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New innovative and interdisciplinary research projects for the benefit of the Baltic Sea and to support decision making

Organisation: Kotka Maritime Research Centre

Time: 1/1/2010 – 12/31/2012



Kotka Maritime Research Centre (KMRC) is an interdisciplinary maritime research centre combining the expertise of several Universities and research institutes (Aalto University’s School of Science and Technology, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, University of Helsinki, University of Turku’s Centre for Maritime Studies and also Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services and Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute Kotka units). The centre is a 30 person and growing research unit.

We commit to making the best use of the funding available to us by the City of Kotka, about 600 000 EUR per year until the end of 2012, for the benefit of the Baltic Sea. Thus we commit

1) to starting new projects focusing on environmental impacts of maritime accidents and maritime transport in general.

2) to making the fixed-term maritime safety and maritime transport professorships at KMRC permanent (at the moment 1 of the 3 professorships are permanent). This will make it possible to continue our work.

The criteria for the new projects will be tight: they will have a new approach to the problems the Baltic is facing and they will be innovative and interdisciplinary projects. A significant emphasis will be in producing information for the decision making process. The projects will join new partners nationally and around the Baltic Sea and thus help the co-operation between countries.

A concrete example of a new project will be a ballast water project. We commit to planning and starting an interdisciplinary project to examine where the water is coming from, how it is being treated, how it should be treated and what kind of risks it causes, especially regarding alien species.

The research groups at KMRC are the main producers of new information. Kotka Maritime Research Association as the coordination unit focuses on project management and also on dissemination and publicising of the results.

We commit to obtaining new knowledge on improving the interaction between science and society to make most of the produced results. We will raise awareness especially in the local community by organising public events, for example new programmes for children to educate them about the Baltic Sea being based on scientific knowledge.

KMRC as a whole commits to increasing co-operation between actors: research organisations, businesses, NGO’s and decision makers. The new projects will be launched with partners from a broad range of actors.

We also commit to developing the collection of AIS-data and AIS-data processing together with the Finnish Transport Agency for the information to be usable in research and decision making.

The commitment’s impact is permanent. It produces information and partnerships.