ORIANI successfully completed Navigating Excellence: The Norwegian – Greek Maritime Innovation Summit

by | Mar 22, 2024

March, 2024

A few Norwegians in Athens are always good for the booming Greek tourism economy, but what happens when more than a dozen carefully selected Norwegian maritime technologists come to Athens to share insights, connect with the customers, and participate in some insightful panel discussions? This is what happened just a few days ago in a unique location for a maritime technology conference.
  Oriani Hellas, organized, curated, and hosted the event Navigating Excellence: The Norwegian – Greek Maritime Innovation Summit, held on March 13th & 14th at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens Greece. The event, supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA Grants Greece 2014-2021, in the frame of the Innovation, Business Development and SMEs program, brought together industry leaders, innovators, and stakeholders to explore digital and technological solutions that are and will transform the maritime landscape.
A dynamic mix of startups and global leading companies took center stage, showcasing the diversity and depth of Norway’s maritime technology landscape. From promising startups with fresh perspectives, to established industry players, the presence of these innovative entities led to a fruitful exchange of ideas and expertise.

As Her Excellency Ms. Lajla Brandt Jakhelln, Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Athens, pointed out opening the event…
“The strong advantage for European economies has always been our ability to innovate and we must not forget this advantage in order to take the European shipping industry to the next level. Competition from Asia is fierce. Finding the right technology is crucial. These technologies again need the support of digitization and big data…”

  Shipping is going through a period of MASSIVE change, at a much faster rate than ever before. Technology is being developed rapidly and while other industries are changing and adopting these tools, shipping is still traditional, and needs to catch up fast to ensure they remain competitive. We need technology, not only from a business perspective, where processes / people can become more efficient and more productive, but also to increase safety, to take better care of our crews, and to do everything we can to help save the planet.

Regarding the “unique location” which was the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, Philip Nielsen the Co-founder of ORIANI HELLAS, mentioned:
“…This building (the museum) has the aroma of the sea, of the Aegean Sea where Greek shipping began thousands of years ago. The Cycladic civilization placed human beings at its center. Thissame heritage, these same principles and same values are carried by the successful Greek shipping of TODAY, where human is still at the center for everything, we do…”


One important element discussed during the event was that of collaboration, not only between vendors and clients but also among different vendors themselves. As John Vandoros, the General Manager of ORIANI, said, regarding how digitalization will take-off in Greece; “The answer is through developing relations and getting people face to face to discuss the real issues of the end user…”. Meaning that, the most effective way to understand and resolve today’s complex maritime issues is by cultivating relationships and enabling acomprehensive understanding of the shipping companies’ requirements.

As he also pointed out: “Frank discussions and realistic promises by the software companies (to their clients) will build trust and allow time for them to deliver the right solution”. In other words, by fostering a culture of transparency and realistic expectations, software companies can build strong relationships with shipping companies. This will allow them the necessary time and space to develop and deliver solutions that are truly tailored to today’s market needs.

The sessions of the event were as follows:

  • Session #1 focused on “Vessel Performance”, moderated by George Teriakidis, Area Manager at DNV Maritime. (presentations from Shipshave, Jotun, Ascenz Marorka)
  • Session #2, “Fuel Optimization”, moderated by Mike Konstantinidis, Managing Director at ZeroNorth A/S, continued the discourse on maximizing fuel efficiency and reducing environmental impact. (presentations from Teco 2030, Ecoxy AS, Manta Marine Technologies)
  • The first day concluded with Session #3 on “Big Data,” moderated by Dr. Ioannis Lagoudis, Associate Professor at UNIPI, exploring the  transformative potential of big data in maritime operations. (presentations from Shipnet, The Ship AS, Kongsberg Digital)
  • Session #4 on “Crew & Training” with moderator Katerina Skourtanioti, Managing Director at VENLYS, emphasizing the importance of human capital in maritime operations and its efficient training. (presentations from Sayfr, PaleBlue, Seafair)
  • And closing, Session #5 “Crew Health & Safety” with moderator Constantinos Triantafyllou, the Head of Strategy & Development at HELMEPA, outlined the importance of our seafarers’ safety and healthcare in efficient maritime operations. (presentations from Health4Crew, ShipMed AS, Dimeq)

As the experienced Capt. Dimitris Aslanoglou from Eletson Corporation wisely pointed out at the event’s closing remarks “…happier crews are safer crews…”.

To conclude, this gathering was not only about Norwegian companies showcasing maritime digital solutions. The summit provided Norwegian representatives the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of the intricacies of the Greek shipping industry. Likewise, Greek shipping executives had the chance to gain insights from Norwegian maritime solutions and operations through case studies and new technologies. An environment was created where both could engage in constructive dialogue and gain a deeper understanding of each other’s operational dynamics.