Former Finnish maritime administrator Captain Marko Rahikainen has joined One Sea, the organisation working to create an environment suitable for autonomous ships by 2025.

Rahikainen worked on oil and gas tankers as well as container, ro-ro and dry cargo ships and also helped supervise the construction of new vessels before joining the Finnish Maritime Administration in 2003 as an inspector.

From 2010, he was employed by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, Traficom where he also acted as Finland's representative to the EU Committee of Safe Seas from 2011-2019.

Rahikainen was also involved in work to introduce maritime autonomous surface ships at the International Maritime Organization level — attending more than 50 IMO meetings.

He will be one of the organisation's two ecosystem lead directors at One Sea which will put its primary focus in 2022 on the need to develop and agree an internationally acceptable framework for autonomous ship operations, said senior ecosystem lead, Paivi Haikkola.

"There are many benefits to using autonomous technologies on board, and regulatory oversight is key to ensuring that their ability to enhance safe ship operations is fully realised," she said.

Rahikainen's regulatory expertise and involvement in the development of autonomous vessels will prove invaluable as regulatory work intensifies, she added.

Finland-based One Sea has been working to develop opportunities for autonomous shipping through legislation and international advocacy since 2016.

Members include ABB, Cargotec, Finnpilot, Fintraffic, Haltian, Kongsberg, Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI), Napa, TietoEVRY and Wartsila.