The MISTIC Thematic Network's objective was the development and deployment of Maritime Intelligent Transport Systems, through the introduction of Information Society Technologies (IST). MISTIC was aimed to be a stimulation activity for maritime players to develop and utilise Maritime Intelligent Transport Systems.
In this setting, MISTIC supported the presentation of innovative systems resulting from EU research projects, as best practices for improving business procedure. The project was prepared to ensure a higher level of involvement of end-users in the area of applying advanced information technologies for waterborne transport.
MISTIC's stimulation activities were to be achieved at four parallel levels:
- Level 1: Dissemination of state of the art and best practices based on EU RTD success stories.
- Level 2: Collecting the end-users requirements and stimulating awareness and preparedness to change working practices and business processes to facilitate the deployment of innovative ITS.
- Level 3: Supporting the RTD ongoing projects by providing an overall economic and social assessment of RTD projects' activities and results.
- Level 4: Creating awareness of the benefits of Maritime Intelligent Systems at the highest possible level of the decision making process and the public in the maritime regions, Member States and European Institutions such as Commission, European Parliament and Committee of Regions.
MISTIC was, inter alia, tasked with attempting to identify a methodology to involve users and stakeholders more intensively in the development of maritime intelligent systems, particularly in relation to socio-economic aspects. The methodology recommended was intended, not only to assist individual projects, but also to help in identifying end-user requirements for maritime intelligent systems.
The MISTIC methodology was based on three different kinds of activities:
- I. The workpackages, representing the “technical” work carried out by the consortium
- II. The MISTIC days, organised as local workshops in different European locations
- III. The MISTIC Consultation Group
I. The workpackages were organised around 3 technical steps (not including organisation and dissemination activities).
Step1: Identification and analysis of RTD projects and scenarios
- The objectives of this workpackage were to conduct an examination and collection of relevant EU-funded and national funded RTD projects, from a qualitative point of view, then to establish a comprehensive set of criteria of what constitutes “success” in social and economical achievement for RTD projects, relevant to IST projects.
Step 2: Identification of actors and end-users’ requirements
- This second step aimed at identifying a methodology to involve users and stakeholders more intensively in the development of maritime intelligent systems, particularly in relation to socio-economic aspects. The scope was therefore to design a Model/Methodology involving, first, the use of Object Oriented Analysis (OOA) and, second, the combined use of OOA and Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA).
Step 3: Supporting the RTD IST ongoing projects and providing overall results
- To provide support to RTD IST projects, MISTIC developed a Vade Mecum which summarised the lessons learnt in MISTIC and indicated the steps that might be taken – by users, stakeholders (including the European Commission), and developers.
- The second part of this Step was the Summary ISIS Cluster Report, which provided an analysis of a number of key IST projects to illustrate how successfully (or not) the projects involved users and stakeholders in the system design and development process, with reference to socio-economic impacts.
II. The MISTIC Days
Five "MISTIC days" were organised -- in Athens, Bremen, Brussels, Genoa and Rotterdam -- with the following common aims:
- to develop close links with the local organisation and interested end-users in the fields of maritime intelligent systems,
- to locally disseminate the MISTIC work and maritime intelligent systems’ potential,
- to promote general awareness at local level on innovation in the area of maritime intelligent systems.
III. MISTIC Consultati
MISTIC's results can be summarised in 2 key aspects.
1. MISTIC analysed projects according to their driving forces and their socio-economic impacts. Sixty-nine RTD projects on maritime IST technologies and maritime transport were assessed. As for the contents of the 69 projects, three thematic activity fields wre identified. About 40% of the projects dealt with “Maritime Transport”, while 30% wre concerned with “Integrated Intermodal Systems”. The focus of the remaining 30% of the projects was on “Logistics and Supply Chain Management”.
In summary, the driving forces behind the projects are economic as well as technical interests: Economic advantages in terms of competitiveness, time and cost savings etc. can only be ensured by a constant improvement of existing technologies, notable by innovation, especially in the European IST industry. In order to attain and maintain technical advantages over competitors, perpetual investments into R&D have to be guaranteed. However, the perpetual development of applications also results in an increased user-friendliness which affects both the working and living conditions of users in Europe. Lastly, the remarkable environmental benefits which can be derived from research in the maritime IST industry have to be emphasised.
Moreover, the socioeconomic impacts of a maritime RTD project can be seen as being subject to: i) its objectives, i.e. the characteristics of the system that is developed, ii) the stakeholding groups involved in and affected by the developed systems, and iii) the category of the socio-economic aspects that are considered each time. Taking into consideration the methodological requirements, the EU projects’ objectives, as well as the general concerns within the maritime industry, as regards IST, MISTIC developped a number of socio-economic criteria.
2. MISTIC attempted to identify a methodology to involve users and stakeholders more intensively in the development of maritime intelligent systems, particularly in relation to socioeconomic aspects. The methodology recommended not only to assist individual projects, but also to help in identifying end-user requirements for maritime intelligent systems.
The MISTIC Model/Methodology involved, first, the use of Object Oriented Analysis (OOA). OOA is a well-tested methodology used to collect user/stakeholder requir
The advantage of MISTIC's OOA technique is that it may also be used at both a high level by the European Commission to delineate whole domains and at project level linked to object oriented design (OOD) and implementation (OOP). In this context OOA should be seen as a language framework for both users and stakeholders and developers.
It should be noted that OOA is not a new concept and its application to the maritime domain continues to be explored, both in specific EU projects,and in national projects.
Last, the production of a Vade Mecum, summarising the lessons learnt in MISTIC, indicated the steps that might be taken – by users, stakeholders (including the European Commission), and developers. The aim was to achieve a more efficient maritime intelligent systems development process in future. The suggested process would provide mechanisms to involve users and stakeholders in the analysis and conceptual design phase of systems development, particularly to take account of socio-economic considerations and impacts.
While their may be other methodologies for involving users, it is the view of the MISTIC Consortium that the combined use of Object Oriented Analysis and Multi-Criteria Analysis offers a valuable route and one which is capable of dealing adequately with socio-economic issues.