The SmartDigital project aims at investigating how shipping contracts (e.g. charterparties) can be adapted to increase energy efficiency and function with optimized commercial management in a digital system of blockchain-based smart contracts.
To achieve this overall objective, the project addresses three key research areas. Firstly, to identify contractual barriers to energy efficient ship operation, quantify the potential for improvement using maritime big data, and propose how charterparties can be adapted to allow for improved energy efficiency and digitalization of voyage management. Secondly, to identify inefficiencies in the chartering market using Automatic Identification System (AIS) data and spatial analysis, and develop optimization models and algorithms to exploit such inefficiencies within a fully digital framework for commercial management. Thirdly, to identify the barriers and risks in the implementation of smart digital contracts, their benefits in terms of improved communication and planning, more energy efficient ship operation and multi-stakeholders' involvement. With these elements in place, the research will outline the design for a dynamic system of efficient shipping environment.
The project team consists of leading research groups within the areas of maritime economics, sustainable shipping and digital technology, SNF/NHH, UCL, MIT, Kedge Business School and University of Nantes. In addition we draw on the professional expertise and international reach of industry partners, BIMCO and Wikborg Rein. The results of SmartDigital will aid in the digital transformation of the maritime industry, promote greener maritime activities and explore the design of a commercial framework for autonomous vessels.
We investigated the impact of an EU maritime emissions trading system (ETS) on oil trades using maritime AIS big data. The analysis contributed to the debate on whether the ETS can bring enough incentives for carbon abatement measures and the results show that even with a low price, the ETS provides sufficient fund. We have also investigated marine risks using AIS voyage data in conjunction with meteorological data to improve the prediction of marine incidents.
The shipping industry is in need of the streamlining and digitalization of work processes related to commercial ship management and ship operation. The contractual framework must be adapted to encourage greener operation and the transformation to a connected digital system. The objective of SmartDigital is to build knowledge on how shipping contracts can be adapted to increase the energy efficiency of ship operations and allow for automated commercial management in a fully digital system of blockchain-based smart contracts. Implementing the results from the project will assist the Norwegian maritime industry in its quest to build a sustainable greener shipping industry, with reduced emissions, improved operational efficiency and enhanced competiveness - key areas in MAROFF and Norwegian maritime policy
Led by the Center for Applied Research (SNF) at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), the four-year project draws together a multi-disciplinary consortium of leading international research institutions (MIT, UCL, Kedge Business School, University of Nantes) and industry partners (Bergen Shipowners Association, BIMCO and Wikborg Rein). Co-operation with the world's largest shipowning organization, BIMCO, is particularly valuable as it increases the probability of having international impact and broad dissemination of research results. It is also important for Norway to engage with leading experts on digitalization at top global universities such as MIT.
SmartDigital is of strategic importance to the Norwegian maritime knowledge cluster as it builds national competency and knowledge in the key thematic areas of digital transformation, greener maritime activities, and autonomous commercial management and ship operation. Understanding the economic value proposition of digitalization, and removing current contractual barriers, is particularly important for the maritime industry in order to embrace this technological innovation.