Networked Virtual Watch Tower research project launched

A new digital initiative has been launched to pilot a networked virtual watch tower (VWT) to improve supply chain performance, the result of an earlier collaboration agreement between the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) signed last year.

The VWT system for supply chain performance and risk management will focus on collaborative decision making in the end-to-end supply chain augmented by artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, with RISE and the A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) leading the project.

External funding will be provided by Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) and the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, with grants totalling SGD $1.54 million. The project will run over two years with the objective of piloting a network of a virtual watch tower prototype tested in a real-life environment, before the final product is deployed as a platform available to trade and supply chain stakeholders worldwide.

“IHPC has been involved in many maritime research projects to develop AI-based solutions. More recently, IHPC is leading the Maritime AI Programme working with partners across the eco-system to develop and translate AI technologies in the maritime sector,” said Dr Su Yi, Executive Director, IHPC.

“The Networked Virtual Watch Tower project is a natural extension to our maritime research as AI and analytical functions play a key role to enable supply chain operators to make informed and better decisions. IHPC is excited to contribute our R&D capabilities in AI and big data related research to co-develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the trade and supply chain stakeholders locally and globally.”

“The AI tools and solutions that will be developed aim to optimise resources for supply chain stakeholders to better coordinate operations, streamline processes, achieve cost efficiency and improve productivity.

Participating members of the project are Alleima Tube, BridgeNet Solutions – part of PSA BDP, Kalmar, Bromma, Einride, Ericsson, Green Cargo, HERE Technologies, Marine Benchmark, PSA International, Scania, Stora Enso, Wallenius Sol, and Yilport Nordic; the ports of Gävle, Helsingborg, and Kvarken ports Umeå, and the Swedish Ports Association joining as advisory partners.

Chalmers, Gothenburg University, Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI), and Umeå University will participate as research and innovation partners.

“Over a decade we have developed and refined the concept of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM). A-CDM enables coordinated airports, PortCDM does the same for ports, YardCDM and StationCDM for railways, and RRTCDM for inland terminals. In this project, we will bring all these pieces together into a CDM approach that tackles the challenges of multimodal end-to-end supply chains (e2eCDM),” said Mikael Lind, adjunct Professor in Maritime Informatics, RISE and Chalmers.

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