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IT Development Project Attracts Major Players

A new maritime research project which will study the generic requirements and application of Information Technology (IT) and Communication Technology (CT) throughout the maritime sector has been undertaken. According to a key partner in the program, BMT (British Maritime Technology), the program — dubbed "MARVELOUS" (MARitime industry's Virtual Enterprise Linkage Open User Syndicate) — is being mounted within the European Union's new MARIS (Maritime Information Society) project and is managed by Vulcan Schiffbau Verbund.

Other participants in the project include Astilleros Espanoles SA, BIBA, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Det Norske Veritas, Fincantieri, Germanischer Lloyd, Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG, Lloyd's Register and Odense Steel Shipyard. The program's aim is to identify and harmonize generic requirements for the use of advanced IT and CT in manufacturing and engineering across the maritime industry. The key objectives of the project are to: • Enhance the productivity of the maritime industry via the efficient and innovative application of IT and CT; • Shape technological development in cooperation with IT as well as CT vendors; • Become a platform for technology transfer and cooperation between branches of the maritime industry; • Develop employment prospects by the development of new and competitive products; • Increase employment in industries and coastal regions; • Protect the environment by the use of cleaner manufacturing and the promotion of waterborne transport; and • Avoid pollution by eliminating substandard management and ships.

BMT's work on the MARVELOUS program is being carried out by the BMT corporate research team established in Teddington in 1986. The team is internationally recognized for its work on IT, particularly in the application of artificial intelligence. This resulted in BMT being involved in a wide range of European research programs including SHIP, an EU-supported project to develop the next generation of hull monitoring systems.

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