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Technologies and Methodologies for Safe, Environmentally Friendly and Efficient Shipping Operations of the Future

The Coordination Action, InMare, involves partners operating in the maritime sector. The main objective was to translate the maritime operators’ real needs on input for feasible and effective future studies and/or research projects by identifying the most promising scientific and technical developments in order to make European shipping ready to face the future competitive challenges.

Tags: Water


The CA was based on the assumption that there will be even more increased focus on sea borne transport because of its environmentally attractiveness and efficiency, compared to road transport. The risk of massive oil-spill or the risk of casualties represents, however, a threat to sustainable development. New approaches to improve reliability and safety of European maritime activities are therefore required, together with intelligent systems to support onboard decisions, particularly under emergency situations. Emphasis should also be put on telematic and communication tools to integrate ship and shore resources better. The improvement of casualty prevention will be important to secure the highest possible level of safety at sea in order to minimise risks. With a tool like a dedicated CA, and through trans-national co-operation of directly or indirectly involved parties, the level of knowledge will be raised to set the priorities for technology and methodology developments required to realise the aims of industry. The CA may also give a foothold for the expansion of technology-based industry, specialising in ship instrumentation, telecommunications, design and construction of marine systems, tools related to quality assurance, etc. in the marine and other sectors. Such improved systems and tools may in turn be adopted by the industry to design and construct safer and more cost-effective ships and marine structures in the future.


InMare has the intention to create the basis for further enhancing European short sea shipping by improving freight service capacity and reliability and passenger well-being on the one side, and by minimising the risk of life losses, damages to the environment and accidents on the other, thus maintaining the operational quality of ships during their operating life.

In particular, the project aims at coordinating activities within five areas, identified as important topics:

  • enhanced efficiencies on board and ashore
  • human resources
  • communication and decision-support system (DSS)
  • regulatory matters
  • environmental sustainable ship operations.

The basic idea of the InMare CA was, therefore, to integrate expertise and experience with a substantial contribution from European shipowners’ representatives. It can be recognised as an important tool for stimulating a common research strategy in support of European operators’ efforts in their attempt to maintain the European shipping industry at the forefront of competitiveness.

Description of work

The CA was divided into seven work packages with one partner appointed as work package leader. The work packages were:

  • Specification of end-user needs
  • Establishment of working groups
  • Working group activities
  • Arrangement and execution of assessment workshops
  • Harmonise and summarise results of all working groups
  • Dissemination actions
  • Project management and administration.

According to the five topics of InMare, five working groups were formed, mainly composed of shipowners, system makers and ship operators.

The allocation of the partners to the working groups was defined according to their competencies and preferences.

The obtained results of the working groups (and of the CA) are illustrated in deliverables which report, for each of five topics, the following:

  1. State of the art
  2. Identification of R&D needs
  3. Overview of existing systems/solutions as well as proposals for new ones (where applicable)
  4. Support of EU policies towards upcoming IMO (International Maritime Organisation) regulations through specific R&D actions.
Each working group worked in order to produce contributions for these deliverables, as expected, in the project.

During the project, meetings and various events were organised with direct participation of all project partners, which also included external experts and the Commission’s representative.

The project and its results are available on the InMare website (


During InMare, 14 deliverables were issued.

Deliverable 1 was a detailed report on the concrete R&D needs expressed by the shipping world on the topics of interest for the project.

The purpose of Deliverable 2 was to provide the composition of the five working groups of the InMare CA.

Deliverable 3 was intended as an overview on recent research and studies on the selected topics.

Deliverable 4 focused on the ultimate technologies, systems, solutions and methodologies already available in the market on the topics of interest. The reports provided an updated list of overviews on existing systems with short critical evaluation for the major items, and possible industrial development for new solutions/proposals.

Deliverable 5 was the summary of the R&D priorities and rankings produced by InMare giving a wide sample of EU shipping representatives and ship operators.

Deliverable 6 was focused on the evaluation of the future planned IMO issues, considered as important or critical from the view of the operators and for which R&D studies had been proposed and considered.

Deliverable 8 was a management report on the mid-term convention which contains the most important issues discussed and the inputs which emerged for the re-calibration of the CA.

In order to have a more efficient project management control, the Deliverables 7, 9, 10 and 14 provided the partners with the overall project status and a consolidated overview of the budgetary situation.

Deliverable 13 was a public document on the project results.