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vast knowledge and the specialists who can really push the industry forward. It is important to have the right culture – sometimes you have to take risks, not everything is a success.”


Cleaner ships MARIN is very active in using its expertise to find ways of designing cleaner ships, which is part of the broader energy and carbon emissions discussions, he adds. Ultimately, this may result in deploying the power of wind to help sail huge freight ships. “Topsector Water & Maritime and MARIN are working hard to try and develop green maritime transport. In the Netherlands for example, we have the very first fishing boats without emissions.”


Volvo Ocean Race In a different sector – the world of state-of-the-art racing yachts – the work of MARIN and its efforts to realise cleaner ships was highlighted when it recently carried out advanced model tests on the Volvo Ocean 65 race yacht, which is now taking part in the 2017-2018 race.


These tests included numerical simulations, model tests and full-scale measurements to optimise the performance of the VO65 in combined wind and waves. This enables team AkzoNobel to get the maximum performance out of its yacht, and this also supports MARIN’s research on sail-assisted propulsion and ambition to achieve zero emission shipping.


Wind-assisted ship These tests are also applicable to other types of wind- assisted ship, particularly, the improved test setup for free running model tests in waves with simulated wind forces.


“Currently, emissions are measured by ‘transport per tonne per km’ and here ships are very efficient, but in absolute emissions a lot of work still needs to be done. MARIN has already been very active looking at alternative marine fuels and the impact LNG tanks have on the stability of ships. Now it is going a step further and examining the opportunities presented by using wind power.”


In other initiatives MARIN is working on another vital issue, he says. The Topsector organisation and Ministry of Education work closely with universities to address the most important issues for the future. This has led to the ‘Blue Route framework’ which stimulates applied research into topics like living on water, floating islands and floating energy solutions.


Floating cities “As we see the soaring world population – estimated at 2 billion more people by 2050 and 50% of these living on the coast - space in many of the major cities is under massive pressure, so floating cities could be an eventuality.”


Again, MARIN is playing a significant role here too when it tested a concept for a floating mega island. The island comprises 87 large floating triangles


that are connected to one another. And addressing the increasing demand for energy, floating wind turbines is another area where MARIN has conducted several projects.


And while Hans sees plenty of opportunities for MARIN, he also has concerns. “To continue to innovate MARIN has to maintain and extend its unique facilities to the very highest standards.” Topsector Water & Maritime is asking the Dutch government to make more money available for applied research and for maritime research and he is hopeful that the new government will see the importance of this.


“Climate change, flood protection, ports, logistics, feeding the cities and energy supply are all enormous challenges both now and in the future. We need organisations like MARIN to continue to innovate and help provide answers.”


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