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SMM DIGITAL: Safety first

The countdown is on: SMM DIGITAL, the leading international maritime trade fair, takes place from 2 to 5 February. The centrepiece of the event is the multifaceted conference programme. At MS&D, the International Conference on Maritime Security and Defence, renowned experts will discuss military defence challenges, technology developments and cybersecurity. The entire programme of SMM DIGITAL is free of charge for viewers.

“The seas and oceans around the world are essential for trade, development, progress and our prosperity,” says Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of Staff of the German Navy. The responsibilities of navies and coast guards in keeping waterways safe are similarly all-encompassing. They must secure trade routes and ports, prevent conflicts, and provide support for crisis management, for example in connection with refugee migrations or natural disasters. Navy chief Krause will give his assessment of the current worldwide security situation at the MS&D conference during SMM DIGITAL.

The international conference for maritime security and defence will also look at the global competition for military superiority: The massive investments of some nations in their navies attest to the great importance they attach to their naval forces. Recently China increased the number of its surface ships and submarines to roughly 350, now exceeding the size of the naval fleet of the USA. Much of the Chinese navy is state-of-the-art, including powerful amphibious combat craft and the first aircraft carrier from domestic production, the “Shandong” commissioned in 2019.

A changing security architecture forces European navies to refocus. Germany has embarked on a modernisation programme and ordered the Frigate 126 (previously Multipurpose Combat Ship 180): The Federal Government is investing up to six billion euros. Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien from the Federation of the German Security And Defence Industry will explain where he sees further potential for German naval shipbuilding.

Ensuring cyber hygiene

But navies not only have to upgrade their arms systems and ships; they must also ensure the security of their software. While a cyberattack on a shipping company can be costly, the digital hijacking of a naval vessel including its dangerous weapons could have catastrophic consequences. From antivirus software and 24x7 protection by IT experts to effective defences against system sabotage, Commander Dr. Robert Koch from the German Navy will explain at MS&D how navies can protect themselves against digital threats. He warns against neglecting cyber hygiene and using poorly configured databases. "These are attack vectors cybercriminals love to utilise," says Koch.

Once these digital vulnerabilities have been eliminated effectively, the full benefits of digitalisation can unfold. Unmanned ships and the use of augmented or virtual reality can significantly enhance the operational efficiency of navies. For example, VR simulation can be used to train crew members in handling the situation on deck of an aircraft carrier during flight operations. Ways to make full use of the potential of immersive technologies will be the subject of the speech of Jenna Tuck, Executive Vice President of the Canadian software firm Modest Tree, at MS&D.

3D printing is another technology that can raise navies to a new level: A French minehunter, the “Andromède”, was recently retrofitted with an innovative propeller made in an additive manufacturing process. The material sciences expert Corinna Bischof from the TechCenter Additive Manufacturing at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems will discuss key considerations for the production of highly sensitive components for naval vessels.

Communication platform

"We are very pleased that many high-ranking naval representatives will be attending MS&D again, including personalities from Germany, the United States, the EU, NATO and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). What makes this event especially worthwhile for them is the opportunity to meet up with business and science experts. I am certain that all participants will benefit from this exclusive exchange of views and knowledge," says Jan Wiedemann, Conference Chairman and editor of NAVAL FORCES. His magazine is once again the conference partner of MS&D, which will take place on 4 and 5 February.

MS&D viewers will be able to ask the panellists questions using the digital Q&A feature. The moderators will collect the questions and present them to the speakers at the end of each session. In addition, viewers will be able to communicate with other stakeholders of the maritime community using a chat feature.

Furthermore, the makers of SMM DIGITAL have created an additional communication platform that will extend beyond the scope of the conferences: "Together with our cooperation partner Enterprise Europe Network we are inviting the participants to join the virtual networking event MariMatch@SMM. This platform will provide them with an opportunity to meet future business and research partners and expand their own maritime networks," says Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

To participate in MariMatch@SMM free of charge, viewers must register on www.smm-hamburg.com/en/smm-streams/networking by 1 February 2021.

 

For more information on MS&D go to:
www.smm-hamburg.com/smm-streams/conference-stream/msd

About SMM

SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair, normally takes place at the Hamburg Messe und Congress (HMC) exhibition complex every two years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29th edition of the event will be held as a purely digital conference from 2 to 5 February 2021. With the leitmotif “Driving The Maritime Transition”, SMM DIGITAL will bring together the maritime community. Participants will be able to watch conferences featuring top-flight speakers on an online streaming platform. At SMM DIGITAL, international experts will discuss current challenges and innovative solutions for the maritime industry. The next SMM will take place from 6 to 9 September 2022.

Press contact: Bianca Gellert, ph.: +49 40 3569 2445

E-mail: bianca.gellert@hamburg-messe.de

Contact

Alexandra Neises
Project Manager
T. +49 40 3569-2163