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Capt Eero Lehtovaara appointed ONE SEA chairman as ship autonomy climbs agenda

ONE SEA, the industry alliance which aims to lead the way towards an operating autonomous maritime ecosystem by 2025, has appointed Capt Eero Lehtovaara as its new Chairman. Eero, a Master Mariner and Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, is Head of Regulatory & Public Affairs at ABB Marine & Ports.

He brings a wealth of experience to the rapidly expanding ONE SEA alliance where he has been a Board member for two years, as well as Vice Chairman. His past experience at sea provides a unique understanding of the challenges set by new regulations, human resource management and technological developments, including the accelerating pace of shipboard automation.

Previously head of ABB Marine & Ports’ Design House, Eero sits on ABS and Lloyd’s Register technical committees, is Chairman of CIMAC’s working group on azimuthing propulsion standards and is ABB’s delegate at the Global Environment Facility, United Nations Development Programme, International Maritime Organization alliance.

“I am delighted to be heading the ONE SEA alliance at this time of digital transformation. My mission is to develop the alliance into the most influential think tank relating to autonomous and intelligent shipboard systems and operation,” Eero said, following his appointment. “ONE SEA is a very exciting set-up in which member companies are fierce competitors on the one hand, but also appreciate that establishing new guidelines and regulations for autonomy in shipping requires a carefully coordinated and collaborative effort.”

Continuation of the collaborative approach is confirmed by the appointment of Wärtsilä Vice President, Digital Portfolio Management Mikko Tepponen as new ONE SEA vice chairman.

Lehtovaara said the relationship between technological advance and regulation had been a key focus over recent times. “We are entering new times as connectivity allows ships to become part of integrated systems with an element of control now possible from shore,” he said. “However, the legal requirements associated with intelligent systems and their impact on the shipping industry will require a partner for the regulatory bodies which are establishing the necessary new standards. Our members must be confident that a suitably robust legal framework exists for them to design, manufacture and market the autonomous systems of tomorrow. Their involvement is therefore essential, and the ONE SEA alliance will provide them with a coordinated voice.”

DIMECC (Digital, Internet, Materials & Engineering Co-creation) Ltd. is the platform company for digital technology development across industry which leads ONE SEA alliance. DIMECC’s CEO, Harri Kulmala, added: “We welcome Eero as Chairman of the ONE SEA alliance which will have an essential role to play as a new legal framework on intelligent and autonomous shipping is drawn up. Eero’s knowledge and experience will prove invaluable in driving forward future collaborative digital innovation.” 

The ONE SEA alliance membership continues to expand and diversify. Its latest new member is Helsinki-based NAPA, a specialist in software, services and data analysis. With particular expertise in ship design, operational efficiency and IT, NAPA has global reach and works with shipyards and designers, shipowners and operators, research bodies, maritime authorities and consultancies.    

Jan 15 2020

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