The topic of the third Leaders Forum Panel was innovation and the future of the maritime industry. It focused on best practices both in Brazil and worldwide, and also on technology.
The first presentation was by Guilherme Guaragna, vice president of Enseada Shiyard, and although the main theme was development and technology transfer, which in their case is happening through a partnership with Kawasaki, Guaragna touched on other important subjects such as the need to innovate in fabrication processes and advanced training in order to become internationally competitive.
“There is only one way for the Brazilian maritime industry and that is to become internationally competitive. The industry needs to think big and increase productivity in the whole production chain”, Guaragna said.
He highlighted that without increased investment in technology, there is no way to increase productivity. He also spoke about the high costs of building in Brazil, using as an example the fact that to build an FPSO in Brazil, may be as much as 60% more expensive than building in China.
Cristiane Abreu from FINEP, which is a Brazilian governmental agency specialised in financing research and technological innovation, presented a talk on financing instruments for the maritime industry. Arto Alho, a director of Finbratech and expounded on Finland’s model of innovation policy for the maritime industry. It is significant to note that Finland is ranked in first place in innovation globally.
In the final presentation Uwe Hollenbach from DNV GL, demonstrated to the audience how IT is key to energy efficiency and how the classification utilizes advanced parametric models for hull optimisation, retrofit and bow retrofit among others. A good example is their IT solution to bow retrofit, where DNV GL calculates 28 parameters and 7,500 variants to attain a 10% saving on a 12,000 teu ship.
Qualification training classes were full to capacity all day long and the recruitment and selection panel was also a popular attraction, with recruitment specialists giving in-depth explanations on the challenges of recruitment in Brazil and the outlook for selection in the oil and gas sector for 2016. The innovation space located inside the expo also attracted many visitors to its presentations, which included BNDES, CUMMINS and Caixa Economica Federal.
As the three-day event drew to a close some of the lessons learned at UBM’s Marintec South America 2015 included that the Brazilian shipbuilding and offshore industry needs to continue having debates with all sectors of the industry. Financing solutions need to found quickly, especially for the new shipyards with Sete Brasil contracts.
The Brazilian government also needs to take some definitive decisions to help the various sectors of the industry to overcome the current crisis. Also more investment is needed in technology and research will be needed for the industry to attain a globally competitive stature and high productivity, and more advanced training will be required to help reach peak productivity levels.