Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO of DNV GL, has been on the job for nearly three years, taking over at arguably one of the more challenging and pivotal times in maritime history. We met with Eriksen recently in Athens, Greece, for his insights on the markets and DNV GL’s position going forward.
While Remi Eriksen’s tenure at the top of DNV GL has coincided almost perfectly with one of the maritime industry’s deepest and longest slumps, he said that there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, with a small pick up in shipbuilding year-on-year since 2016. “We have been through challenging markets for the last three years, particularly the newbuilding market which is very important for class,” said Ericksen. “But it was needed because there were too many ships chasing too little work. It was needed, but it also means that shipbuilding activity has been at a historic low. The upturn is coming, but it will be nothing like the super cycle we saw from 2005 to 2015.
As the collective maritime market digests a challenging market, shipowners must also invest in the face of many new regulatory demands. “From the sulfur cap in 2020 to the ballast water management technology, to the CO2 road map that IMO has decided on, there are many things happening on the regulatory side, along with a challenging market,” said Eriksen.
As many leading organizations have been forced to do, DNV GL has take the opportunity to “adjust during the downturn,” said Eriksen. “One area we have been investing in is digitalization and our own digital journey, but also to help our customers make the transition to the digital world.”
“Our purpose is the same, safeguarding life, property and the environment. Our core markets are the same: maritime (the biggest); oil and gas, and energy. The main difference now is we are leaner, more agile, more responsive and for sure more digital than we were three years ago.
The Digitalization “Perfect Storm”
When looking at DNV GL and the future of class, there is no doubt that future is digital. “The digital world offers some opportunities, and it also introduces some risk, such as cyber risk (or cyber-attacks),” said Eriksen. Sharing data raises many trust issues, and to Eriksen this makes class an even more important partner moving forward. “Trust has been important in the past, and I think class can provide trust in the digital world too. I think moving forward the industry is even more complex, and class will be more important than ever, particularly as being an enabler in helping to take advantage of data and driving data into the decision-making process.”
While DNV GL talks a good digital game, it backs the talk with action, as near 60% of DNV GL’s Research & Development today is spent on digitalization. “The speed of change (in the digital world) is exponential. Just looking at ourselves, we are much more agile and efficient,” he said. In fact, he notes four factors that have created a digitalization ‘perfect storm.’
“If you look at the methods that have been present in academia since I went to school in the 1980s, we talked about neural networks, we talked about artificial intelligence and machine learning, but we didn’t have the sensor part, we didn’t have the connectivity part, we didn’t have the computing power and the storage,” said Eriksen. “Now we have high capacity at good prices, creating this ‘perfect storm’ … the methods have been there for quite some time, so now we can actually put them to good use in real life, and that is helping to cause the speed of change.”
While ‘speed of change’ and ‘maritime’ can sometimes be an oxymoron, the digital trend in maritime is real and manifesting itself in many ways. Looking at it through the DNV GL lens, “a lot of this goes into sensor and control systems, and this will be relevant for all types of shipping,” said Eriksen.
“This can help elevate situational awareness and ultimately autonomous shipping. Sensor and sensor fusion is one end, decision making is another.” One project worth watching is the Yara Birkland, which will be operational in 2019. “The remote ops will be the first step, then you need to have the correct sensor and sensor fusion so that you have the correct situational understanding – so you know what’s going on. The other part is on the decision making, the logic.” The next step is not doing the decision making remotely, rather on the vessels by computers, “A lot of research is going into that,” Eriksen said.A cornerstone of the DNV GL digitalization path its Veracity platform, an open industry, secure platform for digital innovation and industry collaboration. The platform includes a marketplace where users can access all DNV GL's digital services and applications, as well as services from third parties. Veracity also includes a community for developers to make it easier to develop new applications and analytics. Finally, the platform facilitates secure and easy data management and data sharing.
“It (Veracity) is gaining traction, today with almost 130,000 users representing 1,500 companies, with close to 1 million service subscriptions meaning each user is subscribing to more than seven services in average. We have seen this scaling up rapidly,” said Eriksen.
Digitalization and cyber security go hand-in-hand, and to this end DNV GL recently was the first to offer a new cyber secure notation. “Cyber Security is on everyone’s mind right now and (the creation of the new “Cyber secure” notation) is partly a push by us, and partly a pull by our customers,” said Eriksen. “We are doing a lot internally, both with our own people and with partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, leveraging the security developments they are building into their products and services. We have a good set up there, to take the best of their research and technology and add to this our own systems around it. A very competent IT organization and external partnerships are key to good cyber security, but this is a very fast developing market, and it’s something that you must always stay on top of and think ahead.”
DNV GL takes the Cyber Security issue a step further, offering ‘ethical hacking’ as a service, both internally and to its clients, to expose weaknesses. “That is the paranoia that you need to have all of the time. Nothing is 100% secure.”
$3.1 Trillion per Year: When Big Data is Bad Data
While much of the focus today is on data – the collection, dissemination and efficient deployment of data – not much has been reported on the cost of Bad Data. Remi Eriksen, Group President & CEO of DNV GL, put the matter in perspective during a presentation in Athens, Greece, during Posidonia. Eriksen, citing estimates from IBM, said that in 2016, in the U.S. alone, $3.1 trillion* was IBM’s estimate of the yearly cost of poor quality data, a stunning figure, particularly when you consider that research firm IDC estimates that the size of the big data market globally in 2016 was a mere (by comparison) $136 billion.
*(Source: Bad Data Costs the U.S. $3 Trillion Per Year, by Thomas C. Redman, Harvard Business Review; https://hbr.org/2016/09/bad-data-costs-the-u-s-3-trillion-per-year)
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425 vessels have been delivered since it was founded in 1955. Today a trio of second-generation siblings run the yard, brothers and co-presidents John and Peter Duclos with sister Carol Hegarty serving as CFO. Maritime Reporter & Engineering News visited the yard recently and found the yard bustling with newbuild
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delivers the Claudio Paschoa - Brazil th Engineering News celebrates its 80 anniversary under our current ownership, information when and where you Peter Pospiech - Germany William Stoichevski - Scandinavia I think it is appropriate, in this our Annual Yearbook edition, to look at both the evolu- want
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that sailing vessels which require extreme Testi es on the Hill prevented U.S. energy industry vessels air draft clearance and considerable Peter Stephaich, Waterways Council, from assisting Puerto Rico with recov- under keel clearance, have had few Inc. (WCI) Chairman of the Board, ery efforts
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T TECHNOLOGY: RIBS & PATROL CRAFT Naval architect Peter Eyre with his model of the Shannon lifeboat’s hull. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard ing with the RNLI 45 years ago, we had ing and maintaining lifeboats; a com- training ? eet; of? ce facilities; tools and receive Shannon class lifeboats: the new a
of the Paci? c (RIM- PAC) exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline PERU The Royal Danish navy frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F362) transits the Gulf of Aden. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mario Coto DENMARK The Belgian mine hunter
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- Florida Claudio Paschoa - Brazil parts hotel accommodation/entertainment and maritime technological evolution. blad is “one of the most well-travelled Peter Pospiech - Germany Cruise shipping maintains its torrid pace of growth, with 30 million passengers pro- people on Earth.” Lindblad Expedi- William
Paschoa - Brazil While nothing is impossible, the self-imposed task at hand tion’ trends and focus on technology ferry companies globally. Peter Pospiech - Germany William Stoichevski - Scandinavia proved to be improbable, as simply put the industry is too fragmented with no com- and technique
also unique, as it is spe- Photo: Incat extensively tank tested and optimised at cially tailored to our processes and the QinetiQ. Global Class,” said Peter Fetten, CEO of Zumwalt-class destroyer, Lyndon B. ? rst quarter of 2019. Stone is scheduled The ferry has been built under the MV WERFTEN. Johnson
- UK Claudio Paschoa - Brazil know too many people in this industry that are sad to close the books on 2018. That for nearly 14 years certainly has Peter Pospiech - Germany William Stoichevski - Scandinavia given, this time of year is always an interesting time for re? ection on trends to come, been
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since the early 1970s. be the hallmark of our barge-to-ship bunkering operations,” noted “This delivery represents another milestone in our unwavering Peter Keller, who is both chairman of industry coalition SEA\ commitment to Puerto Rico and the Jones Act,” said Tom Crow- LNG and executive vice president
remain as Treasurer. Tugboat Presence Stephaich New Chairman of WCI The Waterways Council, Inc. RMK Marine Shipyard, a subsidiary company (WCI) named Peter H. Stephaich, to Koç Holding, the only Turkish company to be Chairman and CEO of Campbell listed in Fortune Global 500 list, has furthered its Transport
- UK was a timely interlude, as it gave me ample time to re? ect on the year and ponder what events were small but packed Claudio Paschoa - Brazil Peter Pospiech - Germany I had to give ‘thanks’ for in the maritime sector. In no particular order, it goes some- with “A-List” executives, and William
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