The Kotka Maritime Research Centre aims towards a safe marine environment

The Kotka Maritime Research Centre, known as Merikotka (Eng. white-tailed sea eagle) is an international research agency that conducts multidisciplinary and applied research. Research is focused on improving maritime safety, preventing accidents, and protecting the marine environment.

The centre has an extensive worldwide network of cooperation. In addition to universities and other research centres, it also collaborates with many different organisations.

This maritime research centre was established in 2005 at the initiative of the City of Kotka. The aim of this coastal city was to deepen the knowledge of maritime risks and their management. To this end, a high-quality research centre based on academic expertise was set up, focusing on maritime transport and safety, as well as the marine environment.

Merikotka utilises the expertise of several universities

Societal decision-making requires the support of scientifically validated information. The expertise of the Merikotka Maritime Research Centre is based on research from the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, the University of Turku, and the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. This multidisciplinary network of researchers currently comprises more than 30 people.

Aalto University research

Some of the researchers at Merikotka belong to the Aalto University research team, led by Professor Pentti Kujala. This group studies the risk management of shipping, especially winter shipping, as well as the use of new technologies.


University of Helsinki research

There are two research groups at the University of Helsinki. The group headed by Professor Sakari Kuikka studies the environmental impact of shipping, while that of Professor Päivi Haapasaari focuses on risk management and risk communication.


University of Turku research

At the University of Turku’s Brahe Centre, researchers at the Maritime Training and Research Centre work under Professor Tommi Inkinen. The group studies logistics systems for shipping.


South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences research

At the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, the research is led by Research Director Ville Henttu and focuses on port logistics and supply-chain development, as well as maritime risk management and disruption forecasting.

The Merikotka Centre has state-of-the-art project expertise

The Merikotka Maritime Research Centre is also known for its high-level project expertise. The Centre manages five research projects and is also a partner in many others. In 2018, its project budget was over EUR 3.1 million.

The Merikotka ry Association is the core of the Maritime Research Centre

At the heart of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre is the Maritime Safety and Transport Research Association, known as Merikotka ry, i.e. a registered non-profit organisation.

The various members of this association include; Aalto University, Cursor Oy, the South Kymenlaakso Vocational College, the University of Helsinki, Kotka Maretarium Oy, the City of Kotka, the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Metsähallitus, the Natural Resources Centre Finland (Luke), the University of Turku, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (TRAFICOM), the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (VÄYLÄ), the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).