CBS Maritime Aims to Develop a Long-term Focus on Innovation in the Maritime Industry

CBS Maritime recently hosted a successful conference on maritime technology and business development in close collaboration with the Transport Innovation Network


Development and marketing of new products and services are key competitive factors for the marine equipment industry, especially in advanced maritime nations. Maritime suppliers therefore need to strengthen their efforts in innovation and develop the necessary capabilities to do so. However, these are challenging tasks for most maritime suppliers as also recognized by the companies and their associations.

Maritime Technology and Business Development Conference
The conference brought together actors from different parts of the maritime value chain to discuss and share experiences on regulation-driven product development, collaborative innovation, and servitization.

The conference addressed a number of key challenges and opportunities for companies in the maritime industry. Focus was on facilitating innovation through knowledge sharing of best practices, and examining how product and service innovation in the maritime supply industry can be strengthened despite the many challenges. The speakers included researchers on innovation, industry participants representing various nodes in the global maritime supply chain, and delegates from BIMCO and Danish Maritime.

Main outputs from the conference:

  • Because regulation is an important driver for innovation in the maritime industry, there is a need for a clearer framework for the introduction of new legislation, as well as a well-functioning framework of enforcement to ensure  compliance. Otherwise there is no incentive to be first-movers.
  • Collaborative innovation is important to ensure the efficiency of products and equipment and to gain access to external knowledge and resources. In addition, it is important to focus on collaboration across the maritime value chain and with participants from other industries. The speakers underlined the importance of trust among the actors, external funding, and a flexible organizational setup when engaging in collaborative innovation projects.
  • There is a market for long-term service solutions for shipping companies with a long-term owner view, specialized vessels, and long-term trading contracts (+5 years), as well as for vessel in fixed trades (e.g., containers, ferries, LNG). The potential for selling these types of solutions to third party ship management companies, which provides technical management for a large part of the world fleet, is, however, limited.

New research initiative with focus on organizational innovation
In continuation of the conference, CBS Maritime has just launched a new research project on organizational innovation in the marine equipment industry, which will run for the next three years. The project will be led by Assistant Professor Thomas Roslyng Olesen and will examine how organizational innovation can strengthen the competitiveness of maritime supplier companies in advanced maritime nations. It is part of a larger program that has just been established by CBS Maritime to study management innovation (i.e., innovation in management processes and tools and in organizational structures) and innovation in business models in shipping, seaports and the marine equipment industry.

-    Innovation is a key competitive factor for companies in high wage countries like Denmark. Considering the importance of the marine equipment industry in Denmark, it is surprising how little attention innovation in this industry has received from researchers. With the new project CBS Maritime not only strengthens its focus on organizational innovation but also its focus on the competitiveness of this particular industry”, says Thomas Roslyng Olesen, Assistant Professor at CBS Maritime.

The marine equipment research project is undertaken in close collaboration with Danish Maritime, as well as a wide range of Danish Maritime companies and organizations.

For further information please contact Thomas Roslyng Olesen, Assistant Professor at CBS Maritime

The page was last edited by: CBS Maritime // 12/17/2017