An international consortium of research institutes and government observers have formalised ties around a digital platform that aims to enable secure data sharing throughout the shipping industry.
Called the Maritime Connectivity Platform Consortium (MCC), the group formed in early February to provide oversight for organisations who decide to use the group’s Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP).
“We maintain everything: all the standards, the source code, we also run the testbed,” MCC secretary general Thomas Christensen told this publication.
“We will accredit organisations that will run an operational instance and set up the criteria for them to do that and audit them, among other things – but we will not run an operational instance,” he said.
Born out of IMO’s e-navigation requirements, two EU programmes and a government-funded project in South Korea acted as precursors to the current MCP platform. The EU’s EfficienSea2 and Sea Traffic Management (STM) Validation projects collaborated with South Korea’s SMART Navigation project to develop the MCP testbed in 2015.
The testbed has been running ever since, with nearly 100 organisations having signed up, thus far, with the MCC hoping for more.
Mr Christensen said he hoped the several commercial organisations that have been active in the EU’s STM validation project – which uses the MCP platform – would join the consortium and said a second group of commercial organisations had formed that have showed interest in using the MCP-based STM solutions.
Asked if the platform could see the kind of uptake needed to create a solution to industry calls for open data sharing, Mr Christensen said it was a difficult question to predict the answer to, but that he believed the outcome was a possibility.
“The [MCP] platform is intended to be used for all types of information – navigational information but also all other kinds of information relating to the maritime domain. That could be reporting to authorities, it could be supporting trade… anything really”.