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A multinational shipping enterprise with a registered base in Scotland (UK) is seeking novel approaches to improve Port Operations safety, particularly in the on-loading and off-loading of unaccompanied freight for Ferry and Roll-Off/Roll-On vessels. The ideal solution would work with a broad range of freight types, haulage companies, and vessel types. The Scottish company is looking for partnerships via a joint venture or a technical cooperation agreement.
A leading multinational shipping enterprise with a registered base in Scotland (UK) is looking for technology solutions that can be applied to their cargo and passenger ships that travel in all of the world's oceans. The company is actively involved with open innovation and is currently involved with several international projects.
Tugmasters, port vehicles used to move freight, are operated by the company to retrieve unaccompanied freight that are parked at the port for loading onto the ship. Tugmasters at the destination port are then used to retrieve the freight and park again at the destination port for later retrieval by the haulage company.
Typically, port turn-around time is limited and port traffic (pedestrian and vehicular) is high during these off-loading/on-loading operations. The challenge is to develop a warning system for the companies Tugmasters to alert drivers of nearby pedestrians or vehicles. The rear of the trailers is the most important safety issue for staff. The company is aware of permanent systems that are used for dedicated tractors and trailers, but the required solution would need to be available to operate between the companies Tugmasters and any haulage company's trailer.
The company is willing to consider technology from other end-application sectors that are capable of addressing the problem set out here. The client is flexible in the approach to required development, so is open to joint venture/technical cooperation whichever is most appropriate. Some budget may be made available for development and this could include being actively involved in the development of a solution, technical overview of the end application and provision of testing facilities.
The company is primarily interested in temporary, portable systems that can be quickly attached and removed from unaccompanied freight from any hauling company. These systems could be warning only, automatic braking, or a combination of the two. Systems that provide warning to both the Tugmaster operator and pedestrian/vehicular traffic would be ideal.
Specific systems the company are aware of include:
• Infrared, Ultrasonic, Laser, and Radar detections systems with wired or wireless links between the tractors and trailers
• FMCW microwave systems
• Automotive pre-collision and night vision systems
• Automotive self-parking and Omni view technologies
Any extension of these technologies to the marine industry would be of interest. While the company are not aware of any such technology being in use, they would also be interested in any surveillance technology that could be adapted to continuously monitor all moving objects on board the company's ships that could be used to predict imminent danger to personnel or vehicles.
The evaluation criteria are listed below:
• Technical Viability- Solutions proposed must be based on sound scientific principles and have laboratory or pilot scale data that demonstrate efficacy.
• Scale up Potential - Solutions proposed must have a clear pathway to application on commercial ships within 1-2 years. Solutions already practiced in marine markets have higher value. The ideal partner would have expertise in system design, installation, and testing.
• Costs - solutions with lower installation and maintenance costs have higher value.
• Ownership - Solutions covered by patents have higher value. At a minimum, proposed solutions must not be prohibited by other patents in the field.
A partner is sought that can provide a warning system that can alert Tugmaster drivers of nearby vehicles and pedestrians. The preferred collaboration would be a joint development and piloting at one of the company's busy ferry ports, as needed, as a demonstration project. If the proposed solution is commercially available, technical support can be provided for defining the appropriate design and testing of a port-wide system.
Either a Joint Venture of technical cooperation agreement will be considered - depending on the best structure for both parties.
The company is looking for concise, 1 page, non-confidential proposals. The proposal should describe the technical approach and should ideally include information on the technological readiness of the proposal, any proof of concept data, reference to any peer reviewed publications, and potential route to commercialization.