Science-Industry Collaboration in the Maritime Sector – Analytical Reflections and Experiences from Sensor Innovation Initiatives

Peer Fietzek, Kongsberg Maritime Contros GmbH, Kiel, Germany
The need for extended and comprehensive ocean observations is ever-growing. Global challenges such as changing climate, pollution and sustainable resource management demand for a thorough data base and models to provide the basis for enhanced decision taking. These endeavors are costly and can only be achieved to enough extend if an efficient collaboration of all the stakeholders involved can be realized. One foundation for this needed collaboration is represented by the large amount of research and development projects and assessment initiatives in which researchers from scientific institutions and representatives from the private sector work together globally.

For over more than a decade we have gathered experience as a sensor manufacturing start-up and as part of a globally active technology corporation. Collaboration with scientists and joint projects resemble essential elements during all stages of this business development. Although the nature of the collaborations can vary (educational project, basic research, targeted development, technology assessment, etc.), all these alliances should have in common that they are carried out with maximum efficiency. This means that the intersectoral partners should contribute according to their strengths, be clear on their individual interests to be able to prepare a win-win setting and be willing to partner on eye level.

Besides generalized reflections on science-industry collaboration (e.g. motivations and benefits for the different type of actors), this contribution will highlight and present exemplary results from past and ongoing global project collaborations, i.e. initiatives from the USA and Europe. These examples might include development, assessment and application work on chemical analyzers for the determination of total alkalinity and pH, sensors for dissolved CO2, CH4 or O2, scientific echo sounders, sensor integrations on modern mobile platforms or lander-based observation and monitoring systems.