Kongsberg Maritime's simulation division and Vestfold University College has signed a framework agreement to further explore activities and projects of joint interest within research and development of maritime simulators from an innovation and human factor perspective. The agreement which was signed 22nd December 2010 comprises extensive R&D project plans and the use of an Interactive Simulator Laboratory (SIMSAM lab) at Vestfold University College, which will serve as a R&D facility.
The agreement will include several R&D projects involving maritime simulators in different aspects. The on-going project, called SIMAR - Simulation of Demanding Maritime Operations, with the aim of improving simulation training by enhancing focus on human factors is the first project to be established. Both Kongsberg Maritime and Vestfold University College are major players in the SIMAR-project, in addition to the University in Oslo, Norway and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Other R&D projects under consideration are communication and team training for best practice in maritime simulation and environmental/fuel efficient surveys for Green Ship training.
Kongsberg Maritime will deliver an Offshore Vessel Simulator configured as a navigation bridge, which will be used as a test facility for the R&D projects at Vestfold University College. This simulator will be one of the major components in the planned SIMSAM laboratory, which will also be equipped with additional functions to facilitate various interaction scenarios to stimulate innovation. The SIMSAM lab will be a part of the University's new Oslofjord Research and Innovation Park and a focus area for the entire maritime cluster in the Oslofjord area south of Norway.
The new University Park will also be equipped with a Seismic Vessel Simulator, which will be developed and delivered by Kongsberg Maritime. Norway based company, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), will be the exclusive owner of this module that will serve as a training facility for the company, while the University will host it and contribute pedagogical services.
"The new simulator will be configured as a work deck offering students crew training with the purpose of increasing efficiency and safety in demanding seismic vessel operations. We believe we can take advantage of Kongsberg Maritime's broad simulator experience and in addition benefit from being a partner in an extensive simulator training environment," said Einar Nielsen, VP Projects, PGS.
There will also be an opportunity to connect the different simulators at the University's Research, Innovation and Industry Center, for team training and extended R&D projects.
"This is a significant extension of the SIMAR project, which we launched together with Kongsberg and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden last summer," said Marius Imset, Institute Leader at the Faculty of Technology and Maritime Science at the University College in Vestfold. "The new state-of-the-art simulators for the R&D facility will form the center piece of our activity as we look at various ways of improving maritime training in cooperation with suppliers and actors in the maritime Industry, like for instance PGS. Our end goal is making maritime operations across all sectors safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly."
"Kongsberg Maritime see many interesting areas where the need for research is evident and where focused R&D at the University could become fields of shared interest. Examples are interactive innovation process, Man-Machine Interface (MMI), Human Factors, user interface design, information ergonomics/graphics and new communication technology. The cooperation between the University, PGS and us is considered as a win-win situation for all," said Terje Heierstad, Product & Technology Manager, Kongsberg Maritime, Simulation & Training.