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Open source key to big data shipping innovation, claims Marsec

Open source key to big data shipping innovation, claims Marsec
Operators deciding to make use of big data in their operations must choose “open source” if innovation in shipping technology is to continue, says Krystyna Wojnarowicz, co-founder of Marsec.

Speaking on the future of big-data applications and how shipping will come to make use of high-bandwidth data transfer to streamline its operations, Wojnarowicz, indicated that open-source software similar to Mozilla’s Firefox browser and the Android operating system was likely the best way forward.

“I think as an industry we should look at the utilisation of open-source components. What we’ve done at Marsec is research, over the last seven years, on how R&D budgets are being spent in different marine electronics companies. We discovered that 80% was spent on people designing to develop the same software as everybody else. So what we can do with open-source is we can collaborate, use open-source and open-architecture components, and ensure we are investing our money on the 20% where innovation really occurs.”

Asked whether cyber-security would pose more of a threat in a fully-realised digital shipping industry, Wojnarowicz responded: “Cyber-security is quite often used as an excuse not to innovate. We should look up to other industries like banking and finance, who have implemented cyber security for their businesses."

New innovations in data transfer, through use of a network of “nano-satellites” could have major implications for the shipping industry, she said. “Nano satellites are a brand new invention and Silicon Valley is putting in quite a lot of money venture capitalists are moving into that space.

“In maritime operations we do not always require full bandwidth, for connectivity and exchange of data in the background. This can be solved  by nano-satellites because the data transfer requirement is not very big, so they can fill that gap very easily. A nano-satellite is small - about the size of a shoebox – so they can be launched into space much more often and the technology can be refreshed very often.”