Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships (NFAS) established

The Norwegian Maritime Authority, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, The Federation of Norwegian Industries (FNI) and MARINTEK now establish a cooperative forum for Norwegian autonomous and unmanned ships stakeholders.


The forum, Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships, gets its official startup in FNI’s conference center in Oslo, 4 October this year. This occurs in conjunction with a half-day conference on autonomous ship in Norway.


Autonomous and unmanned ships have created great interest in recent years. The EU project MUNIN documented opportunities and challenges and showed that unmanned ships were far from being a utopia. Concepts for unmanned merchant ships have also been developed by DNV GL and Rolls Royce. In Belgium and the UK, processes have been initiated to adapt the regulations to such ships.

Autonomous ships will revolutionize the shipping industry and provide new business opportunities for shipyards, equipment manufacturers and ship owners. The ships are less labour intensive than other ships, they require high-tech expertise and new and closer forms of cooperation between the players. This gives the Norwegian maritime cluster a unique opportunity to take a leading international role in the development and commercialization of these ideas.

The development of new technologies for the automation of ship operations will also create opportunities to improve the safety and operation of existing ships. This will in the short term will be the biggest market.


NFAS is the first forum of its kind and is expected to contribute to improved technology and knowledge related to autonomous vehicles. The purpose of NFAS is to create a collaborative platform for Norwegian participants where ideas can be exchanged, joint problems are solved and where new relationships can be established. The plan is also that the forum will be part of a network of similar foreign forums to influence international regulations and policies.

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