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Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Fincantieri and the Italian National Research Council (CNR) have presented results of six multidisciplinary projects, in a programme aimed at innovation in shipbuilding supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

CNR performed scientific coordination of the six projects, involving nine institutes of the Department of Engineering, ICT and Technologies for energy and transport (Cnr-Diitet), one of the Department of chemical sciences and materials technology (Cnr-Dsctm) and three universities (Genoa, Trieste and Sapienza). The entire program is part of the Open Innovation strategy of Fincantieri, under which companies develop competency networks, linking their suppliers, universities and research centers, in order to cooperate in solving complex problems.

The six projects concerned:

  • preliminary design of the electrical systems and the electricity network of a ship whose energy is partially supplied by a fuel cell plant (“Innovative electricity generation”);
  • software and calculation models, experimentally validated, to assess the best strategy for the ship’s energy efficiency (“High efficiency”);
  • intelligent cabin prototype, equipped with both environmental and wearable sensors to automatically provide customised services and applications; new "energy harvesting" technologies allow an exploitable energy recovery in various ways (“E-Cabin”);
  • a mixed reality system, now-casting virtual systems and control systems integrated with steering and propulsion systems, providing information to support decisions of the bridge officers through virtual glasses (“E-Navigation”);
  • a system to increase physical safety on board, including automatic drones to be used in case of a man overboard (“Secure platform”);
  • integrated model of energy recovery from waste produced on board (“PiTER”).

The results achieved with the projects meet the recent ship owners requirements related to new cruise prototypes of the Fincantieri order book. Following the data presentation, the Merchant Ships Business Unit, supported by CETENA (a research and consultancy centre in the naval and maritime field, part of the Fincantieri Group), CNR and the Universities of Palermo, Genoa and Naples, have launched an initiative to define the industrial project of a small-sized ship whose energy is partially supplied by a fuel cell plant (“TECBIA” project). Other companies of the Group have begun an assessment on how to best industrialise the “E-Cabin” prototype, making it available as an on-shelf product to be proposed on the current prototypes and on ships which undergo refitting activities.

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