Project Name: European Framework for Safe, Efficient and Environmentally-friendly Ship Operations
WEGEMT’s Role: Scientific Research and Development
WEGEMT Budget: 60,000 Euro
Project Budget: 10.4 Million Euro

The vision of FLAGSHIP is to create the mechanism by which the expertise of all the required actors can be brought together in real time, independently of their location, and given the required information (in the right format, at the right time and incorporating the highest level of knowledge) to  better manage all the questions which confront a ship operator: that includes issues relating to the ship itself and its equipment (e.g. hull monitoring, equipment diagnostics, maintenance planning), its day-to-day operation (e.g. navigation, cargo, rule compliance) as well as emergencies (collision, fire, etc.)


The overall objective of FLAGSHIP is to improve the safety, environmental friendliness and competitiveness of European maritime transport. The project will contribute to further enhancement of crew, passenger and vessel safety, to further increase in the capacity and reliability of freight services and to a reduction of negative impact from accidents. The emphasis of the project is on on-board systems and procedures, ship management systems on shore, impact of new technology on present ship-, owner- and operator organisations, effective and efficient communication interfaces and impact of standards and regulations. Developments in legislation and reporting requirement represent new challenges in ship operation. From being an almost autonomous vehicle, modern ships are being turned into a component of highly controlled and monitored transport infrastructure. Requirements cover both certification of equipment, operation procedures and various recordings and documentation.

Present ships are already being equipped with extensive systems for sensing, monitoring, diagnostics and decision support, and new communication infrastructures are being explored to provide a closer integration of ship and shore-based resources. However, due to the increasing complexity of onboard systems, combined with an overall limitation in manning, the development of next generation shipping operations must be supported by relevant developments of technology, procedures and regulations. Modern ship systems are capable of providing a prodigious amount of data.  Therefore, it is essential that all the relevant information is presented to the ship operator in the best possible way, and that rational tools are available that give the ship crew and on-shore support teams intelligent guidance.

What all these drivers have in common is the need for knowledge.  Knowledge about the state of the machinery on board, knowledge about the position of the ship and events on board, knowledge about rules and regulations, knowledge about the status of cargo, knowledge about the status of the overall shipping organisation. The rapid development of satellite communication and the Internet have provided the means by which data can be gathered instantaneously and in large amounts.  However, data is not knowledge, it is only the pre-requisite for knowledge. Knowledge results from analysing the data and processing it intelligently so that it can be acted upon either in an automatic fashion or by humans which are either acting in isolation or in an integrated (though possibly geographically fragmented) group.

FLAGSHIP will develop not just the infrastructure for collecting data but also the processing capability for extracting knowledge out of data and use it in on-board operations in routine and emergency situations, remote diagnostics and maintenance systems and in the provision of safety and environmental indicators for a whole shipping operation.  The framework for integrated decision support systems will be based on an open architecture to facilitate easy integration with existing on-board systems (e.g. propulsion, hull, navigation, flooding, fire, ventilation etc). Cargo operation and handling, including real-time scheduling will be addressed, as well as monitoring systems for real-time assessment of structures and components and environmental conditions.

The tools and procedures will be based on open systems for on-line link between ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore, extending not just to communication with owners/management office but to all relevant actors involved in co-operative decision support both for day-to-day operations and better management of accidents.  This also includes automatic notification and transfer of updated rules and regulations between ship, management office and agent. The project will address the impact of new technologies on HSE requirements, and organisations onboard and ashore, and will take into account the next generation of navigation, communication and reporting technologies as well as upcoming IMO and EU rules. Project findings and developments will be implemented and demonstrated on board three different vessel categories.

For more information abou the project visit the official website at:




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