Torsten Linders

C2B2 – Co-Creating Better Blue

In December 2022 came the news that Mistra (the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) will fund the new programme C2B2 – Co-Creating Better Blue. The consortium behind C2B2 include many actors from the network around SCOOT and Ocean Data Factory Sweden. The programme C2B2 is initially funded for 4 years.

The maritime domain and the blue economy are in an exciting and transformative period, not least manifested by the rapid expansion of offshore installations. Both challenges and opportunities abound… C2B2 identifies co-creation as the most important tool for sustainability in human activities at sea. 38 maritime actors from industry, academia, public sector and civil society will start working together in C2B2, and the programme will be open for more to join. Feel free to contact C2B2 programme director Torsten Linders.

Mistra’s expectations are clear:

Sustainable blue economy and governance should be at the center of the research program. An ecosystem-based approach should be the basis for and constitute an essential part of the understanding, management and governance of existing and potential future human activities, primarily outside coastal areas. Methods and instruments that can minimize conflicts and identify synergy effects are of particular importance in this context, for example marine spatial planning. Industrial operations at sea can be of great importance for the development of a sustainable blue economy, provided that the operations are planned and conducted in a sustainable manner. Not least new innovative companies could have a role in this transition.

Central to the C2B2 approach is the LivingLabs co-creation methodology, applied to the development of three demonstration cases to trigger transformative changes towards participatory ocean governance, involving relevant sectors and actors in Sweden’s three marine basins (Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Proper, Kattegatt-Skagerrak).

The programme C2B2 has been designed under the leadership of Uta Wehn during her time as Adlerbert visiting professor in marine citizen science at the University of Gothenburg. The programme is built around three pillars:

  1. Open ecosystems & climate science,
  2. Open, data-driven
    innovation & emerging technologies,
  3. Ocean governance & adaptive management.

Uta Wehn will be the Scientific Director and leader of WP4 Co-creation of participatory ocean governance in LivingLabs.

We have so many important actors already in the programme, spanning the relevant sectors. This means we have a real chance of making a difference for the sustainable blue economy.

Maritime Cluster annual conference 8 December

December 8 it is the time for the annual conference of Maritime Cluster of West Sweden. This year we highlight some of the most discussed sustainable trends right now: Offshore wind power, sailing cargo vessels and citizen science. SCOOT is co-hosting the event together with Region Västra Götaland, University of Gothenburg, Chalmers, RISE, SMTF, Ocean Data Factory Sweden and SSPA. The conference language is mainly Swedish. 

Preliminary Programme

08.30 – 09.00 Registration and coffee

Block I

09.00 – 10.00 Offshore wind power
• Overview and current status – including the permit process
• The state of technology in offshore wind power

10.00 – 10.30 Morning coffee

10.30 – 11.00 Offshore wind power (continued)
• The actor perspective – an actor on the international market
• The political perspective

11.00 – 12.00 Wind propulsion
• Overview and current status
• Technology overview of wind-assisted and wind-driven ships, with examples from ships in operation
• The supplier perspective of system solutions for wind propulsion
• An example of a concept for a wind-powered ship
• The cargo owner’s perspective on wind-powered ships

12.00 – 13.00 Mingle lunch

Block II

13.00 – 14.00 Maritime citizen science
• What is marine citizen science? Current examples from Ocean Data Factory Sweden.
• Test here and now! Deployment of an autonomous measuring sensor with the help of a surface-moving robot.
• Where does this lead? How do we build knowledge about the sea?
• What knowledge about the sea do we need?

14.30 – 15.00 Maritime Cluster in West Sweden: The future?
• Information, discussion and input from the participants about wishes for the cluster’s future development.

15.00 – 15.30 Afternoon coffee

SCOOT Ship and AUV days in the Baltic Sea

In the week  17 – 21 October AUV Ran will be doing field tests in the Baltic Sea, supported by R/V Skagerak. SCOOT invites small and medium sized companies, entrepreneurs and everyone with an interesting idea to join! SCOOT wants to hear from you, the offer is free of charge. This is a great opportunity to use a research vessel and an underwater robot, both top of the line with impressive sensor suits.

The field tests are planned mainly in the southern part of Baltic Proper, but also further north and possibly also along the Swedish west coast. (AUV Ran is preparing for the next field season in the Southern Ocean and project leader Anna Wåhlin wants to conduct sensor tests in suitable soft bottom locations, which can be found for example in the Bornholm Basin.)

The team who launched the AUV Ran under the Thwaites ice shelf.

SCOOT and Seacat at ‘Open Ship’ in Stockholm

Nice weather and an even better crowd! What more can one ask for when it is ‘Open Ship’? University of Gothenburg’s research vessel R/V Skagerak joined the event in Stockholm 9 – 11 June. SCOOT was very happy that Skagerak’s ship manager Louise Newman invited us to show the experimental autonomous platform Seacat on the aft-deck. This highlights the importance the university places on innovation and of being in the technological forefront of ocean observations.

The event allowed visitors to see the state-of-the-art  in ocean observation methods and technologies. On 8 June the event prestarted with groups of high-school students, on 9 June came crown princess Victoria, on 10 June came a long row of specially invited guests and decision makers, and on 11 June the general public was invited (fully booked quite early).

In addition to R/V Skagerak the event featured two more of Sweden’s research vessels, namely R/V Svea (used extensively by SCOOT partner SMHI and by SLU Aqua) and S/V Ocean Surveyor (used by Geologiacl Survey of Sweden).

More about 'Open Ship' in Stockholm 9 - 11 June, 2022

Standards for maritime charging – a key for innovating ocean observations

Crewed research vessels with combustion engines, deploying sensor packages by winch and wire, that is how we are accustomed to see ocean data acquisition. This mode of operation will surely continue for many years ahead. But when we aim for scaling up and when we want to innovate ocean observations, then we look to robotics, to automation, and to electrification.

Making innovation possible often involves creating a common frame work, to make sure any new innovative solution actually can fit in, can be adopted and can make a difference. That is why standards are important drivers for innovation. And that is why SCOOT coordinates the project SeaCharging, a pre-study into standards for electric charging in the maritime sector.

SCOOT’s heart is with the small dedicated platforms for data acquisition. However, we believe that transport vessels (for people and goods) are the most realistic source of standards. That includes an enormous range of vessel types and sizes and purposes. The project SeaCharging focuses initially on vessels for public transport of people.

As electrification in the maritime transport sector accelerates, standardization is important to avoid expensive solutions and facilitate the work for suppliers, planners and buyers of new charging infrastructure

More about maritime electrification and project SeaCharging

SCOOT ship days March 2022

On Friday 18 March we ended SCOOT’s ship week for this time. We plan to be back soon, hopefully with AUV Ran. As always we make it our mission to support entrepreneurs, small and medium sized companies, and basically anyone with an interesting idea. This week we made University of Gothenburg’s new research vessel Skagerak available. We could show images of the blue sky and the glittering ocean (yes, we had nice weather), but we would rather show the continuous data acquisition that goes on the inside of Skagerak. The photo above is from the vessel’s FerryBox system, for continuous measurements of surface water. Curious about the data? Get in touch with SCOOT.

Busy week it has been. Methods have ranged from the very established, like vertical profiling using CTD and sediment sampling using box corer, to the emerging (?) standard of sampling water for eDNA, with consultancy SeAnalytics AB.

At the end of the week we tested two prototypes of a simple 3D-printed temperature mini-logger. We made sure to deploy them at the same depth as the intake for the vessels FerryBox. Both SCOOT and the developing company Deepoid AB will be interested to see how well data from the loggers compare with data from the very well calibrated temperature sensor in the FerryBox system.

SCOOT supports innovation

Do you have an idea about how to get or use ocean data? Then SCOOT wants to support you, with ship time and autonomous platforms and robots, with sensors, expertise and networking. Here is what you should do:

  • Contact us. We want to hear about your ideas.
  • Follow us on Twitter, to learn first about our activities and offers.
  • Sign up for our newsletter, where we summarize what goes on at SCOOT.

Fishing for Data

The ocean is desperately under-sampled. Remember, we cannot forecast what we do not monitor. The problem of under-sampling is often stated about the deep ocean, but it is also very much the fact in the coastal ocean, as well in the marginal ice zone. These regions are characterized by high economical and societal value, and by high biological activity, including fish.

Collecting enough of data to describe these dynamic regions using standard research vessels would be extremely expensive. Robots struggle here as well, because of strong currents, ice, shallow water, risk of collision with vessels, etc. However, where there is fish, there is fishery… Why not employ fishing vessels to collect ocean data? Berring Data Collective is doing exactly that. SCOOT partner SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute) is supporting the effort to bring “Fishing for Data” to Sweden. A number of Swedish fishing vessels have expressed interest, stay tuned…

The beauty of Fishing for Data is the cost-effectiveness. Just by attaching some robust sensors, and then doing their usual fishing activity, these vessels put near real-time data into open portals and aggregators, such as EMODnet and Copernicus Marine Services. This is where the computers of operational forecasters (such as SMHI) automatically go to find the data that feed their models. This also where ocean and climate scientists find data.

More about Fishing for Data

Seacat 2.0 – Autonomous inspection of marine installations

Seacat has been with us from the start of SCOOT. It has been a nice platform for testing integration of sensors, actuators and software. Seacat also allows us to experiment with tasks for robots in the marine domain. In 2021 we have been looking at automation of inspection/supervision of marine installations. “We” means a broad group of actors (see logos below), where SCOOT has the coordinating role. Last month we recorded a short promotion video to summarize the work.

So, we have integrated a range of sensors above and below the sea-surface, and we have implemented precise navigation close to objects, including in autonomous mode. Now we need to work on the platform specifications: speed, weight, maneuvering, endurance. Then we will have a robot ready for operations in the toughest of environments, the splash zone and close to objects. That is a high risk area where we prefer not to put humans.

More about Seacat

Technology for Marine Citizen Science

On December 16th SCOOT had invited a passionate group of people to the Kristineberg research station. During an intense and hands on workshop we got demonstrations of new equipment and methods for ocean data acquisition. Not the tools that many professional oceanographers are familiar with, but the kind of technology that open up the field of ocean data collection to many, many more than before. This is citizen science, and there are strong reasons to believe that it will transform marine science. (This workshop was the second event under the banner of Ocean Data for Ocean Health. You may remember the ODOH conference SCOOT co-arranged last year?)

During the workshop we looked at sensors and at apps that are suitable for a wide range of users, including fishermen, boaters and basically anyone in contact with the ocean.

  • Berring Data Collective demonstrated how local fisheries can put sensors on their gear, collecting data useful both for their own fishery and for oceanographic research.
  • Deepoid AB demonstrated their miniature loggers for ocean currents, temperature and light. Super easy to deploy on a moored line and endurable thanks to low power consumption.
  • Sailing 4 Science showed castaway CTD, an easy-to-use instrument that quickly delivers a vertical profile of temperature and salinity.
  • SMHI presented the app EyeOnWater from MARIS and others. The app allows anyone can upload photos of the sea-surface to help capture the ocean color, an important parameter for determining particle content and presence of algae.
  • Maranics AB presented an app for the project Algal Blooms Sweden, which invites anyone to share images and observations of blooms in the ocean.

New technologies open new opportunities for observing the ocean, that is wonderful… But that does not immediately translate into action, or impact for that matter! We discussed at length how and why broader groups of our society can be engaged in building knowledge about the ocean. Uta Wehn, from University of Gothenburg and IHE Delft, has long experience in this field and led us in the discussion. We were joined online by John Tumpane from Formas, who pointed out that citizen science has an important role in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for a Sustainable Development.

Marine Citizen Science is about co-creating ocean knowledge, it is about a radically more democratic ocean science and ocean governance. Are the current actors in academia and public agencies ready for that?

More about (marine) citizen science

SCOOT open ship day 12 November

On the 12th of November we open the door (even more than usual) to SCOOT and the gangway to new and shiny R/V Skagerak! On 15th of October the king inaugurated the ship, and now we welcome companies and entrepreneurs, who are interested in the most modern technologies for making observations in the ocean. This day serves as a learning and planning day for the coming SCOOT at sea days early 2022, when we make R/V Skagerak available, primarily for small and medium sized companies in western Sweden. 12th of November is an opportunity to

  • visit Sweden’s most modern research vessel,
  • meet representatives from the SCOOT consortium (University of Gothenburg, MMT Sweden AB, SMHI),
  • discuss how your company can use SCOOT’s resources, including R/V Skagerak.
We are very happy to announce this opportunity to visit our new vessel, and to plan for usage at sea. By making R/V Skagerak available we want to strengthen innovation as well as collaboration between industry and the university.

Place: Nya Varvet in Gothenburg (see maps below), it is only a 2 minute walk between the ship and SCOOT’s space.

Time: The ship will be open 9 am – 6 pm, on the 12th of November.

Welcome!

R/V Skagerak:
SCOOT: (exept on the 12th)
R/V Skagerak at home port Nya Varvet in Gothenburg. Photo by Thomas Dahlgren.