The future of Marine Technology is boundless,
particularly for a country like Greece
Technology is becoming more and more influential for
the global shipping industry. In this context, academic
institutions could play an important role and provide
innovative solutions for the broader marine industry.
For the 11th consecutive year, the Hellenic Institute of Marine Technology(HIMT) organises its Annual Meeting,
which is considered as the meeting point for all Greek marine technologists. What is this year theme for this event? What are your expectations?
Thank you very much for the opportunity to promote this important maritime technology event for Greece. The central theme for 2017 is: “Boosting Blue Growth: The Marine Technology Factor“. As is obvious from the title, we want to stress the importance of marine technology for blue growth, especially for our country. We invited contributions for several sub-topics and we are happy to have included in this year’s programme worthwhile contributions for topics such as, The design and operation of ships and offshore units, Ship propulsion and auxiliary machinery, Modern fuels and environmental footprint, Fleet maintenance and repair, Offshore wind farms, and others. The aim of the HIMT Annual Meetings is to bolster closer collaboration between the academia and the industry, triggering new marine technology initiatives in Greece.
Hence, we would like to encourage novel ideas with good potential for development and synergies within the Greek business environment.
What do you believe to be the future of the Marine Technology and in what way do you think it will affect the shipping industry?
The future of Marine Technology is boundless, particularly for a country like Greece which has access to abundant resources from its marine environment. This is a key driver for the development of our country which has not been even touched yet. On the other hand, technology is becoming more and more influential for the global shipping industry. Traditionally, this industry has been a conservative one and, in the past, it resisted the rapid introduction of technological innovation. This is no longer the case however and the smart use of technology can, and will do more so in the future, affect competition and change the status quo in the market. New fuels and materials, automation, better efficiency, safety and environmental friendliness, these all rely heavily on scientific knowledge and have a strong technological interface.
What do you consider to be the role of academic research in the promotion of Greek Marine Technology?
The main hub for academic research in marine technology in Greece is the Nation- The future of Marine Technology is boundless, particularly for
a country like Greece Technology is becoming more and more influential for the global shipping industry. In this context, academic institutions could play an important role and provide innovative solutions for the broader marine industry. MARINE TECHNOLOGY An interview with Prof. Kostas Spyrou Dean, School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, National Technical University of Athens al Technical University of Athens, especially the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering where I belong. Whilst the School has a great reputation in Greece and internationally for its educational and
research activities, and whilst it also sits next to a world-class shipping community, the collaboration with the industry has been minimal. We all need to do more towards bringing these two worlds closer; above all the public sector needs to nurture the environment for such interaction. In the current
marine/maritime sector, the requirements set by the competition, as well as by the society itself, become more and more difficult to satisfy. Academic research combining excellence with relevance can provide solutions, triggering also the development of technological infrastructure in the country. For the time being, our research benefits those who can appreciate its value, and unfortunately they are mostly located abroad. As a university
we export knowledge and graduates. It is pity that our country cannot gain enough from of its academic institutions.
Are there any cooperations between the HIMT and the European Marine and Maritime Technology Societies?
The H.I.M.T. has developed a number of national and international cooperations. In particular, three years ago it joined the Confederation of European Maritime Technology Societies, also hosting one of their meetings here in Athens. Sitting next to some of the most traditional societies of Europe is an important recognition for the HIMT. Actually, the Institution already plays an important role in this group. Moreover, we recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (the British society which is also the oldest society of its kind in the world) and we plan to organize a joint workshop with them during the Posidonia exhibition. I trust that the promotion of cooperation with other societies will be continued and strengthened in the future.
What do you consider to be the impact of the HIMT upon the development and promotion of Marine Technology?
The impact of an institution like the HIMT is not easily measurable. As a knowledge society, its work is orientated towards the dissemination of knowledge, i.e. novel ideas and techniques to spread to the practicing engineer, and also, to provide an outlet for interesting academic work to reach a more general audience. We provide a forum for having constructive debates on new and existing methods, without influences from economic, political or other factors. My feeling is that, in Greece, we lack the culture of open scientific enquiry on technological issues and our society can contribute towards having a more objective assessment of new marine technologies. On the other hand, we are proud that certain ideas firstly discussed within a narrow circle at the HIMT, eventually gained wider support; such as, the promotion of the use of Greek marine equipment on newbuildings of Greek ownership.