FLAGSHIP (European Framework for Safe, Efficient and Environmentally-friendly Ship Operations) is a 42 month, part EU-funded project - DG Research, focusing on improving safety, environmental friendliness and competitiveness of European maritime transport. The project will contribute to a further increase in the capacity and reliability of freight and passenger services and to a reduction of negative impact from accidents and emissions.

Its overall mission is: create the mechanism by which the expertise of all the required actors can be brought together in real time, independently of their location, and given to the right people, in the right format, at the right time and incorporating the highest level of knowledge, so that they can better manage all the questions which confront a ship operator: issues relating to the ship itself and its equipment (e.g. hull monitoring, equipment diagnostics, maintenance planning), its day-to-day operation (e.g. navigation, cargo, rule compliance) as well as emergencies and other exceptional situations (collision, fire, etc.). 

A topic addressed that is currently of particular interest to the industry is requirements to record operational indicators in the context of recommendations from IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee. The project has taken into account developments associated with a mandatory CO2 Design Index for ships and an interim CO2 operational index, to establish best practices for voluntary implementation of GHG-reduction instruments.

Also the project has developed advanced facilities tools for rule compliance. Regulations cover safety and marine pollution risks; certification of equipment and operational procedures. In the near future regulation might also involve continuous online monitoring, for instance connected to emission trading or by utilisation of alternative abatement technologies to prescribed solutions. Issues addressed  include:-
 mechanisms for automatically updating legislation and rules, keeping them permanently updated;
 how those rules can be mapped to a specific type of ship, in a specific trade and arriving in a specific port;
 optimising regulatory reporting with reporting to owner and others.
 A Text Search Engine allows the user to search the regulations that may apply to them. A lexicon of Marine terms was created for allowing metadata of the regulations for advanced search.

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