Press Release

Establishment of Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering Cooperation Program at the University of Tokyo- Aiming to build a cooperative simulation platform for sustainable maritime logistics -

Release:Aug 8, 2022 Update:Aug 9, 2022
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Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK)
MTI Co., Ltd.
Japan Marine United Corporation
Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
Furuno Electric Co., Ltd.
Japan Radio Co., Ltd.
BEMAC Corporation

NYK Group company MTI Co., Ltd., Japan Marine United Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group company Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Furuno Electric Co., Ltd., Japan Radio Co., Ltd., BEMAC Corporation, ClassNK, and NAPA Ltd., have come together to establish the "Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering" (MODE) cooperation program at the University of Tokyo from October 1. The program aims to promote and enhance digital engineering technology and skills for the maritime sector by building a cooperative simulation platform.

Program background and target

Japan's maritime industry is facing challenges, such as developing and implementing new technologies in the context of global decarbonization, maintaining shipping services by integrating autonomous ships to assist seafarers and improve safety, and ensuring high productivity among increasing complexity in ship design and manufacturing process.

MODE aims to address these challenges by using model-based development (MBD)* and model-based systems engineering (MBSE),** which are increasingly being introduced in the automobile industry.

MBD and MBSE approach problems by examining the functions of products and components as  computer models, and then checking their behaviors through simulations. MBD and MBSE enable not only optimization of complex system designs, but also the creation of a collaborative development process ("Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering") involving a wide range of stakeholders, including shippers and operators.

The program for research and education using MBD and MBSE for the maritime field will be established by forming a broad network between Graduate School of Frontier Sciences and Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo and research institutes around the world that are promoting advanced engineering initiatives, and relevant experts from other industries such as automobiles, aerospace, and aviation.

The program aims to develop, implement, and upskill users in the development of new technologies. It is also expected to expand into maritime fields such as offshore wind power generation and subsea resource development.

An inaugural symposium is scheduled for the afternoon of October 4 in Ito Hall at the University of Tokyo. MODE is committed to supporting next-generation technologies and skills in Japan's maritime sector, and acting as a platform for collaboration between industry, academia and government.

* Model-based development (MBD)

A development method to reduce the total man-hours and period for development by utilizing a simulation model in design and development of a product, and to reduce physical prototyping and trial tests.

** Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)

A method of systems engineering that uses a modeling language to describe the system by defining the concept of operation and clarifying functional requirements based on the goals to be achieved by the system, and then designing, developing, verifying, and validating the system.

Program outline

  • Period: From October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2027 (5 years)
  • Representative faculty member: Hideaki Murayama, Professor, Department of Ocean Technology, Policy, and Environment, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo
  • Activities: Research and education on Model-based development methods and a common simulation platform in the maritime industry. Research and education on technologies and international rules for decarbonization and autonomous ships. International collaboration.

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