panel with perspectives from Engine Manufacturers and Suppliers, Classification Societies and Owners/Users consisted of
  • Brandon Larson, Director Marine Engine Service, GE
  • Rolf Stiefel, Regional Chief Executive, Marine & Offshore, Bureau Veritas
  • Marco Coppo, CEO, OMT Digital
  • Morten Vejlgaard-Laursen, Director, Maersk Fleet Technology
As expected, the discussion was loaded with many needs, ‘could be’s, ‘should be’s and the panelists were quite open with their demands between each other. Under the line, the common understanding was clear – Digitalization is there and needed to improve the Shipping in many fields. Security and Safety, Energy Efficiency and overall Efficiency, scheduling of departures and reducing anker times, scheduling maintenance, classification for the current demand but also for the coming demand, where even more different engine types will be in place. There is no way around Digitalization. But, there is a lot homework to do, to really get the efficiency into place and not to just make more work to the personnel on the ship. 
The audience was motivated to support the discussion on the panel. Seconded by the panel, participants asked for the perspectives of human interaction, about the port authorities and the actual usefulness of predictive maintenance. It was a common understanding at the event, that the human interaction needs a bigger focus in the overall Digitalization discussion. It is important, that autonomous driving and Predictive Maintenance does not take the responsibility from personnel. New and existing talents in the industry might find it boring to be on a ship and have not more to do, than interacting in emergency situation – which should be even more decreasing due to the supporting technology. It may be the evolution of shipping personnel, that more people on the ship are actually trained in more than one discipline and take over more responsibility.
The panelists were happy to see the many start up companies at SMM. They have many good ideas and they will be involved in the evolution of digitalization in the shipping industry. But, a clear coordination with those many ideas is needed, to get the big picture together and reduce the fragmentation. The demand for and supply of data needs to be consolidated.
The clear message of the event was, that digitalization will take friction out of the market for more transparency, improved technology, decreasing risks, financing, demand and supply aggregation, regulation and legislation. The creation of standards, to enable exchange of data hurdle-free was demanded. Marco Coppo was able to bring the discussion around Data Ownership to a conclusion to sum up the panel: “Data is like fuel, you have to transform it, to get thrust”.