Improving ‘Vessels for the Future’

04 Mar 2015
Dr Pierre C Sames introduced the 'Vessels for the Future' initiative at the European Shipping Week in Brussels. Photo: ESW

Dr Pierre C Sames introduced the 'Vessels for the Future' initiative at the European Shipping Week in Brussels. Photo: ESW

A new initiative launched by DNV GL aims to improve shipping’s safety record, environmental impact and global competitiveness by 2050 to create a more sustainable European transport system.

‘Vessels for the Future’ focuses on the three key areas for the maritime transport cluster: safe and efficient waterborne transport and competitiveness of the maritime sector in Europe. The initiative also sets ambitious goals to be reached by2050 including an 80% reduction in CO2 and 100% reduction in SOx and NOx emissions, and a reduction in risk by a factor of 10.

“Aiming at a private public partnership is important not only as it allows us to have a coordinated research, development and implementation (RDI) programme which covers both vessels and waterborne operations, but it demonstrates a clear commitment from all stakeholders to meet the ambitious goals of the initiative,” said Dr Pierre C Sames, chairman, director of maritime technology, research and development, DNV GL.

Five maritime technologies are seen as vital to unlocking greater efficiencies and improving environmental performance: new materials and processes, fuels and propulsion systems, information and communication technology, hull water interaction, energy management and novel vessel design concepts.

In addition, Vessels for the Future aims at creating the first European vessel demonstrator to test new technologies at ship level. DNV GL says advances in these areas are also capable of strengthening industrial competitiveness and job creation in the sector.

By developing energy efficient and safe vessels, it’s hoped that the initiative will address the societal challenge of moving towards sustainable transport. At the same time it’s expected to maintain the cutting edge design, manufacturing and innovative production capacities, and have a positive impact on employment and the global competitiveness of the European economy.

“The programme has the potential to greatly increase the introduction of innovative enabling waterborne technologies. And the focus on demonstrating the cost versus performance benefits of the innovations will ensure that they find a place in the market,” added Dr Sames.

“This will further improve the profitability of industrial research by increasing market share, thereby enabling more investment in long term technological competitiveness,” he concluded.

Over 50 companies, research institutes, academic organisations and interested associations have already signed up to take part in the initiative to work towards a more sustainable European transport system.

The next stage of the initiative is to engage with the European Commission to move towards a contractual private public partnership.

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