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The Virtual Watch Tower (VWT) project aims to fill the gap by developing a demonstrator of a digital middleware that connects different VWTs by a system-of systems approach to aggregate and compute data and enable collaboration to help companies, such as cargo owners and ports to manage risks in supply chain.

The Virtual Watch Tower (VWT) will manage risks like disruptions but also their supply chains more efficiently thanks to modern digital technologies and a connected network of users that are open to share and collaborate. The envisaged network of VWTs represents a novel approach to digitally-enabled collaboration for better supply chain and risk / disruption but also opportunity management, producing specific economic (competitive edge) and environmental (reduced carbon footprint) benefits for Swedish exporters / importers and the Swedish port community. The port as an information hub plays a critical role in the network.

Now that shippers, freight forwarders, carriers and the port community are increasingly digitally connected, organizations see the needs but also the opportunities resulting from enlarging the pool of accessible data, leveraging the power of analytical recommendation engines and platforms for collaboration for action for better supply chain and risk / disruption management. They increasingly appreciate the value of augmented situational awareness and enhanced collaborative practices to better deal with, for example, port congestions but also to prevent accidents in ports and protect marine life.

This can be achieved through a network of the data pools and computing units operated primarily by larger private sector actors. Establishing such an international network requires strong stakeholder and intercultural management capabilities empowered by a diverse team and a digital system integrator, a sort of “middleware”, as the architecture that connects the different actors’ VWTs. This VWT middleware has access to the collective data gathered, used, and produced by the individual control units of network participants to create augmented shared situational awareness and collective intelligence through analytical services that generate digital progress reports, early warning signals / alerts as the basis for collaboration and problem solving organized in a popup situation room that is also provided by the VWT middleware.

Establishing such a network of VWTs is also expected to create a new community around ports that grows dynamically during, but more importantly beyond this VWT project. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a digitally-enabled intelligent collaborative system as a self-sustainable business model possibly transferred to a stand-alone entity owned by neutral parties, like non-governmental and international organizations.


Read more at the VWT homepage


Project name

Virtual Watch Tower



RISE role in project


Project start



Total budget

13 700 000 SEK


A*STAR, Alleima Tube, Ericsson, Scania, Stora Enso, Einride, PSA group, Green Cargo, Wallenius-Sol, Cargotec, Marine Benchmark, HERE, Umeå University , Chalmers, University of Gothenburg, Stockholm Environment Institute, Bridgenet solutions, test


Vinnova, Vinnova

Project website

Project members

Contact person

Mikael Lind

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Kenneth Lind

Contact person

Kenneth Lind

Senior Researcher

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