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From October 2016, NYK participated in the 2016 UTokyo-MIT-Industry Joint Program for a Pioneering Frontier sponsored by the University of Tokyo (UTokyo; President: Makoto Gonokami) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In this program, young researchers and engineers from Japan’s maritime industry completed a class about “Systems Thinking Approach” * at the UTokyo graduate school, and afterwards chose a research theme related to the maritime industry to present to students enrolled in the System Design and Management master’s program at MIT. ** The MIT students critically reviewed the NYK presentation, and then selected NYK’s to examine deeper over the coming months with NYK’s support.

The selected theme was the feasibility of the autonomous navigation of ships. A final presentation on the research conducted by the MIT students was held on 17th May at MIT in Boston.

NYK will continue its efforts to deepen the link between academia and industry, and to proactively nurture younger staff to become more globally competitive.


* Systems Thinking Approach

A perspective developed at MIT to gain an overall grasp of an incident by discovering how the components influence each other so as to complete complicated projects and solve issues.


** System Design and Management Program at MIT

A graduate program leading to a master's degree at MIT. Through the lectures about system architecture, system engineering, and project management, participants learn the methodology to solve complex societal challenges.

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK; head office: Tokyo; president: Tadaaki Naito), the Monohakobi Technology Institute (NYK subsidiary; head office: Tokyo; president: Yasuo Tanaka), and Japan Radio Co. Ltd. (JRC; head office: Tokyo; president: Kenji Ara) have jointly developed a support tool that enables officers to better manage and share navigational information. The tool will be sold by JRC under the name “J-Marine NeCST” (patent pending; “NeCST” is pronounced “Next”).

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has made ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) mandatory by 2018 on international voyages by passenger vessels over 500 gross tonnage (GT) and cargo vessels over 3,000 GT. However, additional navigational information cannot be written by hand on ECDIS, as can easily be done on a conventional paper chart.

J-Marine NeCST solves that problem by including a very useful input function that lets users write directly on electronic charts. The tool also integrates meteorological and hydrographical forecasts for the preparation of optimal route plans. Moreover, electronic maps and data can be promptly integrated and shared among ships and land, making J-Marine NeCST a very complementary tool to the ECDIS.

We look forward to the implementation of J-Marine NeCST, a new tool creating safer, more efficient operations in the IoT era.

As a part of the NYK Mirai Project,* NYK sponsored a booth at the “Manabi no Fes 2017” (Festival of Learning) in March at the Japan Science Foundation’s museum in central Tokyo.

This event was organized by the Mainichi Shimbun, one of Japan’s major newspapers, to provide children with the opportunity to learn about jobs at companies that might not be familiar to the children. Thirty-five companies and organizations exhibited at the event, which was attended by about 2,000 children and parents chosen by lot.

NYK is the first company from the transportation industry to ever participate in this event, and the company’s booth featured a ship-handling simulator, a studio area where children could be photographed wearing a captain’s uniform, and a quiz game about ships.

The ship-handling simulator allowed the children to try their hand at navigating a ship, even though it’s much more challenging than navigating a car, and in the studio area children were able to interact with the J-Crew Project mascot from the All Japan Seamen's Union. Parents also asked many questions about the process of becoming a seafarer.

The company looks forward to continuing the NYK Mirai Project to encourage interest in seafaring among children.


* NYK Mirai Project

This project consists of a series of activities that nurture greater awareness of maritime affairs and the seafaring life among Japan’s youth so that they can develop interest in the maritime industry and consider careers at shipping companies. The project was launched at the end of 2014.