Korean Register (KR) – an IACS member classification society – has opened a new ICT (information communications technology) Center to dramatically enhance the application of advanced information and ICT across the maritime and ship classification industries.
The new high-tech facility has been launched in response to demand from the Korean shipbuilding and marine transport industries, keen to be more competitive in a challenging market. It seeks to address the fact that advanced onshore technologies have been difficult to adapt for maritime applications, because of the poor communication environment at sea and unique attributes of ships.
In line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s e-Navigation strategy, the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries launched a SMART-Navigation project last year, which will run from 2016-2020 with a budget of 114 million USD. The project aims to enhance safety around the Korean coastline, and to create a new market for efficient shipping.
As a member of the SMART-Navigation project team, KR is conducting research and development into leading technologies as a basis for new international maritime standards. Initially KR’s new ICT Center is working to develop new advanced technologies for maritime Big Data, e-Navigation, ship cyber security and software quality assurance.
Commenting on the new ICT Center, Mr Lee Jeong-Kie, Chairman and CEO of KR said:
“The launch of KR’s new ICT Center supports the Korean Government’s SMART-Navigation project. Our specialist resources, expert skills and industry knowledge will accelerate the application of advanced technology to improve operational efficiency, dramatically reduce human error and help the industry to manage risk better. It will help us to deliver high quality expert ICT services tailored to the business needs of our customers, which will in turn then benefit the industry and the IMO’s E-Navigation strategy”.
The ICT Center will focus on finding ways to apply big data to operate vessels more efficiently, to identify safe navigation routes in real time, to understand accident statistics and manage risk better and to predict ocean characteristics, while CBM (condition based monitoring and maintenance) can be used to alert vessels to device failure.
While the application of these new ICT technologies improves safety, reliability, and effectiveness of ships onboard and onshore systems, at the same time it makes those systems increasingly vulnerable to cyber terror or threats, which could be disastrous for both the safety of the ship and human life. The IMO has established an interim standard for ship cyber security, and in direct response, KR is using its expertise to research domestic and foreign cyber securities and developing tailored security guidelines for different situations.
The new ICT Center is also developing new software test standards in line with ISO 25000, to verify the quality of IT software (naked eye and functional tests no longer being adequate) and will soon be able to offer its clients comprehensive software test services.
Lastly under the new IMO common structural rules (CSR), all ship construction data must now be stored in compliance with the CSR regulations. To meet this requirement, KR has built a system to manage this data using cloud computing integrated with built-in super secure data management.