New PhD project investigates the green transition challenges

DFDS and Aarhus University join forces on a new business PhD project that will bring new perspectives to the green transition challenges that face the maritime industry.

New PhD project investigates the green transition challenges in the maritime industry [news article] (featured article picture)

The project will be led by PhD candidate Nanna Thit who will be enrolled in the Future Technology Program at Aarhus University and work in the Innovation & Partnerships department at DFDS in close collaboration with Mads Bentzen Billesø, Head of Innovation & Partnerships.

“This project will provide a deeper understanding of the challenges that influence innovation and change. I look forward to supporting this multidisciplinary research initiative and to work with Nanna, getting new knowledge and perspectives that will assist us on the way to a more sustainable and innovative future for DFDS and the maritime industry as a whole,” says Mads Bentzen Billesø.

Nanna Thit has studied the maritime industry for five years, and she believes that the path towards a greener industry calls for new ways of working and collaboration.

“The maritime industry faces a new reality that requires new answers and solutions. If we keep asking the same questions, we will get the same answers – my ambition is to ask new questions,” says Nanna.

In the shipping industry, a lot of resources have gone into developing new technology, but the green transition requires more than new fuels and innovative technology – it requires a shift in the way we think.

“Aside from the technological advancement, it is important to look at the social and cultural structures, for example, how colleagues collaborate across departments. These factors have a great impact on the green transition,” says Nanna.

She looks forward to working with many stakeholders across the industry to understand the challenges.

“Talking to people and seeing things from their perspective is a key interest of mine. I look forward to working from the DFDS headquarters and going on field trips onboard the ferries,” says Nanna.

We look forward to welcoming Nanna to DFDS in August 2023.

The project is funded by The Danish Maritime Fund.

Read more about the project here (in Danish): DFDS, Kortlægning og optimering af Innovations- og forandringprocesser ifm. grøn omstilling af søfarten (

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