SeaFocus - 2019 What a Year - Changes and Growth Ahead


This year has been fascinating in many ways. We have implemented our main projects with success. Co-operation with our partners have been fruitful. Some organizational changes have taken place, the CEO stepping out of daily operative work as an owner and Board Member. SeaFocus Mentors and Trainees have been actively involved in our projects. Future plans are underway and the speed is not slowing down!


Strategic Partners – Strong Co-operation Continued

We want to thank our Strategic Partners Finnlines, MacGregor, Tallink Silja, and National Emergency Supply Agency for a great partnership in 2019. With Finnlines the co-operation agreement was renewed fourth year on a row 1.1.2019, with MacGregor the Strategic Partnership continued on the basis of a two-year agreement signed spring 2018, as well as with Tallink Silja with a contract signed in autumn 2018. Strategic Partnership with NESA is negotiated and so far renewed annually since 2017.


Associate and Developing Partners – Networking and Promoting

SeaFocus formed an Associate Partnership with Kogan Page, Julia Swales and Emmanuel Gabriel Aryeetey, and opened a BookStore on the SeaFocus site, for promoting books on Logistics and Supply Chain. Kogan Page is the leading independent global publisher of business books.


Also in the spring we formed an Associate Partnership with Nor-Shipping and Ocean Exchange. The Winner Team of the IntelligenceHunt5 in conjunction of Nor-Shipping was got to participate at the 9th Ocean Exchange Finals in Fort Lauderdale October 28-30th, 2019 as special guests. Ulla Keino was a member of the review team of Ocean Exchange 2019. Ocean Exchange is the intersection where organizations from around the world advance and promote their cutting edge solutions and innovations in materials, devices, processes, and systems.


SeaFocus supports new players and suppliers of the industry and in April Delta Cygni Labs was accepted as a SeaFocus Developing Partner. Delta Cygni Labs is solving technical human-to-human communication problems for the maritime industry.


From Advisory Board into Mentors – Power of Specialists

Markku Mylly accepted our invitation and started as a Chairman of the Advisory Board 1.1.2019. He acted as an Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) 2012-2018. Poul Woodall, Director, Environment & Sustainability, DFDS A/S was appointed as a Vice Chairman of the SeaFocus Advisory Board by the Chairman, Markku Mylly. The other Members of the Advisory Board were Christer Antson, William Crews, Thomas Doepel, Andrei Gusev, Esko Mustamäki, Sergey Mikheev, Mikko Niini, Henri Paukku and Irene Rosberg. We are very grateful for the Advisors for their valuable input.


Autumn 2019 we agreed to change the role of the Advisory Board to meet the needs of SeaFocus Executive Maritime Business Platform and turned the Advisory Board into Mentorships for the IntelligenceHunt. From the Advisory Board Christer Antson, Esko Mustamäki and Markku Mylly, joined the Mentors team, a group of experienced specialists. Also Tom DeWolf, Frank Kho, Eija Kuittinen, Paula Miettinen, Rolf Neise, Tuomas Partanen, Eyden Samunderu, Mikael Simelius Leena Vedenpää and Ulla von Weissenberg have been working and supporting the student teams.


Trainees – Valuable Asset in Dissemination

SeaFocus Trainees have been a great help for us. The tasks of the trainees have included research and study works, student team mentoring, university collaboration, SeaFocus promotions in social media as well as partner and case company promotions and also moderating some events. SeaFocus Trainees: Alyona Bolshakova, Taoufik Boumgard, Roman Filenko, Eric Ikpe, Elza Ken, Annabel Kreed, Vivianne Lauslahti, Yelyzaveta Levytska, Ayodele Makinde, Masinde Masinde, Hai Anh Nguyen, Anastasia Orlova, Ronit Patel, Ferdous Alam Patwary, Valeria Pobereznaya, Rodion Pozhemetskiy, Saana Rantanen, Vladimir Syropyatov, Anh Thu, Vania Tselepi and Susanna Valenti. We have been lucky to work with these young talented people, most of which have during this year already found work in maritime related companies.


Industry Related Events

In February, the Sjölog Forum & Exhibition 2019, meeting place for students and companies, took place at the Lindholmen Science Park, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Our Trainee, Taoufik Boumgard, represented SeaFocus.


In March, CEO Ulla Keino and Head of Volunteers of the IntelligenceHunt4, Kia Helin as well as two student finalists of the previous Intelligence Hunts took part in the second workshop in the workshop series for the Mobility Mission: Sea Meets Land, in Turku, Finland. The discussion was carried out with Ocean Industries Actors on the theme Smart Mobility for Passenger Travel - Connecting Baltics.


In July we were informed that SeaFocus Executive Maritime Business Platform had been shortlisted as a nominee for the CAREER4SEA EUROPORT Initiative Award within the scope of Excellence & Career in Shipping for the initiative IntelligenceHunt - company and student competition. This recognition was a really nice surprise for us.


SeaFocus Annual Executive Meeting

Altogether 19 invited shipping executives gathered for a 24-hour round table meeting to discuss about the Environmental regulations and the future Northern cargo flows. The meeting was held on board SeaFocus Strategic Partner Tallink Silja’s M/S Silja Europe. The topic of the meeting was “Future Environmental Regulations and their Impact on the Northern Cargo Flows”. Markku Mylly, the Chairman of the SeaFocus Advisory Board, was chairing the meeting.


IntelligenceHunt Project – New Energy and Solutions for the Maritime Industry

This Company and Student Competition have been well received among both the companies and universities/students. The aim is on the other hand to promote the industry and attract the next generation talented young individuals and on the other to introduce new ideas and future workforce to the industry.


We managed to build up quite a programme for the Finals, as the 5th edition of the IntelligenceHunt at Nor-Shipping, Oslo. The project had eight Case Companies: Port of Naantali, Finnlines, Maersk, Wärtsilä, Port of Riga, Aeromon, NaviGate and Codognotto. In total 39 international students from 25 European Universities and ten Inspiring Speakers: Simon Bergulf, Director of Regulatory Affairs, A.P. Møller – Maersk, Harilaos N. Psaraftis, Professor from the Technical University, Denmark, Bettina Knudsen, Chief Operating Officer, Explicit ApS, Roger Strevens, VP, Global Sustainability, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Andrus Vaher, Environmental & Sustainability Officer, AS Tallink Grupp, Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director, ESL Shipping Ltd, Kristin Strand-Omreng, Chief of Staff, Höegh Autoliners, Poul Woodall, Director, Environment & Sustainability, DFDS A/S, Main Moderator, Antonio Errigo, Deputy General Director, A.L.I.S. - Logistic Association of Sustainable Intermodality and Frank Kho, Senior Advisor, Kho Management BV; and of course the Jury with Tom O Kleppesto, General Manager, Shipping & Offshore Network, Oslo Shipowners' Association and Ocean Industry Forum Oslofjord, Tiina Tuurnala, Managing Director, Finnish Shipowners´ Association and Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg.


The Finals was held June 7th 2019 in Oslo Norway, in conjunction with the Nor-Shipping Trade Fair. Blue Economy was the theme of the whole Nor-Shipping and the theme of IntelligenceHunt 5 - “Blue Economy – Maritime Industry and Responsible Growth”. It was an honour to be a part of this significant maritime event and to work with our great associate partner trade fair Nor-Shipping 2019.


The planning of the 6th edition was started already in January when we signed an agreement with the NaviGate, Nordic Maritime Expo, Finland on collaboration, and to have the Finals of the IntelligenceHunt6 in Turku in conjunction with the NaviGate2020. The preregistration for students was opened and negotiations with the Case Company started the very next day after the Finals of the IntelligenceHunt5. The theme of the 6th IntelligenceHunt project is “Future of Knowledge and Know-How in Marine Industry”.

For the 6th IntelligenceHunt project we have agreed with the following companies on Case Assignments; Meyer Turku, Port of Naantali, Stevena, ESL Shipping, MacGregor, Port of Raahe, Sweco, Port of Kalajoki, Rahja Stevedoring and Port of Kokkola. This time we have ten student teams with 45 students from 18 European Universities all together working on the cases since October.


The Finals will be in January 2020 in Turku and despite of the Case Companies and Student Teams we will of course have Inspiring Speakers with 17 different nationalities on the stage; Markku Mylly, Senior Adviser, SeaFocus, Margus Schults, CEO, Tallink Silja, Dr Rolf Neise, Professor, ISM Dortmund, Johan Elzes, Business Unit Director, Ahlers’ Trade Facilitation & After Sales Services, Blasco Majorana, Line Manager, Finnlines, Alexander Varvarenko, CEO and Founder, SHIPNEXT, Marko Kuula, Head of Sales, Delta Cygni Labs Ltd., Ville Haapasaari, CEO, Port of Helsinki, Poul Woodall, Director Environment and Sustainability, DFDS, Per Westling, CEO, Stena RoRo, Pekka Lettijeff, CEO, TylöHelo Group and Irene Rosberg, Director Blue MBA, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.


The Student Teams will deliver their Executive Summaries for the companies’ approval and after that starts the Jury work. Ulla Keino, Commercial Director of Ahlers Trade Facilitation and After Sales Service business unit as a Chairman of the Jury has excluded herself from voting, but is managing the work of the Jury. The Members of the Jury are Sari Turkkila, Managing Director, Shipowners' Foundation Finland, Professor Harilaos N. Psaraftis, Danish Technical University, Copenhagen, Ellen Eftestol-Wilhelmsson, Professor of Civil and Commercial Law, University of Helsinki, Poul Woodall, Director Environment and Sustainability, DFDS A/S, Jussi Mälkiä, Chairman of the Board, Shipowners' Foundation in Finland and the second best team of the IntelligenceHunt5 project.


Preparations for the Years to Come

In autumn 2019 we have formed an Associate Partnership with Messe München Transport Und Logistik. We have agreed with Messe München, Transport & Logistics, that the Finals of the IntelligenceHunt7 project will be held in München spring 2021. This 7th edition will be again slightly different compared to the previous ones.


Steps for SeaFocus Annual Executive Meeting preparations have also been agreed. The meeting will take place in hotel Kämp, in the Mirror Hall, 22.4.2020, from 10 am till 5 pm.


With this wrap-up of the year 2019 we want to thank our partners and associates, stakeholders, event partners and project sponsors, case companies and students, our followers and supporters for this amazing year. What will the year 2020 bring along – that is for as to know and you to find out!


SeaFocus wishes you all

Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2020!