The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest ocean, carrying around 70% of all oil shipments and 50% of all global container traffic. Continued efforts are needed to contain piracy and address other transnational organized crimes in the maritime domain. These include human trafficking, drugs/weapons smuggling, illegal fishing, oil pollution and illegal exploitation of marine resources. Overcoming those issues at sea requires regional cooperation and interagency coordination.
With a heavy reliance on maritime trade, maritime security has become an increasing priority for all the coastal countries of the Indian Ocean as well as for the European Union (EU).
The EU CRIMARIO project, managed by Expertise France and funded by the European Union, aims to strengthen maritime safety and security in the wider Indian Ocean region, primarily focusing on the South Western part, by providing capacity building and information sharing environment to enhance Maritime Situational Awareness providing the tools which will enhance their capability in terms of training capacity building and technical assistance for MSA.
“There is nothing in place at a regional level just for the regional partners to share information amongst themselves”, said Dave Nattrass - CRIMARIO MIS Component Manager, Expertise France. “This is going to be quite a significant tool for them”.
Polymorph Ltd, based in Runcorn, Cheshire were the leaders in the tender process to develop IORIS - a web based information sharing and incident management platform for the Indian Ocean region. Polymorph worked closely with EU CRIMARIO to provide a tool which allowed:
- Information sharing
- Collaboration and discussion
- Real-time management of national or regional incidents
- Access to a resource library
The system being developed will be fully owned and managed by the regional partners and will facilitate collaboration and discussions between partner organisations throughout the region. In practice the platform will be used to manage, in real time, incidents and sea events in many national or regional theatres by sharing documents and information, through the use of nautical charts and comprehensive geo mapping tools.
Phase 1 of IORIS is due for launch in April 2018 and will be used by the regional entities responsible for safety at sea, primarily focusing on regional functionality. National administrations will also benefit from the use of the tool by co-ordinating collaboration activity and allowing resources to be shared securely via the cloud.
- The system has a live chat functionality that allows regional partners to collaborate in real time.
- The system facilitates plotting markers on to maps allowing partners to track activity in the region over time.
- The system facilitates completion of forms based upon customisable templates ensuring all data is collected and stored in one central location.
- Documents can be uploaded to the system and encrypted using the industry standard governmentally approved AES256.
EU CRIMARIO have worked very closely with the key staff in Polymorph. “We are very happy with the process, we are kept informed, there is a clear understanding of the customer requirements, it’s a very good working relationship”, added Dave.
“We had a set budget, set timeline and set criteria in terms of technical requirements, Polymorph have gone above and beyond to accommodate what we needed for the region – I would absolutely work with Polymorph again”.
Expertise France is the French international technical cooperation agency, with a status of public institution under the joint supervision of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the Ministries of Finance and Economy.