Rolls-Royce to Open Centre for Autonomous Ships and AI


Rolls-Royce will open its Marine R&D Centre for Remote Control & Autonomous Ships and Artificial Intelligence in Turku, Finland, later this year, marking a milestone in its collaboration with the Autonomous Shipping Alliance.

Rolls-Royce's new centre will see it partner with the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and Tampere University of Technology (TUT), together with numerous SMEs and start-ups specialising in novel technologies.

The aim of the alliance, an ecosystem bringing together global forerunners and agile ICT start-ups, is to provide the world's first autonomous maritime products, services and a flourishing ecosystem by 2025.

Sauli Eloranta, SVP of Rolls-Royce, said: “Finland is the home of top ICT expertise and a strong maritime cluster. That is why Rolls-Royce has decided to establish the centre in Turku.”

The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes) is committed to funding the work of the Alliance, its ambitious research and development projects, and its innovations in order to achieve the aim of remotely operated and autonomous shipping in the forthcoming years.

To keep up with the latest developments in automation, register for PTI's Terminal Automation & Training C-Level Networking Conference, taking place in London on April 19-20, 2017.

An example a recently funded joint project is 'DIMECC Design for Value (D4V)', which had the objective of understanding and exploiting the opportunities of digital disruption in maritime logistics value chains.

Rolls Royce's decision to focus autonomous shipping R&D in Finland is motivating Tekes to increase its investments in enabling technologies, such as artificial intelligence and communication technologies, and companies that create leading knowhow and synergies with autonomous shipping.

“Remotely operated and autonomous shipping projects provide unique opportunities to develop pioneering solutions alongside lead users”, says Piia Moilanen, Program Manager of the Tekes Arctic Seas programme.

Pekka Sivonen, Executive Director of Digitalisation Strategies and Programmes at Tekes, said: “Autonomous shipping and logistics offer significant customer interface. It is natural to direct development to meet those needs.”

Päivi Haikkola, Ecosystem Lead, DIMECC, Autonomous Shipping Alliance, said: “The maritime industry is inherently international. It is therefore natural that the ecosystem around the research and development centre is international too. We welcome all innovators to collaborate with us. We have outstanding platforms here.”

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