The Smart Maritime Council brings together maritime service and equipment providers, vessel operators and related industry stakeholders to discuss issues of technology compatibility, standardisation and harmonisation across the global transport chain.

Over the course of the last year the group has conducted discussions, during which, ISO 19848 was proposed as a first standard to be officially supported by the Council. This proposal was accepted with a unanimous vote in favour during the first meeting of 2020.

ISO 19848 ‘Ships and marine technology - Standard data for shipboard machinery and equipment’ was published in October 2018, formalising research and development work originally carried out as part of a Smart Ship Application Platform (SSAP) joint industry project launched in Japan in 2012.

The standard provides a common ‘data dictionary’ and naming rule convention that can be used by different organisations to create a harmonised framework for maritime data and applications, allowing different systems to more easily share shipboard data without the need for additional customisation.

Once a marine equipment provider has mapped their own datasets to the common standard then the data produced by that equipment can be immediately used for analysis by the vessel operator within any other application that has incorporated that format, removing one of the key barriers to maritime digitalisation currently prevalent throughout the industry.

The standard is maintained by a technical committee within the ISO, meaning that it can be freely applied by any company wishing to adopt the data dictionary, while also remaining independent from influence by any particular technology supplier.

“We are delighted that the diverse range of organisations represented within the Smart Maritime Council have been able to come together in the spirit of collaboration to support this independent data standard,” said Rob O’Dwyer, Chief Network Officer at Smart Maritime Network and Chairman of the Council.

This is really a meaningful industry initiative with the right people around the table representing the large technology and IT/ communication suppliers, as well as clients (owners/managers) and other industry stakeholders. With some important first decisions taken in the Council this time, the test of time will now be whether these participants will see these principles through in their organisations. Lots of interesting next steps on our minds!

stated Peter Schellenberger, Managing Director OSERV, OSM Maritime Group.