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King Willem Alexander opens MARIN's SOSc and experiences 'sea of the future'

May 28 2024
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Wageningen, 28 May 2024 - On Tuesday morning, 28 May, His Majesty King Willem Alexander opened the Seven Oceans Simulator centre (SOSc) of MARIN. With the symbolic handling of a telegraph, the King set 'the sea of the future' in motion. After this opening ceremony, the King was given a tour of the SOSc. There, MARIN simulated the sea of the future in large spherical and moving simulators: an emission-free ship of the future powered by hydrogen and with wind propulsion, a maintenance chip for offshore wind turbines with cranes and underwater drones, and a new KNRM lifeboat. In addition to the King, the King's Commissioner, the Mayor of Wageningen and representatives of the Dutch maritime sector and the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Infrastructure and Water Management and Defence were also present at this event.

With this research facility that is unique in the world, MARIN contributes to clean, smart and safe shipping and to sustainable use of the ocean. Crews can be prepared at the simulator centre for maritime operations that are becoming increasingly complex as container ships become larger, maritime traffic increases, and weather patterns become more unpredictable. All simulators can be linked together to simulate situations with multiple ships operating in difficult conditions at sea. The new simulators will also be used for research into the application of virtual reality techniques and the monitoring of unmanned ships. MARIN can also conduct research in the SOSc into Human Factors: the functioning of the crew in difficult circumstances. MARIN uses nautical and hydrodynamic research to optimise ships, platforms, wind turbines and ports and works on innovations to realise sustainable energy, food and raw material extraction at sea.

Bas Buchner, President of MARIN: 'The SOSc closes the gap between design and operation. The involvement of the future crew in the design of the ship and its application is a prerequisite for safe, effective and smart ships, offshore structures and operations. We call this 'crew-centered ship design and operation'. With the SOSc, we offer a digital and virtual workspace to stimulate this development in the maritime sector. Advanced digital twinning on simulators allows designers and crew to work together to experience and improve ships in operational conditions before they are built. The SOSc simulators can also play an important role in practising and training complex operations and designing complex infrastructure.'

In conclusion, the King spoke with those involved in the development and realisation of the simulator centre and with several MARIN partners from the maritime sector. He praised the centuries of nautical inventiveness that come together in this centre and advised anyone with a heart for the maritime sector to visit MARIN.

'SEa the future'

Opening Seven Oceans Simulator centre by HM the King