Maritime Innovation Technology

Very few green ships are in operation, despite regulations regarding sustainability and safety becoming ever stricter. What’s more, the shipping industry is also being faced with upscaling, increasing energy prices and a decreasing market share. And on top of this, finding good personnel is difficult. A shipload of challenges therefore. Smart sustainable growth is necessary, and innovations will be required to help this along.

How can we build safe, sustainable, clean and smart ships? That is the research field of the Maritime Innovation Technology (MIT) professorship of applied sciences. The lectorate researches and advises in the area of technological innovations in the shipping industry. This may include the design of a sophisticated yacht, deep sea mining or an energy efficiency study on board. Maritime Innovation Technology rules the waves!

MIT Horizon magazine ENG.pdf

Port State Control

Since 2012, significantly more ships flying under the Dutch flag have been detained. An undesirable situation as this threatens the international reputation and competitiveness of our Dutch shipping sector. Through the Port State Control project we wish to increase, share and implement knowledge on maritime legislation and regulations by means of a handy tool.

The global shipping sector has to adhere to international legislation and regulations laid down by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Any ships that do not adhere to these regulations are detained. And detention means the ship is taken out of operation and the shipowner can't continue with his activities until the identified issue has been resolved or a fine has been paid. This costs both time and money.

Improving and maintaining quality

With the Port State Control research project of the Maritime Innovative Technology, we aim to inform shipowners and captains better about these regulations.  To do this we have developed an innovative tool, which incorporates all aspects of the measures. The aim is to make users more capable of adhering to the regulations.  The professorship wishes to use this tool to help shipowners improve and maintain the quality on board their vessels.

Measurement is knowledge Maritime

Improving energy efficiency helps shipowners to save costs, improve their competitiveness, reduce the use of fossil fuels and meet the latest legislation and regulations. In order to save energy, control by measuring the emission of waste gases and determining the combustion efficiency is therefore certainly worthwhile. Measurement is knowledge.

In the logistics chain from supplier to end consumer, a shipowner is already partly obliged to provide ever more information and transparency on his energy consumption as well as, for example, the NOx, SO2 and CO2 emissions. It is therefore important that the waste gas emissions are measured. The measurement results also generally give a good indication of the technical installation.

Students of the Willem Barentsz Maritime Institute (MIWB) are therefore measuring the waste gases from the most common engines and boilers on board ships. This provides us, as maritime officer and shipbuilder, insight into possible energy-efficiency and maintenance improvements.

DP systems and thrusters Maritime

 The increasing demand for oil of recent years has led to an expansion of the market for dynamic positioning (DP) systems for, amongst others, drilling vessels. In part as a result of this, the market for thrusters is in constant flux. This market therefore offers plenty of possibilities from various perspectives for the Maritime Innovation Technology.

The requirements the thrusters have to meet develop in line with the latest innovations. Manufacturers often have a close collaboration with naval architects, classification societies and owners in order to arrive at an optimal product definition.

Based on an ever more comprehensive package of requirements, and depending on the demand, the dynamic positioning DP systems and thrusters are subjected to an uninterrupted development process. On top of this, the demand for the construction of large thrusters with ice class is a new challenge.

With whom do we collaborate?

The Maritime Innovation Technology professorship plays a connecting role in the successful collaboration between the various branches in the maritime sector.  We work with maritime businesses, the Marin research centre, TNO, and other colleges and universities as well as knowledge institutes.

The professorship is primarily concerned with practical research in the maritime sector with as research themes safe shipping, smart shipping, clean shipping and sustainable shipping. Students are also free to come up with research ideas and innovative proposals. The professorship plays a supporting and stimulating role here.

Examples of research projects suggested by students:

  • Research into the safety of recreational vessels in the North Sea.
  • Research into the optimisation of departure times of island ferries.
  • Research into a sea lane marking plan.
  • Research into the cause of the problems of an existing heat exchanger of the exhaust gas cleaning system.

Businesses and oher bodies with whom we collaborate:

  • Maritime Innovation Programme
  • Ibema Controls
  • Standard Fasal
  • STI Engineering, Koninklijke De Vries Scheepsbouw in Aalsmeer
  • Royal Dutch Society of Marine Engineers and naval Architects (KVNTS)
  • Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR)
  • Koninklijke Wagenborg Shipping BV
  • Maritime Officer Bachelor's Programme, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences


The Maritime Innovation Technology professorship of the NHL Stenden focuses on the maritime sector: shipping, and ship and yacht building. The professorship wishes to play a connecting role so that various branches in the maritime sector can successfully work together. Due to the challenging research themes, students are able to contribute to the collaboration between colleges and universities, knowledge institutes, government and businesses.

The applied research of the Maritime Innovation Technology professorship is aimed at giving advice to organisations involved with technology innovations.  Dutch shipowners are being faced, as are other industries, with rising raw material prices and energy costs. As a result, there is an increasing demand for ships that are more efficient and have efficient loading possibilities and reduced energy consumption.

In the container shipping sector, for example, this can be done by changing the design concept of these ships or by having existing, fully laden ship sail more slowly. Extensive optimisation of the vessel speed, load, route, inspection and maintenance intervals, corrosion and paint systems, as well as lifetime-extending maintenance are matters that fit in with the existing scientific research.

And last but not least, the professorship is working on starting up a modern maritime professional master's programme.


NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz