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Ensuring Safety, Resilience, and Security of Waterborne Digital Systems

Digital, AI & Machine Learning
Project Size:

Grant Overview: This Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Action (RIA) seeks to significantly enhance the safety, resilience, and security of waterborne digital systems. Focusing on the robust integration and reliability of digital and connected systems on vessels, the grant addresses critical vulnerabilities due to system failures and malicious interventions, emphasising the application of artificial intelligence, networks of sensors, and sophisticated communications between onshore and onboard systems.

Funder: Horizon Europe

Key Dates:

· Planned Opening Date: 07 May 2024

· Deadline Date: 05 September 2024, 17:00 Brussels time


Funders: Horizon Europe

Funding Budget: £8,500,000

Number of Projects to be Funded: 2

Grant Award per Project: Up to £4,000,000

Expected Outcomes:

· Advanced safety and resilience of digital systems within the waterborne sector, guaranteeing robust operation against cyber threats and hardware failures.

· Enhanced design methodologies that comprehensively consider human interactions with increasingly automated systems on vessels.

· Development and implementation of rigorous methodologies for the assessment and assurance of digital systems’ resilience, paralleling standards in sectors like aerospace and automotive.

· Progress in designing digital systems that are "robust by design," with a focus on safety and resilience, including thorough hazard operability (HAZOP) analysis and validation techniques

Scope: The grant is aimed at innovations that streamline the integration of smart digital systems in waterborne transport, such as IoT and AI, to ensure safe and efficient operations. With the increasing complexity of vessels and their reliance on digital technologies, there is an urgent need for a systemic approach to validate and ensure the safety and resilience of these integrated systems. Proposals should aim to develop methodologies for HAZOP analysis, system validation, and establish reliability regimes for safety-critical systems, taking into account the full spectrum of operational risks including malicious cyber activities.


· Developing a HAZOP methodology tailored for complex, highly digitised vessels, engaging with stakeholders across the industry for a comprehensive system assessment.

· Applying the developed methodologies to representative vessels to identify safety-critical systems, establish reliability regimes, and propose mitigation strategies for both system failures and cyber threats.

· Creating cost-effective validation techniques for the safety and functionality of critical ship systems, incorporating both theoretical digital models and physical testing.

Project Expectations: Projects are expected to achieve TRL 5-6 by the project's end, demonstrating a significant advancement in the safety and security of waterborne digital systems.

Specific Topic Conditions:

· A focus on collaborative development and stakeholder engagement to ensure the broad acceptability and applicability of the safety assessment methodologies.

· Outcomes should contribute to international standards, potentially influencing regulations and practices at forums like the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Call to Action: Organisations specialising in maritime technology, digital system integration, cybersecurity, and the application of AI in the maritime sector are encouraged to apply. This grant represents a critical opportunity to lead advancements in maritime safety and resilience, shaping the future of secure and efficient waterborne transport.

For those interested in making a significant impact in this vital area, preparing a proposal that aligns with the detailed requirements and addresses the complex challenges of digital system integration in maritime vessels is essential. Collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including shipbuilders, technology providers, and regulatory bodies, will be key to developing effective and widely applicable safety and resilience methodologies.

For Expert Guidance: If you're considering applying for this grant and seeking to maximise your proposal's potential, contact the grant writing experts at Inventya. Our team can provide you with the support and expertise necessary to navigate the application process successfully and enhance your project's impact. Reach out to Inventya today to elevate your application.

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