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Research points to maritime support for IoT adoption

Inmarsat has released the results of a new research project exploring attitudes to the application of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies in the maritime sector, which suggest that the sector may be more amenable to adopting related analytic, management and operational tools than many commentators have supposed, the satellite operator says.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The ‘Industrial IoT: Maritime’ report was commissioned by Inmarsat and carried out by technology market research company Vanson Bourne, consisting of 750 interviews across companies in the maritime, transport and logistics, energy, mining and agriculture sectors. The report forms part of the Inmarsat Research Programme 2018,  which will aim to provide a cross-sectoral study on digitalisation in the global supply chain and is due for publication on June 26th.

The 125 maritime respondents include owners from across the board in terms of fleet size, with owners from Greece making up the largest constituency (25), followed by Japan (20) and Germany (15). Ship types are spread across the container, tanker, bulker, gas, offshore and fishing vessel segments.

“This is probably the most detailed account of attitudes towards the IoT ever undertaken in the maritime industry, and its findings will surprise many,” said Stein Oro, VP of applications sales, Inmarsat Maritime.

“Respondents suggest that their average expenditure per business on IoT-based solutions will amount to US$2.5 million over the next three years. They say that IoT-based solutions will attract a larger share of their IT budgets than any other ‘next generation’ technology, while early analysis of other segments places maritime ahead of energy, agriculture and mining.”

Drilling down into the report, 51 per cent of respondents say that revenue generation does not figure in their considerations, while 75 per cent say that they have realised, or expect to realise savings using the IoT. Route optimisation is a typical method of deployment and is identified by 57 per cent as in use or on trial.

Regulation is providing a separate prompt for adoption. With rules tightening on emissions from ships, 65 per cent of respondents say they already use IoT-based systems to monitor fuel consumption, rising to 100 per cent by 2023. Also notable is the role played by marine insurers: cutting premiums is cited by 70 per cent of respondents as one of the most important drivers for adoption.

Respondents were also apparently more concerned about data storage methods, poor network security and potential mishandling/misuse of data than they are of cyber-attack, although only 25 per cent are working on new IoT security policies.

In related news, Inmarsat has also signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Hellenic Space Agency (HSA) in Greece to allow for greater collaboration on research and potential technology development.

The MOU will specifically look at collaboration on research and development opportunities in space and ground segment technologies, as well as exchange of data.

Additionally, the two organisations say they will look at the role of satellite within the Internet of Things (IoT) and the potential for strategic research studies on future maritime software technologies and broader space policy.{/mprestriction}

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