At the 5th Japan Open Innovation Prize ceremony, which was held by the Japanese cabinet office, the NYK Group companies Japan Marine Science Inc., MTI Corporation Limited, and Kinkai Yusen Kaisha Limited received awards from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan. The firms will continue solving social problems like labour shortages and maritime mishaps in the shipping sector. The four NYK (Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha) Group companies are taking part in the DFFAS (Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ships) Consortium’s joint technological development programme for the demonstration of fully autonomous ships under the MEGURI 2040 initiative. This consortium, also known as MEGURI, is made up of 30 Japanese companies.
The firms will continue solving social problems like labour shortages and maritime mishaps in the shipping sector
The four firms involved in this initiative have contributed their expertise and technology that have been cultivated in the technological advancement of MASS as members of the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ships Consortium (Maritime Autonomous Shipment Surface). In fact, the consortium successfully conducted an experiment simulating the actual operation of a fully autonomous ship between Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay from February to March of last year
This consortium, also known as MEGURI, is made up of 30 Japanese companies
The Japan Open Innovation Prizes are awarded by the government to exemplary open innovation initiatives that push new initiatives beyond organisational boundaries, such as industry-academia collaboration, the collaboration between large companies and venture companies, and collaboration between larger businesses and companies, to accelerate the development of innovations for the future of Japan. From the perspective of advancing science and technology in the field of land transportation, MEGURI’s work in the area of fully autonomous ships has been acknowledged as a particularly excellent initiative. On February 15, 2023, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Award also gave recognition to the 4 NYK Group, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc., on behalf of the Consortium.
The award recognises the formation of an open innovation consortium comprised of thirty businesses (more than sixty including partner businesses) from a wide variety of sectors, in addition to the maritime sector, including shipping, shipbuilding, and marine equipment manufacturers, as well as the coordinated promotion of initiatives aimed at implementing social reform while overcoming organisational and disciplinary barriers.
Automated and unmanned ship technology can assist in addressing a number of social challenges, including resolving labour shortages and easing the labour burden in the shipping industry, preventing maritime tragedies, and preserving remote island shipping routes. The four NYK Group companies will keep working together with relevant parties on the social application of this technology.