Offshore Industry News

Vessels for the Future Initiative to be Featured at Europort

Looking towards 2050, Europeans will be using their maritime and inland waterways space for transport; offshore food production, energy generation, mineral exploitation as well as for urban dwelling; tourism, manufacturing and trade. This calls for ambitious emission reductions and meeting stricter safety requirements with the advent of new technologies and operations scenarios. This also requires training of highly specialized manufacturing and operating personnel to use new vessels and systems and provide services in this future waterborne environment. Therefore more than 50 stakeholders (shipowners, ship yards, marine equipment supplier, classification societies, research, academia, SMEs etc) joined forces and established the European research association “Vessels for the Future” to work on 40 demonstrations including an overarching Pan-European Vessel Demonstrator to achieve 80% reduction in CO2, 100% reduction of NOx and SOx and a reduction of risk by a factor of 10 by 2050.

Launched in late 2014, the initiative aims to encourage synergies already existing within Europe’s maritime business cluster, stimulating integration among shipbuilders, equipment suppliers, research bodies and classification societies. Europe’s highly skilled workforce and its investment in R&D, position it as the leader in the development of high-tech, safe and efficient ships. The initiative strikes a direct accord with the themes and principles underpinning Europort 2015, the exhibition for maritime technology, and coincides with the ‘Vessels of the Future’ conference which will run in conjunction with the exhibition.

Secretary General of the European Ships and Maritime Equipment Association (SEA Europe) and Europort Advisory Board Member, Douwe Cunningham, said: “The recognition that Europe should be a world leader in maritime research and innovation of new technologies strikes a particular chord with the European technology manufacturing industry. The solutions for overcoming many of the environmental, safety and societal challenges stem from the European manufacturers’ innovative evolution of the smallest equipment to integrated systems and complex specialized vessels”.

Advanced technologies, continuous investment in research, development and innovation of products and production methods are a key driver to enhance the European maritime technology industries’ competitiveness. The PPP approach will support a range of demonstration projects, and is considered to be the most effective way of transferring research results to the market via industrial partners in terms of cost/benefit and performance. Dr. Pierre C. Sames (DNV GL), Chairman of the European Research Association, added: “With the establishment of ‘Vessels for the Future’ as a Research Association we are demonstrating that our goal is receiving widespread support from the wider maritime community. We look forward to working with the European Commission to conclude the exchanges and bring the initiative into action.”

Europort will take place at Ahoy Rotterdam on 3-6 November 2015 and is expected to attract visitor numbers in excess of 30,000. The visitor profile includes leading technology pioneers, decision makers and professional representatives from shipping companies, yards and owners with over 84 countries represented.

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