The European Union has agreed to provide €21 million in funding to demonstrate and validate the Sea Traffic Management (STM) system as an e-navigation initiative. The demonstration will incorporate test beds in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. These will involve 10 different ports, three shore centres and an estimated 300 vessels.
STM validation project leader Magnus Sundström said the validation of the concept should pave the way for smooth deployment of a much wider traffic management programme. “True demonstrations of the value of Sea Traffic Management services will help avoid setbacks in deployment, and make industry and other important stakeholders engage fully in the process,” he said.
He expects STM will overcome many of the challenges of communication and information sharing between stakeholders in the maritime transport industry, and create significant added value to shipowners, ports and cargo owners. The concept was defined through the preceding MonaLisa 2.0 project that concluded in June this year. During that project, a technical protocol for route exchange was developed. This is in the process of being recognised as an international standard. Validation of an STM is a pre-requisite to initiating IMO’s desire to improve maritime safety through its e-navigation concept. It will require advancements in navigation and communications technology across the maritime sector.