A new consortium, is being proposed to enable a future maritime cloud or connectivity platform that will open up the path to better data exchanges.
The maritime data connectivity platform is being envisaged as a tool to realise the goals of a number of e-navigation projects and is crucial if these are to expand beyond test-bed applications and become tools for the industry.
The MCP idea was originally developed in an EU-funded e-navigation project, EfficienSea, that ran for four years to 2012. It was one of the first large scale projects to push forward the concept of e-navigation. It led to the concept of a maritime cloud.
In a seventh Concept note from Sea Traffic Management authors, is the proposal that the cloud be realized through the creation of a new consortium that will be created this year. One of the major project drivers for an MCP and e-navigation tools has been South Korea.
After the end of the EfficienSea project, the development of a prototype instance of the MCP was included in new projects focusing on e-navigation, most notably the ACCSEAS project and MONALISA 2.0 project with collaboration with KRISO (Korean Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering) and KMOU (Korean Maritime and Ocean University). They were instrumental in the creation of an MCP prototype which enabled other projects to have access.
In the concept note the authors, all active in the STM Validation project and the concept of Port Collaborative Decision Making (PortCDM) say a global MCP is an crucial step in the evolution of e-navigation
“Having achieved prototype maturity, the next inevitable and most difficult step is making the MCP operational. At the highest level, this requires two things to be in place – An operational instance of the MCP and a trustworthy governance structure for the MCP
As the project owner of the SMART Navigation project and a strong supporter of the MCP, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of Korea (MOF) has vowed to establish an operational instance. Furthermore, members of international organisations (such as IALA, CIRM and BIMCO) will be invited to get access to this MCP instance, thus opening of for the possibility of the MCP becoming the de-facto platform for information exchange and service provision in the maritime domain (i.e. e-navigation, e-maritime and beyond).”
The STM Concept Note authors state that the organisations behind the platform have decided to aim for the establishment of a consortium as a practical and feasible compromise of these different possibilities. It is the intention to form the consortium with a structure similar to the World Wide Web consortium (W3C). It is planned that in 2018, both an operational MCP instance and the MCP consortium (MCPC) will be established.