Tokyo, 29 August 2019

Maritime CIO Forum, Tokyo aims to help shipping companies learn new ways to operate their vessels better with digital technology, in pursuit of safety and efficiency. 

SAFETY – Digital tools can support safety and can also detract from it – and sometimes a promising technology does the opposite when it gets used. Although electronic charts were widely dismissed by many, and now broadly accepted as offering big safety advantages.

Shipping companies are keen to get better monitoring of their vessels, in some cases going as far as to monitor the mood, alertness or mindset of individual crew members. Will crew members accept these technologies can also benefit them, or see it as an invasion of privacy?

And of course cybersecurity concerns are not going away. Digital technology brought cybersecurity concerns into the picture. But is technology going to take these concerns away as well, or do we need other methods?

And we could probably be doing far more to make use of digital technology to support learning.

EFFICIENCY – Crewing costs are not going down, vessel fuel costs are going up, and competitive pressures continue to tighten – ship operators have no relaxation from demands to continue to be more efficient. Digital technology can help by gathering enormous amounts of data, sending it to shore, and supporting its analysis. But do we end up with large amounts of data no-one can make sense of?

The right pathway is probably modelling – building an intuitive frame of reference which the data can be ‘hung off’, in order to help everybody get a better understanding of it – whether they are from shipping company staff, crew, technology companies or IT people. Building models as a basis of data, to make software and data easier to understand, is a very new art.

Many shipping senior managers have been persuaded by the idea of ‘virtual assistants’ and ‘predictive maintenance’ telling them exactly what they need to do right now. These technologies are proving much harder than expected. Consider that the medical profession has not yet managed to make them, even though there is much more money in that sector.

Underlying better use of digital technology for safety and efficiency are the fabric of our digital infrastructure – satellite communications, cloud data hosting, servers and software platforms. And we need these to be faster, more reliable, cheaper, more secure, and then we need more of that again.

Confirmed Speakers include:

  • Chairman: Alexander Varvarenko, CEO, Varamar Group, Founder, Shipnext

  • Takeru “Nonu” Suzuki, General Manager, Smart Ship Strategy Team, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

  • Toshiaki Fujioka, Digitalisation Manager, NYK Line

  • Taichi Tanaka, Naval Architect, Manager, Strategic Planning & Operation Office

    Mitsubishi Shipbuilding

  • Ando Hideyuki, Senior General Manager, Monohakobi Institute, NYK Group

  • Toshinori Kajiura, , President, Japan Cyber Security Innovation Committee Senior Researcher, Hitachi (ICT Policy), Chair of Working Group on Cyber-Security Enhancement, Keidanren

  • Giampiero Soncini, CEO, IB Marine

  • Kazuhiro Sekiguchi, Regional Director East Asiat, Iridium

  • Brian Aziz, Director of Satcom Solutions, Thales

  • Mike Miyanoo, Country Manager, Marlink

  • Stratos Margaritis, Solutions Architect, Navarino

  • Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg, Strategic Development of Maritime Services, Vodafone Roaming Services

We are proud to be working with experienced professionals who volunteered to advise us on relevant subjects for CIO Forum this year from early stages of event planning. Our sincere thank you goes to:

  • Ando Hideyuki, Senior General Manager, Monohakobi Institute, NYK Group

  • Hideki Suzuki, Corporate Office - Digitalisation Group, NYK Group

  • Jungo Shibata, IT Manager, Monohakobi Institute, NYK Group

  • Taichi Tanaka, Naval Architect, Manager, Strategic Planning & Operation Office, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding

  • Takeru Suzuki, General Manager, Smart Ship Strategy Team, MOL

Call for speakers - we would like to hear from shipping company employees in Japan with interesting stories to tell about how they use digital technology to add value, or opinions about how it can best be used. Please contact conference producer Vaida Stockunaite to discuss further on

Industry Professionals that attended in 2018 included:

NS United Kaiun Kaisha: GM Safety Management PSC Holdings Group: Managing Director Sumisho Marine: Ship Administration Dept. Sumisho Marine: Assistant GM  Mitsubishi Corporation: Manager, Deputy GM, Chief Manager JX Ocean: Dy GM Marine Seacrest Marine Services: Vessel IT Specialist  Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine&Engineering: Technical Manager NYK Line: Dy Manager, LNG Group  Manager, LNG Group, Digitalisation Group Staff, GM Research NYK LNG Shipmanagement: Dy IT Manager Kambara kisen: Liner Dept. Manager Namura Shipbuilding: Chief Technology Development Fukujin Kisen: Leader Ship Management "K" Line: Dy Manager, Corporate Marketing Strategy Bernhard Schulte: Business Representative Sanoyas Shipbuiding: Product Planning Manager, R&D Marubeni Corporation: Ship Project Development