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ClassNK sets up global research centre in Singapore

ClassNK sets up global research centre in Singapore
Japanese classification society ClassNK [B2-E21] has set up a Global Research and Innovation Center (GRIC) in Singapore.

It is ClassNK’s first research centre outside Japan and will cover two main areas: maritime technologies and marine renewable energy.

“The establishment of the Global Research and Innovation Center represents ClassNK’s commitment to developing innovative solutions,” said Tetsuya Kinoshita, executive vice president of ClassNK.

“GRIC’s location in Singapore will R&D projects accessible to international industry partners, and allow us to work with top academic institutions such as NTU (Nanyang Technological University) and other sectors of the maritime cluster here in Singapore. We are excited to be building a smarter and greener future for the entire maritime cluster here.”

According to Kinoshita ClassNK chose to set up the centre in Singapore due to its strong maritime cluster consisting of academic, government and industry partners and a vast network of regional and international organisations.

In the area of maritime technologies, one of the areas where ClassNK will be working with NTU will be on a maritime energy test bed planned to be set up in the west of Singapore.

In the field of marine renewable energy, there is a plan to have a test site in the southern waters of Singapore. According Pallaniappan Ravindran, program manager for GRIC, ClassNK, it is conducting feasibility studies on a couple of sites and the concept is for a floating platform. The idea would be to see if it power installations such as nearby ports and oil platforms.

The research centre adds to ClassNK’s strong presence in Singapore where it first set up in 1967. The Japanese classification society has a 24% share of Singapore-flagged vessels. The Lion City also accounts for roughly 10% of all class surveys that ClassNK carries out worldwide. In 2011, it signed a research MOU with NTU, and in 2014 it inked a joint R&D project with eight institutes of higher learning.