Rolls-Royce Gets Research Grant for Smart Ships

UK-based power systems provider Rolls-Royce has received an approval for a research grant by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, supporting its aim to make remote and autonomous shipping a reality.

The company said that the funding would enable it to invest further in a research and development centre in Turku, Finland.

Rolls-Royce plans to carry out further development projects there focused on the future development of land-based control centres, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.

“Digitalisation will transform the shipping industry in the years ahead, and the time is now right to set out how we are going to make this happen. Over the coming years we need to invest globally to develop the required capabilities and to establish a range of market-ready products and systems to take advantage of what is a significant global market opportunity,” Mikael Mäkinen, Rolls-Royce, President – Marine, said.

In Norway, the company is currently investing in a range of R&D projects, which will include a new Marine Fleet Management Centre in Aalesund, to allow remote monitoring, data analysis, optimisation of ships and their on board equipment.

The centre will allow Rolls-Royce to extend its ‘Power by the Hour’ concept, already proven in its Aerospace business, to serve the marine sector. ‘Power by the Hour’ is a new service to be delivered from the Marine division of Rolls-Royce which makes use of ‘big data’ to monitor, plan and perform maintenance and repairs on onboard ship equipment.

Additionally, the company said that it is looking to develop partnerships and opportunities as part of its research and development plans on autonomous shipping and increasing digitalisation in the marine industry.

Namely, the company would partner up with other organizations around the world to create the capability, competencies and jobs to supply the technology and components required.

“We are looking at further funding and capability opportunities in countries including Finland, Norway, UK and Singapore to develop our ship intelligence technology and build customer partnerships worldwide,” Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director, Digital & Systems – Marine, said.

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