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Laurea is coordinating a notable EU project for Arctic shipping

The AI-ARC project intends to develop an information exchange platform that improves maritime security in the Arctic region.

AI-ARC, a project related to maritime security in the Arctic region, coordinated by Laurea University of Applied Sciences, has received funding from the EU programme Horizon 2020. With a budget of EUR 7 million, AI-ARC is the largest project ever coordinated by Laurea.

The purpose of the AI-ARC project (Artificial Intelligence based Virtual Control Room for the Arctic) is to create a new system based on artificial intelligence that facilitates the creation of a situational picture in the Arctic Ocean region. The aim of the system is to serve all actors in the Arctic Ocean area to improve maritime safety.

In addition to border control and sea surveillance actors, the project includes companies such as ones working with satellite technology. Satellite technology can be used to monitor maritime traffic and the ice situation, for example. This data is combined with statistical data, event history, prevailing conditions and operating area, and it provides end-users with interactive visual threat and risk levels in real time.

With global warming, marine traffic in the Arctic will grow in the future, increasing the risks associated with shipping.

- The AI-ARC project is the EU’s largest Arctic project to date, bringing together not only European actors but also the USA, Canada and Russia, says Director of Research and Development Isto Mattila from Laurea.

- The Arctic has not previously seen this type of cooperation, unlike the Atlantic Ocean or Baltic Sea.

The new information exchange platform to be developed in the AI-ARC project will not only improve the operating conditions of authorities' rescue operations and risk management; the new platform will also be available to other users of the Arctic Ocean region, such as fishing, freight transport and the oil industry. In addition, individual service providers can build their services on the platform.

The year AI-ARC project, spanning 2.5 years, will be launched in autumn 2021. A total of 22 partners from across Europe are involved in the project. Finnish participants include the University of Turku in addition to Laurea.

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