Flag States and Class Societies form tech advisory group

A group of seven Flag States and Classification Societies have teamed up to launch the Maritime Technologies Forum (MTF), with the aim of working together to provide technical and regulatory research and advice to assist the shipping sector and its regulators in addressing technology challenges.

Founding members include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), DNV, Japan’s Maritime Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Lloyd’s Register (LR), Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA), and the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Key focus areas will include energy efficiency, alternative fuels and increasing levels of autonomy, the group says, with members to collaborate on research and draw on their collective regulatory expertise to offer advice to the shipping sector.

The MTF is run by a governing body that includes a representative from each of the founding members. This Steering Committee is responsible for making decisions and overseeing the work and direction of the MTF.

Leadership members of the governing body include Chris Wiernicki, ABS; Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, DNV; Hideaki Saito, MLIT; Nick Brown, LR; Lars Alvestad, NMA; Hiroaki Sakashita, ClassNK; and Brian Johnson, MCA.

A permanent working group has been set up that reports into the main governing body as well as a Secretariat to run administration.

“Our seven organisations will collectively offer technical and regulatory leadership for the benefit of the maritime industry at large,” the group said, in a joint statement.

“The pace of change in the maritime industry is accelerating more so than ever before and driving the need for robust and agile advice to support accelerated technology adoption. We look forward to working collaboratively to support shipping and the IMO in tackling the fundamental technological challenges facing the maritime industry.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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