Launch of autonomous shipping roadmap

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs, Chee Hong Tat, and the Ambassador of Norway to Singapore, Anita Nergaard, recently unveiled a new Roadmap for Smart and Autonomous Sea Transport Systems.

The roadmap has been developed by two maritime research institutes in Norway and Singapore – SINTEF Ocean in Norway and Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), with input from Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), as well as the Research Council of Norway (RCN).

The roadmap is one outcome of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between SINTEF Ocean and TCOMS in June 2019.

‘International collaboration is essential to further develop, and to successfully implement, smart and autonomous systems, and we are pleased to establish a committed collaboration with TCOMS in Singapore in this area,’ said Dr. Vegar Johansen, president of SINTEF Ocean.

An important ambition of the collaboration is to establish an open and international innovation ecosystem supporting new business models and new market opportunities, with smart ship interaction, digital interoperability and smart ports ‘priority research areas’. SINTEF also highlighted international standards as ‘key elements in a level playing field.’

‘Smart and autonomous vessels will be a step-change for the maritime industry, but wide-spread deployment requires international standardization and agreements,’ said Ørnulf Rødseth, senior scientist at SINTEF Ocean and secretary of the International Network for Autonomous Ships.

The new agreement extends the existing MoU between Singapore (MPA) and Norway (RCN) on marine and maritime research and development. According to SINTEF, the MoU ‘shows the importance of autonomy in the maritime strategies’ of the two countries and reflects the ambition of the two nations to take a leading role in the development of the next generation of sustainable shipping.

Rhys Berry

Rhys Berry