Åbo Akademi University’s strategic research profile The Sea investigates models for maritime environment, society and economy, to ensure a continued wellbeing in accordance with The United Nations’ goals for a sustainable development.
We asked our researchers to tell us how their research contributes to healing our seas.
Fourth out in our English version of the series is Anastasia Tsvetkova, PostDoc Researcher within the Sea profile, in industrial management.
Anastasia Tsvetkova, could you please tell us about your research and how it connects to The Sea?
“I have been working at the Laboratory of Industrial Management for 10 years now, researching industrial and business ecosystems within maritime logistics and renewable energy.
I’m especially interested in the complex, systemic character of industrial organization implied by these ecosystem metaphors. Specifically, the concept of business ecosystems reflects the interconnectedness of various business actors and stresses the value that can be produced only within a system, rather by any individual actor.
Maritime logistics is an interesting example of such an ecosystem with a long tradition and established roles, which is also characterized by high fragmentation and institutionalized business practices that are slow to change. At the same time, there is a potential for increasing economic and environmental efficiency of sea transportation through business model and technological innovations (which often go hand in hand): green growth, digitalization and servitization being among the main drivers of such transformation.
Recently, I have been exploring the institutional barriers for specific maritime innovations (for example, autonomous vessels) and the required transformation of the respective business ecosystem. By working closely with various actors in the maritime logistics ecosystem, I also strive to produce prescriptive knowledge on, for instance, which collaboration and governance mechanisms are capable of redefining ‘who does what and who gets what’ in sea logistics.
All in all, my research aims at understanding how the transition to more sustainable sea logistics can be achieved through innovation and the change in the respective business ecosystem structure. As practice shows, it goes beyond industrial management because there are strong legislative and policy influences on the way the industry works. Collaboration with the other researchers in The Sea profile is a great opportunity to address this complex problem in a holistic and inclusive manner, where all the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – are considered in their inextricability.”
The Sea is a current target of donations at Åbo Akademi University.