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Cluster Insight With Hefring Marine

Karl Birgir Björnsson, CEO of Hefring Marine.
Karl Birgir Björnsson, CEO of Hefring Marine.

Hefring Marine are looking for the right development and manufacturing partners that can help them standardize and grow their intelligent navigation support solution.

Cluster Insight is a column where we ask six questions to catch a glimpse into the daily business-lives of the partners and members of GCE Ocean Technology.

This week, we spoke with Karl Birgir Björnsson, to learn more about him and his work at Hefring Marine. A company based in Reykjavik and that offers an intelligent navigation support solution for commercial and recreational vessels alike.

1. What is your role in Hefring Marine?

I am the CEO and founder of Hefring Marine.

2. Your primary focus at work right now is?

Building up our business and sales infrastructure, establishing partnerships, developing the next generation of our product, and ensuring that we are adequately financed to achieve all of this.

3. Biggest challenges and opportunities for Hefring Marine in the future?

Firstly, Hefring Marine is an intelligent navigation support solution. It helps boat and vessel operators select the safest weather-adaptive route, optimize speed and make the right decisions to ensure that trips are safe, comfortable and efficient. It also logs all trip data to keep track of when, how, and by whom a vessel has been operated.

You can view how the system works in our Youtube video.

The solution and approach is novel and we are working on carving out a market for ourselves. This entails challenges in terms of testing and developing the right business and service model. Another challenge is scalability, but we want to make our solution accessible across markets, modular to meet different demands, and available when needed. We are therefore looking for the right development and manufacturing partners that can help us standardize and grow.

We see opportunities in the adoption of intelligent technology across different industries and the same being applied in boating and maritime. Research into and adoption of autonomous vessels will push this progress further, but more technology is emerging every year that helps to grow the market for intelligent solutions in the industry.

Our solution can be applied across segments, from leisure boats to fishing and tactical vessels, or even as a navigation tool for autonomous vessels, and at a later stage upward into larger vessels. The opportunities are therefore vast, and we must simply overcome a few obstacles along the way to get there.

4. Best part of being member in a cluster?

Access to network and connections and keeping up to date about how other companies in the industry are progressing.

5. Your business motto

"Þetta reddast" (Icelandic - English) meaning "Everything will work out fine somehow".

6. Which cluster member should we interview next?

I would like to hear from Offshore Sensing AS.


Thank you for the insight Karl Birgir.

Contact Information

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Communication Manager

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Hefring ehf. was founded in Iceland in 2018 as a spin-off from research into vessel motions, from which a system emerged to prevent accidents caused by human error in the operations of boats and vessels.

The solution is an intelligent navigation assistant that makes use of data collected from vessel motions, speed, weather and sea conditions.

It processes that data in order to provide decision-support for safe and efficient speeds, routes and heading.
It logs all trips to keep track of when, how, where and by whom a vessel has been operated.

In studies, they've recorded a 60-70% decrease in hazardous impacts due to the system being on board.

Based on input from insurers and naval architects, the system is estimated to deliver 10-30% annual cost-reduction, primarily through a reduction in accidents and damage, insurance premiums, vessel depreciation, fuel consumption, and warranty-related costs.

The first version of the system was launched in 2020 but the team of nine are now working on a next-generation successor, which is being launched in steps over 2021.

The team has worked with different partners and customers for the first system and prototypes of the next-generation version, including the Icelandic Coast Guard, search and rescue in Norway and Iceland, boat builders in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, and others.

If you are a systems developer, vessel operator or builder, and would like to learn more, feel free to reach out to the company at

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