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‘Technical leadership’ vital for maritime, says ABS chairman

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki says that the maritime industry must embrace a new generation of technical leadership moving forward, focusing on three main tenets that will shape the future of shipping.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Speaking at the CMA Shipping conference in Stamford, Connecticut, Mr Wiernicki highlighted techno-economic thinking, 'big data', and convergence thinking as three key areas of focus for technical leadership.

Techno-economic thinking refers to analysis that combines technical and commercial knowledge to inform decision-making. The rapid pace of technology adoption, and the corresponding regulatory requirements that go along with it, make techno-economic thinking an essential tool moving forward, according to Mr Wiernicki.  

"The new generation of technical leadership will be based on techno-economic thinking,” he said.

“It will be about how we take the collective technical information to make the right overall business decision.Technical innovation must be on par with commercial acumen, and decisions need to be based equally on both commercial and technical risks. The Chief Technology Officer and Chief Financial Officer must work even more collaboratively."

Central to adopting a techno-economic approach is harnessing the power of big data, with classification societies such as ABS taking on a data-driven approach in an effort to increase efficiencies across the maritime industry.

“Big data will be the catalyst that ties together regulations of the future, technology advancements and Class of the future,” continues Mr Wiernicki.

“Big data will enable regulators, owners and class to provide enhanced decision-making, insightful discoveries and process optimisation that foster a safer and more efficient industry."

According to Mr Wiernicki, the new generation of leaders in the shipping industry will be forced to think differently in a big data environment, combining information from multiple different sources.

“They will need to embrace a convergence mindset and not only consider technical feasibility from an engineering perspective, but also weigh both commercial viability and social desirability of the world we live in,” he said.{/mprestriction}

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