Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


IMPROVE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 31382
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Belgium

Cheaper and ‘greener’ ship transport

European shipbuilding is focused on a few highly specialised types of transport vessels. An EU-funded initiative resulted in ship design improvements that increase profitability while decreasing the carbon footprint.
Cheaper and ‘greener’ ship transport
The ‘Design of improved and competitive products using an integrated decision support system for ship production and operation’ (Improve) project was conceived to develop an integrated ship structural design software platform addressing the needs of the European shipping industry. Specifically, the Improve project evaluated and modified designs of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, roll-on-roll-off passenger ferries (RoPax) and chemical production tankers.

First, investigators developed a framework model definition based on particular interests of stakeholders and various design attributes and constraints. They then assimilated existing software modules for comparison, testing and fine-tuning according to ship owners' and shipyard specifications. Finally, the integration team facilitated communication among the various modules with modifications to existing solutions, creation of a central database hub and design of a desktop to support engineers in the design phase.

Implementation of the Improve platform resulted in decreased weight and fuel consumption leading to enhanced profitability and decreased carbon dioxide (CO2) production.

In conclusion, the Improve project led to significant design advances for three types of specialised shipping vessels produced by European shipyards. The improvements represent important economic and ecological advantages, thus positioning the European 'niche' shipbuilding industry for enhanced competitiveness and sustainability.

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