Speaker / contributors


Lise Kingo is the CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact.
This is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with more than 13,500 signatories from 170 countries that have committed to aligning strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and taking actions that advance societal goals.

Daniel Bjarmann-Simonsen

State secretary to the Minister of Trade and Industry
with the main responsibility for maritime policy, directing coordination of the Government's marine efforts, business-oriented research and innovation, Europe and the internal market, WTO, international business promotion, space policy, nuclear activities and the ministries' areas of responsibility within the High North policy and Svalbard.He was appointed Secretary of State in January 2018 and came from the position as project manager in Smart City and the community reshaping project "New city - new airport".He has previously held a number of positions in the public and private sectors, including two entrepreneurial companies within the publishing industry, the market and the media.

Ms Quah Ley Hoon

Ms Quah Ley Hoon joined the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore as Chief Executive (Designate) on 1 November 2018, and was subsequently appointed the Chief Executive with effect from 1 January 2019.
Prior to this, she was with MediaCorp as Chief Editor in Channel NewsAsia. She has more than 12 years of work experience in the public sector ranging from economic policies to environmental and social policies, including the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the National Population Secretariat.


Director for Waterborne Transport inDirectorate-General for Mobility and Transport within the European Commission, since 16/10/2016.
Her Directorate is responsible for the development and follow-up of the implementation of policies in support of logistics, maritime transport, ports, and inland navigation.After joining the European Commission in 2006, to work in the Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services, she was appointed as the Head of Unit for Clean Transport, Urban Transport and Intelligent Transport Systems - between May 2009 and June 2011. In July 2011 she became Head of Unit dealing with Maritime Transport policy and Logistics, until taking up the post of Director for Sustainable and Innovative Mobility in DG MOVE on 1 May 2014 to 15 October 2016.


Lars Alvestad is the acting Director General of Shipping and Navigation at the Norwegian. Maritime Authority (NMA).
His role at the NMA involves vessel politics, newbuild approval and certification, technical rules and regulations, risk and analyses and seafarers certification and education. Alvestad also leads the NMA’s focus within green shipping technology and is an active participant in several major industry and governmental projects and initiatives. Prior to joining the NMA in 2008, Alvestads background includes many years as master mariner on a variety of vessels, and also extensive experience within project management for new build and vessel design and in international shipping in Africa and Asia.


General Director of the Norwegian Coastal Administriation
Mr. Einar Vik Arset was appointed General Director of the Norwegian Coastal Administriation from Feb 1 2019. Prior to this he was City Manager in Ulstein since 2010, and in Vanylven County since 2005. Arset is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of managing government administration industries, and is skilled in Leadership, Strategy, Innovation, and building strong business cultures. Ulstein County was during his time as City Manager winner of the national Attractive City Award in 2012, appointed as Smart City Pilot in 2017 and was the first county in Norway to implement coding as core learning skill in all schools. He has a broad professional background with a Cand.Merc. in Management from Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Asian Institute of Management and the University of Bergen.

Nancy Scheijven-Westra

Dutch Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure
After studying business economics at the school for business administration and economics, Nancy studied international management and different cultures in Europe at the University of Maastricht.In 2017 Nancy made the transition to primary activity of Rijkswaterstaat. She became Director vessel traffic and water management of the man waterway infrastructure. She is responsible for the daily operation of about 450 locks and bridges in the Netherlands, vessel traffic management services, incident management and law enforcement. She is also responsible for the water management including the reporting on water quantity in times of both drought and floods.Being the Director vessel traffic and water management, Nancy faces future developments on autonomous shipping. Rijkswaterstaat supports maturation of Smart Shipping and invests in its infrastructure to give autonomous ships a warm welcome.


VP Special Projects, Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA.
Since his graduation as naval architect at the Norwegian Technical University in Trondheim in 1978, Per has held a number of leading positions in the Norwegian maritime supplier, service and ship-owning industry. For the past 16 years he has been employed by the Wilhelmsen group, most of his time as head of the technical department. Per has in all his career been engaged in technology development within maritime safety, environment and efficiency. Per is now heading Wilhelmsen activities within renewables and autonomy technology. He is chairing the BoD of Massterly AS, the Kongsberg Wilhelmsen joint venture for autonomous vessel operations.

Geir Håøy

President and Chief Executive Officer Experience, Kongsberg Gruppen
Former President of Kongsberg Maritime with broad international experience from different positions in the company, including head of Kongsberg Maritime's activities in Singapore and South-Korea.


Vegar Johansen holds a PhD in marine cybernetics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). During his twenty years in research, he has taken part in development of a variety of industrial maritime solutions particularly in marine operations. In 2015 he entered the position as CEO of SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture, and since the foundation of SINTEF Ocean in 2017 he has been CEO and responsible for integrating research across the ocean industries in SINTEF. In his current position focus areas are development of public and industrial maritime strategies and research agendas. He is a member of the minister's advisory board for maritime development (MARUT).


Has a Double Degree in Law (LL.M) European Business Law.
He has over 20 years' experience in the maritime field and in particular with maritime safety issues. He has been working on maritime issues for the European Commission since 1996. After spending some time working for the Swedish Shipowners Association in Brussels, he spent seven years working for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and was one of its pioneers in its initial setting up, also managing the 'inspectorate' unit.
Jacob is currently principle administrator in the European Commission Maritime Safety Unit with responsibilities for EU legislation related to flag States as well as coastal States, including vessel traffic monitoring and in that context the development of autonomous ships and aspects related to the future MASS traffic monitoring.
Jacob is the chairman of the EU expert group on MASS, established in accordance with EU maritime safety law (under the Vessel Traffic Monitoring Directive), and guiding the work the development of EU Operational Guidelines with all EU Member States and Industry.

Bjørn Tore Orvik

CEO and co-founder, Yara Birkeland AS
The architect behind the Yara Birkeland project. Background from Supply chain, renewables, IT and business development within multiple sectors. Strong academic background in logistics and finance and master mariner.

Dr Henrik Ringbom

Professor II (part-time) at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Oslo and the University of Turku in Finland.
He is a member of the Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Shipping and the Comité Maritime International's international working group on autonomous ships and has participated in numerous research projects on autonomous ships, including Finnish research projects AAWA and D4V. Dr Ringbom’s previous work experience includes being Head of Unit for Marine Environment, Training and Statistics at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in Lisbon (2007-2012), Research Fellow at the University of Oslo (2003-2007) and Administrator at the Maritime Safety Unit of the European Commission in Brussels (1997-2003). He has published widely in the field of European and international shipping law and is the past president of the Finnish Maritime Law Association.

Magne Nilsen

Magne Nilsen is Chief Underwriting Officer, Specialty with Gard AS, which is the largest P&I Club in the world and also a notable insurer within marine and energy.
Gard is actively involved in finding insurance solutions for autonomous vessels. Magne is a Master of Science in Petroleum Economics and has been with Gard for 18 years joining from Norsk Hydro.

Harald Solberg

CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association
From June 2016, Solberg was the head of the Royal Secretariat at the Royal Palace. From 2015 to 2016, Solberg was Vice President of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and from 2011 to 2015, Solberg was Director of Business Policy and Communication in the Association. Solberg has previously been managing director of Dagsavisen, he has worked as Deputy Managing Director of Mentor Media (2005-2011), State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance (2003-2005), political advisor at the Prime Minister's Office (2001-2003) and Political Advisor and Deputy Representative for KrF. Solberg is a M.Sc. with graduate studies in Political Science from the University of Oslo.

Henrik Tunfors

Senior adviser, Swedish Transport Agency
He is currently the Focal point for autonomous shipping and smart ships at the Swedish Transport Agency, where he has held several positions over the past 17 years, including legal adviser and different management positions. He has been a regular at the IMO for the last decade where he’s held different Chairing assignments, the most recent being for the Working Group on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). He has a Masters of Laws from Lund University, Sweden.

Tom Eystø

CEO of  Massterly
The new established joint venture between Kongsberg Maritime and Wilhelmsen. Tom has a background from the Norwegian Navy and a bachelor in Robotics. He has been in Kongsberg Maritime the last 20 years and started out as a software engineer in dynamic positioning and has been in several manager positions for the last 15 years. In addition to his positions in Norway, Tom has had an expat period in Singapore as Regional Support Manager for Fare East Asia, and before moving to Massterly was Vice president in Products and Services in Kongsberg Maritime AS, and is responsible for Bridge Systems. Tom recognizes the benefit and the potential new technology has had for different industries. He believes that the shipping industry is now standing on the edge of a new era, but technology by itself will not drive a transformation in the industry, it is only when we link new technology with new incentives, or business models that we will see a success in an emerging market.


Harmen van Dorsser is a true innovator and entrepreneur in the Port of Rotterdam organization. He advises the Harbourmaster on nautical innovations and is involved as a coach and trainer in various innovation projects, such as the startup program Port XL. Within the Port of Rotterdam, he is program managers Habour Master Next Generation and has to prepare the Port Authority to welcome captains and ships of the future. Smart Shipping, Make it Happen!


Founder and CEO of Maritime Robotics.
He is a MSc in Engineering Cybernetics with specialty in unmanned vehicle control system, and has been working with Unmanned Vehicle systems throughout his whole 20 year working career. Since their startup in 2005 Maritime Robotics has been one of the truly international pioneers within autonomous surface vessels, and they are currently delivering different smaller turnkey autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicles for maritime data acquisition. Recently the company has taken their leading edge autonomy platform into applications within transportation, and are for example currently working on the autonomy system solution for what may be the world’s first autonomous passenger ferry in Kristiansund, Norway. With his significant experience on business development he will share his views and experience on how SMEs have and will act as innovators in this business.


Director Blue Line Logistics
Antoon Van Coillie is an entrepreneur who started an inland shipping company, Blue Line Logistics, in 2011 with novel inland barges, so called Pallet Shuttle Barges (aka ZULU’s) which are specifically designed for moving goods on pallet, in bigbags or in roll containers. This realises a real modal shift from road to waterway in areas with road congestion and emission issues. It started its activities in Belgium and is now expanding in other European countries. Since then he has founded ZULU Associates, a platform to initiate, develop and invest in marine component of logistic chains. The main areas of development pursued to achieve modal shift are autonomous inland barges, autonomous short sea shipping vessels as well as alternative propulsion modes in order to achieve zero or near to zero emission propulsion in both cases.

Gijsbert de Jong

Marine Marketing and Sales Director and Executive Committee member with the Marine and Offshore division of the Paris headquartered classification society Bureau Veritas.
His main responsibilities are to define the business development strategy and priorities in the maritime market, to drive business intelligence activities and to lead the international marketing and sales network. In this role Gijsbert heads the central marine commercial department, managing the expert team of global market and technology leaders and the marketing team.
Gijsbert joined Bureau Veritas in 2001 after obtaining an MSc degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, and has since held various operational and business development management positions in Paris, Rotterdam and Shanghai.

Bjørn Johan Vartdal

Bjørn Johan Vartdal holds a B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
He has been working in DNVGL since 2000 within ship classification of machinery systems, maritime advisory services on rotating machinery systems and research on hybrid powers systems for ships including energy storage. Since 2014 he has been leading the maritime research group in DNVGL which is focussing on digitalization of the maritime industry, autonomous and remote controlled ships and safe and sustainable shipping.

Masanori Yoshida

Masanori Yoshida is Chief advisor andDirector of Offshore Development Office at the Nippon Foundation since 2016. Heis responsible for the promotion of technological innovation and human resourcedevelopment in the ocean sector, including offshore energy and maritime.
Since he joined Ministry of Transport(currently Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)) ofJapanese government in 1996, he has more than 20 years of experiences with maritimeand ocean sectors, including deputy director in maritime bureau of MLIT, maritimeattaché at General Consulate of Japan in New York and guest researcher of FridtjofNansen Institute in Norway.

Bjørn Laksforsmo

Bjørn Laksforsmo was until recently the SVP Maritime Operations of the Torghatten Group, and holds a number of board director appointments within maritime, power supply and community services.
He has a background as a naval officer and commanding officer, and has been working in different executive positions in Torghatten and Hurtigruten . He also has experience from the power supply business as managing director of the power grid and power contracting subsidiaries of Troms Kraft. Recently, the main working areas has been utilizing new technology to facilitate use of renewable power sources in shipping.

Oskar Levander

Oskar Levander is currently SVP Concepts & Innovation for Kongsberg Maritime and he held the same position in Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine prior to the acquisition of the company.
He joined Rolls-Roycein 2012 from Wärtsilä, where he spent the majority of his career after graduatingwith honors from Helsinki University of Technology in 2000, with an MSc inNaval Architecture.   Oskar has been driving the development of novel shipdesigns, machinery and propulsion concepts and has pioneered many emergingmarine technologies, such as LNG. Today he spearheads the development of shipintelligence concepts and the introduction of remote & autonomous ships. Heis one of the leading thought leaders in the marine industry and in 2017 OskarLevander was nominated as the #1 Technology Leader by Lloyds List.


Anchor for World Business Report on the BBC World Service and BBC World TV, delivering breaking stories and gaining insight into unfolding economic events from entrepreneurs, economists and analysts.
She has worked across BBC News output for more than a decade, including Newsnight, the Today programme, and the BBC News Channel.Before joining the BBC, Susannah Streeter worked in first print and then radio news, including time at Radio France International and the French regional newspaper Ouest France. She then took a position at Channel One TV as one of the UK’s first video journalists, before joining ITV.Between 1997 and 2007 Susannah served in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, joining 7644 Squadron, a media operations unit, where she rose to the rank of Squadron Leader and represented UK reserves at NATO’s CIOR Congress (Confédération Interalliée des Officiers de Réserve).


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