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NYK and Dualog sign R&D contract

(Posted on 22/11/19)

Tromsø-based Dualog and Tokyo-headquartered NYK, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, have signed a long-term Industrial Research and Development project agreement.

The agreement is supported by Innovation Norway, and will see the development of digitised products and services across a testbed of 50 vessels with a view to eventually being rolled out across the company’s-owned fleet of 250 ships.

Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprise and industry.

The accord follows hot on the heels of a strategic partnership both companies signed in the summer of 2017, which focused on pushing the boundaries for automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data analysis.

‘Cepa Shield,’ as the project is known, will bring together research and development teams from Dualog’s innovation environment and that of the NYK Group company MTI.Co. Ltd. Drawing on Dualog’s highly acclaimed and sophisticated digital platform, the teams will work to ensure maximum efficiency in the way systems between ship and shore talk to one another, both in-house and with third-party managers and solutions providers. The role of the user will be explored and tested thoroughly to ensure maximum efficiency – all of this with data security and exchange at the top of the agenda.

Apart from meeting the secured ship-to-shore data exchange needs of NYK, the project’s development work, which is scheduled to last until the end of 2021, will generate enhanced services that Dualog can add to its own portfolio that will benefit its many other clients and the shipping society as a whole.

The technical concept of the relationship between users and organizations is expected to add a new dimension in digital collaboration throughout the whole industry.

The project is financially supported by Innovation Norway because it meets exacting criteria covering the development of new, international initiatives that will benefit the global shipping and maritime sectors while also forging stronger bonds between Japan and Norway.

Results from work on the 50-vessel testbed will be passed to developers within Dualog and MTI for assessment and further development.

According to Dualog, a number of tools will be implemented to effectively gather instant user feedback – especially regarding the areas they may be struggling with.

When it comes to data exchange between ship-to-shore, cyber security is of the highest importance to NYK. Monitoring and protecting the traffic is also crucial, certainly when it comes to compliance with international guidelines such as the IMO 2021 security recommendations. The system will collect a variety of traffic information such as accessing servers from each application service.

These will be merged into a monitoring system that will make it easy to determine what is going on and make it easier to take action if necessary.

Morten Lind-Olsen, CEO of Dualog, said several features had already started to be delivered but additional elements were in the pipeline such as tools to simplify larger-scale distribution of software through automated systems for downloading and upgrading.

“What we will be achieving is controlling communication at a new level, regarding protocols and security, but also in the way we will integrate different communications equipment onboard ship. We will also look at the way we want to dynamically control the bandwidth so we can undertake traffic shaping between different services,” Mr Lind-Olsen said.

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