DNV GL, RCCL and the University of Strathclyde launch new Maritime Safety Research Centre

A new Maritime Safety Research Centre (MSRC) was officially opened this week by the IMO Secretary General Kitak Lim, who looked at how the MSRC could play a role in the shift of maritime safety from empirical to risk-informed legislation and goal-based standards.

The MSRC is an industry-university partnership, involving Strathclyde's Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), and DNV GL. The world’s first centre of its kind, the MSRC will aim to improve safety at sea through a close collaboration between industry and academia, that targets interdisciplinary, common-threaded research and development.

According to a prepared statement, the goal of the MSRC is to contribute to safer waterborne operations through the development and implementation of a life-cycle risk management approach, accounting rationally and formally for all cost-effective measures of risk reduction, both active and passive. The MSRC’s efforts are directed at cost-effective safety improvements for new and existing ships and offshore units. It will also promote safety culture and continuous development of the regulatory framework. Research areas will include: safety and security of complex systems onboard ships, dynamic barrier management, ship stability, intact and damage stability of cruise ships, safety culture, fire protection and prevention, and blackout prevention.

“The time is ripe for adopting a new model by reconstituting a centre of excellence for maritime safety. In this new centre, the vision, and long- and short-term goals are set, shared and served through close collaboration between industry and academia to target a truly interdisciplinary, common-threaded R&D. Our research activities are strategically focused, ensuring that academic excellence is combined with strong industrial engagement,” said the Director of the MSRC and Professor of Maritime Safety, Dracos Vassalos.

Photo: The opening ceremony (from left to right): Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL; Maritime, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor, University of Strathclyde; Kitak Lim, IMO secretary general; Professor Dracos Vassalos, professor of maritime safety and acting director at the Maritime Safety Research Centre; and Harri Kulovaara, executive vice president of maritime and newbuilding for Royal Caribbean Cruises.