Business Finland has initiated and funded research projects to support the cruise industry
Finnish businesses and research organisations have collaborated with the cruise industry to develop several new safety strategies and technologies to reduce health risks on ships. Initiated and funded by Business Finland, these collaborative research projects are intended to support the recovery and future viability of the cruise industry.
One of the initiatives, The Healthy Travel project, saw researchers from Åbo Akademi University working with cruise companies, shipyards and subcontractors to create models to analyse passenger flows on vessels of different sizes and develop processes and procedures to minimise infection risks. Researchers outlined how different security levels can be used to prevent the Covid-19 virus from spreading onboard, depending on the infection situation. They also suggested solutions such as electronic restaurant bookings to reduce the time guests spend in shared premises.
Meanwhile, researchers from Tampere University, VTT Technology Research Centre of Finland and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare created a robot head prototype as part of the AIRCO research project to understand the role of breathing, coughing and sneezing in spreading Covid-19. The head produces small particles in the air, mimicking the aerosols and droplets that spread coronavirus when people interact. The initial aim of the robot was to support the design and planning of all kinds of indoor spaces, including ships and terminals, and to measure the effectiveness of masks, ventilation and air filtration and purification solutions in preventing the spread of viruses.
To support the need for better air purification techniques, interior accommodation provider Almaco partnered with Genano to provide the marine and offshore industry with air decontamination technology that removes airborne impurities of all sizes, including microbes and Covid-19.
Kone, a provider of marine elevators and escalators, conducted research in partnership with several cruise line companies to develop new solutions for people and material flows on ships, while improving health and safety on board and in the terminals. This involved collecting data with sensors installed on ships, timing activities, and conducting interviews with passengers and crew members.
Similarly, an internet of things platform from Hypercell uses Bluetooth signal sensors to collect data on people volumes, dwell times, and flows in indoor and outdoor locations. Notifications can be triggered if an area becomes overcrowded and named tags can be created for all passengers and crew.
“Finland now offers leading technologies and solutions focusing on indoor air quality, passenger flows, safety protocols, and touchless solutions,” said Ulla Lainio, head of marine and ports global industry team at Business Finland. “The insights gained from this vital research are also contributing to the design of new cruise ships.”