ClassNK and NMRI Sign Extensive Cooperation Agreement

Top Class Society and Leading Research Institute Agree to Combine Efforts in Comprehensive Research Program

Japan’s National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) and ClassNK, the world’s largest classification society, signed an extensive cooperation agreement at a press conference in Tokyo this morning. The comprehensive agreement commits the two organizations to a far reaching cooperative research program, including joint R&D on new GHG emission reduction technologies and the development of new training programs for marine engineers.

ClassNK, which has maintained its own independent maritime research center since 1955, and NMRI, Japan’s leading maritime research body, have exchanged research staff for a number of years and previously cooperated on a number of different research programs on a project-by-project basis. However, today’s agreement established a framework for comprehensive cooperation and joint research by the two organizations in the following fields:

1) Research and development of new technologies for reducing GHG emissions
2) Investigative research on the strength of hull structures
3) Research and development on renewable offshore energy
4) Joint development of marine engineering training programs

Speaking on the behalf of ClassNK, Managing Director Yasushi Nakamura told the gathered members of the press that today’s agreement was “the largest and most and comprehensive cooperation agreement ever signed by ClassNK”, which has a history reaching back more than 110 years. Mr. Nakamura further emphasized the significance of the agreement, stating: “With this agreement, we will be able to combine the advanced research capabilities of NMRI, with ClassNK’s technical experience and practical know-how to provide solutions to the challenges faced by the global maritime industry.” He noted the importance of this new agreement for class society as well, saying: “For more than a decade now, ClassNK has been recognized as the world’s largest classification society, and with this agreement today, we hope to further strengthen our position as the industry leader in R&D as well.”

NMRI is one of the world’s leading maritime research organizations, boasting some of the world’s most advanced test tank facilities, including one of the world’s largest towing tanks, an ice model basin, and state of the art facilities for testing hull designs in real ocean conditions. Supported by the Japanese government, NMRI has been especially active in helping the IMO in its efforts to curb maritime GHG emissions, including playing a central role in the development of the IMO’s EEDI emission index scheme.

ClassNK is the world’s largest classification society on a tonnage basis, providing classification services for 7,338 vessels totaling more 178.6 million gross tons, or some 20% of the world’s merchant tonnage under class. The class society has also emerged as a leader in the field of GHG emission reduction research, having pledged more than US$ 25 million to GHG emission reduction related research in February 2010.