WMU Hosts BUGWRIGHT2 Forum 2024

On 16 February, the World Maritime University’s WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (GOI) hosted the WMU-BUGWRIGHT2 Forum 2024. The Forum was delivered under the auspices of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework funded project BUGWRIGHT2, and in partnership with Danaos Shipping at their headquarters in Athens, Greece. 

The Forum brought together academics and experts in robotics and law to deliberate the strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and prospects stemming from the implementation of technology and/or techniques within the maritime and oceanic realm. The event was opened by Professor Max Mejia, WMU President, who spoke about how the integration of service robotics offers the potential to revolutionize how we understand and harness the power of our oceans. 

Mr Leonidas Dimitriadis-Evgenidis, IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador and Chairman of  the Management Committee of Eugenides Foundation, welcomed the participants to Athens, highlighting the importance of Greece in the navigation and shipping industry. The Forum was led by Professor Ronán Long and Dr Tafsir Johansson of the WMU-GOI who introduced the BUGWRIGHT2 programme and shared the successful research journey, significant deliverables and project conclusion of the WMU-GOI contributions and work on “Overcoming Regulatory Barriers for Service Robotics in an Ocean Industry Context”, in the EU H2020 funded project, focusing on ‘Autonomous Robotic Inspection and Maintenance on Ship Hulls’. BUGWRIGHT2 is set to conclude in March 2024.

Over 30 expert speakers from academic, industry, legislative, and intergovernmental agencies held discussions on topics that included the rise of maritime robotics, environmental challenges with innovation, technology and industry perceptions, innovation and regulation, bridging the north-south digital divide, and recommendations for digital reform. The discussions generated lively debate with the audience, both onsite and online.

The combined onsite and online registration included over 330 participants from more than 68 different countries representing a wide range of sectors including governmental agencies, academia as well as industry, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.

To access photos from the event as well as the recording, click here.

More about the EU H2020 Bugwright2 project

Funded under the EU Horizon 2020 initiative, BUGWRIGHT2 consists of a large consortium bringing together not only the technological knowledge from academia but the complete value chain of the inspection robotic market. WMU is proud to be a consortium partner to the BUGWRIGHT2 umbrella initiative and has committed to delivering a series of tasks that will help overcome techno-regulatory barriers for service robotics used by the ocean industry. The principal work of the WMU-GOI is to provide insight to the complex legal framework concerning hull cleaning, inspection and maintenance using Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), small Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) coupled with teams of magnetic-wheeled crawlers.


More about the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean institute:

The WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute is an independent focal point for the ocean science-policy-law-industry-society interface where policy makers, the scientific community, regulators, industry actors, academics, and representatives of civil society meet to discuss how best to manage and use ocean spaces and their resources in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Institute was inaugurated in 2018 and made possible through generous support from The Nippon Foundation of Japan, the Governments of Sweden, Canada, and Germany, as well as the City of Malmö. 

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