The maritime industry has two main challenges today, says Japanese classification society ClassNK, and its new research centre in Singapore aims to address both.
The society has opened the Global Research and Innovation Centre (GRIC) to join industry, academia, and government agencies in Singapore and from around the world in research projects.
Speaking at a press conference in Singapore today, ClassNK executive vice president Tetsuya Kinoshita said, “One challenge is the need for smarter shipping. Once upon a time, shipping was a ‘raw data’ industry. Our main source of data was once-daily noon reports. We had plenty of paperwork but few good data points and limited capability for analysis.
“Today, we can monitor almost every aspect of a ship’s performance, often in real time. But how can we best analyse this data and take advantage of this new ‘Big Data’ revolution in shipping?”
The other challenge was the need for greener shipping, he said.
“Today, environmental regulations are increasing in number and complexity and efficiency is both a statutory and business necessity,” Kinoshita said. “We see our mission is to develop and provide the essential infrastructure needed to support the safe, smart, and green development of the entire maritime industry. One key part of developing new infrastructure to support the maritime industry is practical research and development.”
The Singapore centre is ClassNK’s first research centre outside Japan and focuses on research to support smart, green, and safe shipping. It will carry out joint research projects with partners in Singapore and elsewhere.
Kinoshita added, “GRIC’s location in Singapore will make R&D (research and development) projects accessible to international industry partners and allows us to work with top academic institutions such as Nanyang Technological University and other sectors of the maritime cluster here in Singapore.”
Joint projects now comprise most of ClassNK’s research activities and its joint R&D for industry programme, based at its centre in Chiba, Japan, has supported more than 300 projects since 2009.
As at 31 March, the joint R&D programme has initiated 319 projects and completed 209.