Denmark as driver for
the future of smart shipping

ShippingLab is a non-profit innovation and project collaboration for the partners in the Blue Denmark.


Denmark is to become a driver of smart shipping of the future. ShippingLab is a nonprofit innovation and project partnership in Blue Denmark. We collaborate to solve challenges that are too big to handle by anyone separate.

The journey has started

The journey towards Denmark’s first autonomous and environmental friendly ship started in March, 2019. Almost 30 partners are working together on achieving this – but more partners, ideas and projects are welcome.

One goal - four work packages

The Common goal in ShippingLab is to create “Denmark’s first autonomous, environmental friendly ship.” With the launch of ShippingLab, the Danish maritime community initiates an ambitious platform for maritime research, development and innovation.


Short description

WP1 Digital ship operations

WP1 focuses on vessel modelling and developing more precise ship models and better estimation of the effects that the environment has on vessel and system performance. This work package will deliver tools and methodology for digital twinning of vessel in the seaway, using high frequency data. It is the aim that this work package will establish Denmark as a centre of excellence in performance management. The consequence of digitalization in the shipping industry is believed to result in various expert systems communicating via API’s, sharing models and data. In that context, this work package will ensure integration and interfacing between three different digital twins of the vessel: vessel performance when sailing in the seaway, systems and equipment monitoring, and continuous integration with the ship manoeuvring models.

WP2 Autonomy

The overall objective of WP 2 is be able to demonstrate autonomy up to unmanned operation on a Danish vessel. The WP will achieve this objective by developing novel methods and algorithms for autonomous vessels where this is needed, and integrate with existing technology for navigation, steering, manoeuvring and berthing where this is possible. The detailed objectives include:

  • Demonstrate one-man operation of a ferry with temporally unattended bridge
  • Demonstrate decision support as ad-on retrofit for vessel to enhance safety against grounding and collisions
  • Demonstrate unmanned operation of harbour bus with built in safety in form of autonomous supervision that can enable shore assistance and remote manoeuvring control if needed. An open system architecture and interface standard will be defined, that will make vendors able to supply equipment and deliver services and enable modular validation and approval of modules for autonomous vessels in the future. Focus of the WP will be twofold. One case will be retrofit of existing vessels with ad-on autonomy functionality. Benefits include temporally unmanned bridge and enhanced safety against grounding and collisions. Two other cases will focus on new-built electric ferries, where one-man operation shall be possible for a larger vessel, another will be a harbour bus with unmanned operation. Technology developed by innovative research in this WP aims specifically on enhancing the competitive edge of maritime suppliers located in Denmark.

WP3 Decarbonization – Zero emission area operation

Electrification of the ship propulsion is a way to introduce clean tech-solutions with low or no carbon footprint. This will enable using multiple power sources in a hybrid setup for all ship types. Hybrid or fully electric solutions exist for short-sea ferries. For ocean-going vessels, hybridization has been trialled in order to run the main engine at optimal loads, thereby reducing fuel consumption. Full-scale operation for these vessels is not currently possible until an alternative fuel or power source exist that rival the reliability of marine diesel engines. The WP will focus on developing a test platform for clean-tech solutions with the aim of enabling full-scale emission free port stay for shipowners. The ladder is initially planned to be achieved through the coupling of fuel cell and battery technology, but the WP will contiuosly offer the test platform to clean-tech solutions within the overall objective of the WP and ShippingLab.

WP4 General management, Integration & Outreach

WP4 covers management of ShippingLab and the integration and outreach of the activities with the surrounding maritime environment. The objective of WP4 is to lead ShippingLab and ensure the coordination of activities between work packages, communicate and disseminate knowledge and results between stakeholders, and assist the Steering Committee. Further, WP4 is concerned with outreach from ShippingLab, which is defined to be the following:

  • Ensuring that the ShippingLab platform is anchored in the Danish maritime industry after the current project period is concluded
  • Ensuring that other stakeholders than the current is involved in order to support the achievement of ShippingLab’s overall objective
  • Cooperating with other organisations, initiatives and networks
  • Attracting students to the Danish maritime industry
  • Communication and marketing in relation to ShippingLab
  • Partners


    Alfa Laval Aalborg

    Automation Lab



    Danelec Marine


    Danske Færger

    DS Norden


    J. Lauritzen

    Kvasir Technologies

    Logimatic Solutions

    Logimatic Engineering

    Maersk Tankers

    MAN Energy Solutions

    MASH Energy



    Tuco Marine

    Stigsborg Havnefront

    Vessel Performance Solutions

    Wärtsilä Lyngsø Marine

    Universities and schools

    Aalborg University – AAU

    Copenhagen Business School – CBS

    Denmark’s Technical University – DTU

    Svendborg International Maritime Academy – SIMAC

    Danish Research and Technology Organisations

    Danish Technological Institute

    FORCE Technology


    Danish Maritime Authority


    Danish Maritime

    Danish Shipping

    Maritime Cluster Funen

    Organizations behind ShippingLab

    The group starting ShippingLab represents a selection of Blue Denmark; but this is not a closed initiative and everyone is invited to join.