The EU unveils a data-driven plan to make shipbuilding sooner and cheaper

The EU-funded Smart European Shipbuilding (SEUS) project launched this month aims to improve the shipbuilding process using computer tools.

The launch comes as the maritime industry increasingly embraces digitalization and automation, facilitated by rapid advances in data science and software development.

SEUS is supported by a consortium of eight organizations from five European countries, representing different technologies and parts of the design and shipbuilding industry: computer tool development, industrially applied research and end-users (e.g. shipyards).

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These partners will work together to create a framework for data-driven shipbuilding. According to the project’s description, this will be realized through the development of a new integrated platform that includes “early and detailed ship design solutions”, “data management” and “collaboration software”.

Specifically, the platform will develop novel practices for human-centric knowledge management, data-driven AI design elements, intelligent technology, and an Industry 5.0 concept for shipbuilding. It will also encourage the growth of a European workforce highly skilled in the integration and deployment of these new technologies.

The aim of the project is to reduce engineering time by up to 30% and to achieve a reduction of up to 20% in assembly and construction time at EU shipyards. If successful, it is expected not only to accelerate the digital transformation of shipbuilding, but also to provide Union shipbuilders with a strong competitive advantage through cost and time savings in the design and production phases.

Cadmatic from Finland, Contact Software from Germany and Sarc BV based in the Netherlands will contribute the technological know-how. Ulstein Group in Norway and Astilleros Gondan in Spain are the two joining shipyards. And three research institutes, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Turku in Finland and the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, represent the academic partners.

SEUS is funded by Horizon Europe, the EU’s flagship research and innovation programme. The Union is providing around 7 million euros for its implementation.

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