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On May 22, NYK president Tadaaki Naito delivered a presentation titled “Situation, Challenge, and the Future of the Maritime Industry” at the 120th anniversary ceremony of the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE), which was held at Meiji Kinenkan in Tokyo.

In his presentation, President Naito spoke about NYK overcoming challenges throughout changes in history, in addition to NYK’s initiatives for pioneering LNG fuels and participating in new offshore business, which resulted in the Group accumulating expertise in new fields. He also mentioned NYK’s use of Big Data not only for optimal operations but also for safe transport to strengthen the company’s competitiveness.

He concluded his presentation by emphasizing that the maritime industry is expected to show its global presence and collaborate across industries and countries in response to rapid industrial structural changes.

At this ceremony, speeches were also given by Shinichiro Otsubo, a director of the Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery Division at the Maritime Bureau within Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and Takao Yoshikawa, vice-president of JASNAOE and a professor at Kyushu University.

To enhance the safety and operational efficiency of the NYK fleet, and to strengthen its global competitiveness, the NYK Group will continue to take on challenges to contribute to the development of the maritime industry.

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.