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Technologies and Methodologies for Safe, Environmental-friendly and Efficient Shipping Operations of the future (INMARE)

Exploitable results

The main results achieved by InMare consist of recommendations for future research/studies, considerations on the regulatory aspects of the studied priorities and a snapshot of the state of the art, seen from the point of view of the ship operator (end user). The project's results can be grouped under five main topics: 1. Enhanced efficiency onboard and ashore InMare recommended focusing on a combination of information gathering and provision, using satellite and surveillance technology for improved fleet planning and raised flexibility in logistic chains. Furthermore, additional sampling, preparation and presentation of ship specific information to assist operators and to increase safety and reliability of sea transport are regarded worthwhile. For new builds a reconsideration of ship designs in terms of safety (stability, sea keeping, freak wave survival) and of extended operational windows for small and medium-sized ships are recommended. 2. Human resources Human resource management entailed a broad scope of recommendations. First, specific actions suggested consist of reducing administrative burdens from the crew, by developing instruments enabling tasks to be undertaken at shore. In particular, the project recommended the deployment of tools and integrated systems for handling paperwork and organisational tasks along logistic chain (Computer Assisted Maintenance and Decision Support Systems, for example). Secondly, InMare recommended implementing long-distance training and education for continuous upgrading of crew members qualifications. 3. Communication and decision support system (DSS) All aspects (efficiency, safety, security, etc.) of the shipping and maritime transport industries are increasingly linked to the application and the diffusion of advanced high-performance and low-cost Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). In this respect, InMare suggested specific R&D action be taken in the following fields: explore the development of fully integrated DSSs, investigate the need and possibilities for data format standards, higher diffusion of e-learning tools, increase level of shore side involvement in maintenance and repair with specific tools for remote control, commands and settings, develop the concept of "integrated bridge system": integrated console (ergonomics and standard operating based solutions), intuitive man/machine interface (MMI). 4. Regulatory matters Upcoming IMO regulations and procedures under review were commented on by the InMare consortium in order to provide support to the European maritime authorities and legislators. Concerning regulatory matters themselves, InMare highlighted the need to investigate in what ways regulation can be better evaluated, and suggested that a 'Standard methodology for cost-benefit analysis before new regulatory measures are decided on and implemented' has to be considered and introduced soon. 5. Environmental sustainable ship operations The InMare consortium considered worthwhile R&D activities focusing on: fuel-cell powered systems adapted for onboard applications, alternative propulsion systems, a study on feasible and available technology for (grey / black) water treatment, including analysis of the standards and definition of requirements, developing cost efficient ballast water treatment system that would be suitable for retrofit. Policy implicationa The InMare project's novel approach, through "Concerted Action" (CA) between major stakeholders, demonstrated the possibility of a focused attention on a specific industrial sector's issues and a common basis of action at a European level. Specifically, in InMare's case, the issues stemmed from the fact that the world's sea-borne trade is growing continuously, and that the increase is steeper for intra-European maritime transport (in particular on the Short Sea Shipping), as it offers potential benefits in terms of environmental pressure and road congestion. These facts involve the need for increased efficiency, safety and improvement of environmental performance. Using a tool such as dedicated Concerted Action, involving trans-national cooperation of directly or indirectly qualified parties, allowed: reaching optimal level of knowledge, setting priorities for technology and methodology developments required to realise the industry's aims. The results of the InMare CA may also give a foothold for the expansion of a technology-based maritime industry, specialising in ship instrumentation, telecommunications, design and construction of marine systems, tools related to quality assurance etc.

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