The technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded first prize in the United Nations’ AIS Big Data Hackathon, which took place in early September 2020. Altogether, teams from 17 organisations were selected to participate in the event, with Wärtsilä being the only multinational corporation to have its application for participation accepted. The remaining selected participants were teams from world renowned research institutes and leading universities.
The event was aimed at developing innovative and viable means for utilising big data to combat either the Covid-19 pandemic or climate change. Wärtsilä’s decision to tackle climate change came as a result of its long-standing commitment to reducing shipping’s carbon footprint, and its stated purpose in supporting sustainable societies with smart technology.
Enabling emissions policy to be based on factual evidence
The Wärtsilä team, named ‘Blue Carbon’, developed a model for attributing the CO2 emissions from vessels to the geographical location of the ships based on their AIS (Automatic Identification System) locations. The model supports the creation of a global map, identifying both the geographical concentrations and the build-up over time of CO2 emissions from shipping. This will enable environmental policy making to be based on factual evidence, allowing greater input from national and regional authorities to support the IMO’s regulatory efforts.
“This prestigious award demonstrates once again Wärtsilä’s strength in applying digital technology to deliver innovative solutions. It also emphasises our ability to utilise this strength to promote cleaner and more efficient marine operations. Combating climate change is both a challenge and an obligation for us as a global corporation, and we are proud to play our part,” commented Thomas Dewilde, Blue Carbon team member and Manager, Cyber Governance, Risk & Assurance, Wärtsilä.
The event was jointly organised by the United Nations Statistics Division, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the UN Global Pulse. The winning Wärtsilä team will attend the UN World Data Forum in Bern, Switzerland in 2021 to present their work and receive the award.