In order to meet these challenges, proposals should address all the following aspects:
―Conception, production and use of advanced composites (including those that are bio-based or using renewable resources) and other high-performance materials, including multi-materials construction and joining / bonding.
―Comprehensive performance analysis and simulation for new advanced materials and entire constructions (including characteristics such as durability, resistance to corrosion and fouling), full life cycle costs analysis, and technology transfer from other transport applications for lightweight materials where feasible.
―Assessing risks and enhancing fire resistance properties and thermal and noise insulation qualities.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 to 9 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
New lightweight materials and related construction principles can provide a step change in vessel efficiency, both in terms of energy use and maintenance costs. European technology leadership in this field (often held by innovative SMEs whose effective integration in the value chain is essential) needs to be translated into market demand in current and future markets, also beyond the maritime transport sector. The specific challenges are to research the functional characteristics of new lightweight and high performance materials for waterborne usages (vessels and components); to develop the most appropriate design, construction and production principles for small, medium sized and large vessels and for components (also by learning from applications in other transport modes); and to influence the regulatory environment in order to eliminate existing barriers and facilitate market take-up in the waterborne sector.
Activities will introduce new lightweight and high performance materials in waterborne applications through the demonstration of full feasibility of the use of such advanced materials, including design and production of vessels and components; through proving significantly lower maintenance and life cycle costs (at least -30% compared to conventional materials and processes); through the development of clear performance indicators (especially with regard to economic and environmental impacts) covering the entire life cycle; and through demonstrators (full scale where feasible) for clearly identified maritime applications. Inputs to pertinent regulatory regimes should be developed where applicable and necessary.