The focus of Cluster 5 is to decrease the lead time to modify vessels by at least 20% thanks to better information about the modification costs needed to meet new business demand. In this research Cluster, Greek partners SEAbility, Ocean and INSB have been working closely with Bern University to develop an innovative business model for those in the small boat industry.
Boat owners constantly face the challenge of having enough boats to facilitate demand without incurring any extra costs or waste. The Use-it-Wisely model will take into account competition, seasonality, boat ticket prices for tourists and the market dynamics to simplify the decision-making process for owners.
The model also investigates solutions for boat owners to better manage seasonal fluctuations, for example peak tourist season, and low season. Many alternative functions for boats are being investigated including the carrying of parcels and special classifications of passengers.
Use-It-Wisely researchers met in Bern in January 2016 to progress the model. The purpose of the meeting was to plan the integration of the models created by SEAbility, INSB and Ocean into one vessel-specific business model. It will then be tested in a number of realistic scenarios which those in the boating industry experience. Many of the scenarios are relevant to the core objectives of Use-It-Wisely including reducing the environmental impact of businesses and reducing the time to market of products following upgrades.
If the integrated model functions effectively and efficiently in these scenarios, it may be further developed into a useful tool for those in the vessel industry across all European countries. The methodology behind the model is highly specific to the boating industry, which has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool for boat owners, operators and builders. Tourists may also reap the benefits of optimised transport operations. However, the specificity of the system means the model may not be adapted to other industries requirements.The results from the testing of the integrated model will be presented at the next Use-It-Wisely project meeting in Madrid in March. All project partners will be allowed to contribute suggestions on improving the model from both academic and industrial perspectives.