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Press release

Press release

Virtual tests to reduces risks and CO2 emissions in shipbuilding

Today’s ships are advanced entities where all IT systems must work and co-operate flawlessly and safely. Installing IT systems in the environment in which they will be used is an important part of the shipbuilding process, yet this is often done late in the development process. Researchers at Åbo Akademi University have joined a consortium that will develop a unified, distributed test environment for commissioning and virtual sea trials for the shipbuilding industry.

During the sea trial, a new ship comes to live and all systems, including those related to navigation and propulsion, are tested together for the first time. This also makes the sea trials a costly and work-intensive process and any errors detected this late in the ship-building process are likely to cause extra costs or even delay the handover of the ship to its owner.

” Around one fourth of the greenhouse gas emissions from the ship-building process originate from sea trials. Any measures taken to reduce the time spent on sea trials by identifying possible integration errors earlier in the process, will be beneficial not only for reducing the commissioning costs of the shipyard and of its suppliers but also will contribute reversing the impact of global warming”, says Dragos Truscan, Senior University Lecturer in Software Engineering, and project coordinator.

Researchers at Åbo Akademi University, together with their partners in the Virtual Sea Trial project, will renew some of the IT processes in shipbuilding by developing a unified, distributed test environment for both virtual sea trials and commissioning. By virtualizing the process, i.e. by running multiple operating systems simultaneously, maritime technology providers and shipyards can show their customers new efficient ways to design, build and test systems to be used on board. The project is an international effort in close collaboration with the shipbuilding industry and Meyer Turku’s Necoleap ecosystem.

” From the shipyard’s perspective, there is a need for test infrastructures that can run multiple systems from different suppliers at the same time, both to ensure that the interfaces between the systems work correctly, but also to identify faults as early as possible. Virtualization reduces risks when installing new technological innovations on board. Potentially, the project can change the way we design, build and commission ships, while the results can make the Finnish shipbuilding ecosystem a forerunner globally. It promotes both economic growth and technological advances that support the work towards climate neutrality,” says Magnus Hellström, professor at the Laboratory of Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University, and project coordinator.

The Virtual Sea Trial is funded by Business Finland and has a total budget of about EUR 12 million, of which Åbo Akademi University’s share is about EUR 1.67 million. The project is coordinated by Novia University of Applied Sciences. Other partners in the project are the University of Turku, University of Oulu, Meyer Turku, Wärtsilä, Valmet Technologies, Loisto, Cadmatic, Kongsberg, and Semantum. The project period is 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026.

Further information:

Magnus Hellström, professor at the Laboratory of Industrial Management, Åbo Akademi University, project coordinator
Telephone: +358 40 737 9980

Dragos Truscan, Senior University Lecturer in Software Engineering at Åbo Akademi University, project coordinator
Telephone: +358 40 768 2644