The maritime world is in the middle of a period of rapid change, with increasing digitalisation, new regulations and shifting market. Classification societies can help to remove barriers, speed up the process and assist stakeholders to make the most of this new landscape, Knut Orbeck-Nilssen, chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and CEO of DNV GL Maritime said at a press conference during the Marintec China exhibition in Shanghai today.
“One of the major contributions of class in current times of transformation is to bring familiar assurance processes to new and unfamiliar technologies,” Orbeck-Nilssen said. “This will help to ensure a quick uptake and smoother implementation of new technologies which can enhance safety and increase efficiency,” he added.
According to Orbeck-Nilssen, IACS has been working to adapt regulations to new needs and remove regulatory barriers.
“An effective regulation is one that rewards early adopters. At the moment, it could be argued that those who adopt last get the best financial return. Instead, let us embrace the opportunities which arise from the digital transformation and be proactive in addressing challenges,” Orbeck-Nilssen maintains.
Talking about challenges, Orbeck-Nilssen reckoned the ship systems are becoming ever more complex and increasingly controlled by software which is leading to new risks like hacking and cyber-crime. Accordingly, the role of class should expand into new verification fields including cyber safety, assurance of data quality, and sensor-equipped cyber-physical systems.
“The role of class has never been so important in the shipping industry,” Orbeck-Nilssen concluded.