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.

Work Packages in Denmark’s first autonomous, environmental friendly ship.

Work Package 1

Digital Ship Operations

Work Package 1 – Digital Ship Operations 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 application programming interfaces (API), 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.

Lauritzen Bulk_1
Maersk Tangier 4
TORM Success

Work Package 2


The overall objective of Work Package 2 – Autonomy is be able to demonstrate autonomy up to unmanned operation on a Danish vessel. The work package 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 work package aims specifically on enhancing the competitive edge of maritime suppliers located in Denmark.
DTU instrument platform mounted on TUCO Prozero workboat during tests in Faaborg Fjord, December 2019.
DFDS crown
Scandlines Puttgarden_havn

Work Package 3


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 work package 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 work package will continuously offer the test platform to clean-tech solutions within the overall objective of the work package and ShippingLab.

DFDS Ark Germania
TORM Estrid

Work Package 4

General management, Integration & Outreach

Work package 4 – General management, Integration & Outreach covers management of ShippingLab and the integration and outreach of the activities with the surrounding maritime environment. The objective of the work package 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, the work package 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