Consortium launched EU funded ‘digital twin for green shipping’

An innovative scheme to apply Digital Twin Technology, which aims to transform the maritime industry by helping improve efficiency and cut carbon emissions, has been launched.

The project named Digital Twin for Green Shipping (DT4GS) is European Commission funded and forms a coalition coordinated by Belgium-based Research & Development specialists Inlecom.

DT4GS will create realistic digital representations of ships, which are then tested and validated in four Living Labs (LLs) with different types of ships aiming at navigation/route, machinery and hull optimisation, through to energy management. Further improvements of the ships’/transport systems’ efficiency will be investigated via Just In Time (JIT) arrival implementation.

The project aims to significantly contribute towards achieving 55% CO2 emissions’ reduction from waterborne transport by 2030, in line with the ultimate target of zero emissions by 2050.

INLECOM Director, Takis Katsoulakos said: “We are delighted to have won funding through the European Commission’s Green Deal scheme. This funding has enabled us to roll out an innovative Digital Twin technology research and development programme with our partners to help ensure the shipping industry can supercharge its journey to zero emissions.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the European industry and the research & academic communities to work together to achieve the goal of zero-emission shipping, while also addressing climate change, air pollution from ships, as well as the deterioration of waters and oceans.”

The LLs concept is based on a co-creation approach which will take ships through their full lifecycle, from planning to design, construction, operation, retrofitting, and decommissioning – all while looking to ensure green decision-making options are pursued when upgrading existing ships and building new ones.

DT4GS will implement a zero-emission shipping methodology and virtual testing mechanism (Virtual Testbed) with decision support systems established that cover new builds, retrofits, and the shipping to port interface.

Georgia Tsiochantari, DT4GS project manager, said: “DT4GS aims to harmonise the green shipping efforts of shipping companies, design offices, shipyards, equipment manufacturers, ports, and policy makers, while facilitating the sharing of best practice. The scheme will support shipping companies in their net-zero shipping transition plans.

“DT4GS will also help the shipping industry gain increased confidence in technical and economic predictions regarding green fuels and technology.”

The project involves 21 partners covering maritime transport industry specialists and associations, shipping companies, shipping digital twin providers, Universities and research centres from Italy, Belgium, France, Ireland, Cyprus, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Greece.