SMARTYards - Developing Smart Technologies for Productivity Improvement of European Small and Medium Sized Shipyards

Funded under the: 7th Framework Programme of the European Union

Time period: 01.10.2013 - 30.09.2016

Budget / Funding:  3.731.427 € / 2.499.996 €




Short name Company name Country
CMT Center of Maritime Technologies e.V. Germany
AIMEN Asociación de Investigación Metalúrgica del Noroeste Spain
CMTI Centre for Maritime Technolgoy and Innovation Netherlands
CONO Conoship International B.V. Netherlands
DN&T Design Naval & Transports s.a. Belgium
FhG Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. Germany
INRO Inrotech Aps Denmark
FSG Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft mbH & Co KG Germany
M&S Meuse & Sambre s.a. Belgium
NAVREP NAVROM Shipyard S.R.L. Romania
NCG Numeriek Centrum Groningen B.V. Netherlands
SAF Safinah Limited United Kingdom
SDC Ship Design & Consult GmbH Germany
SNO Santierul Naval Orsova SA Romania
TUHH Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg Germany
UGAL Universitatea Dunărea de Jos din Galaţi Romania
ULJ Uljanik Brodogradiliste d.d. Croatia
CARDA Francisco Cardama S.A. Spain
BLA Blatraden AB Sweden

Knowledge and technological skills are key competitive factors for European shipyards and companies with which they collaborate. While larger shipyards have managed to assert themselves in highly specialised markets, smaller shipyards face specific challenges which make it difficult for them to keep up with technological developments and to successfully develop and provide innovative products for new and traditional markets.

Among the specific challenges faced by smaller and medium-sized European yards are limited financial possibilities for investments in modern installation systems, often outdated production infrastructures, limited access to information and cooperation networks as well as limited resources within the own company.


Small and medium-sized shipyards require strategies and solutions which are tailored to their needs and which may differ greatly from solutions for large specialized shipyards. The project SMARTYards aims at developing specific solutions, which shall make it possible for small shipyards to raise their productivity by at least 20%. It is assumed that a holistic adjustment of process operations, cross-company cooperation, product design, instrument engineering and specific educational measures will yield “smart” (simple, cost-effective, robust, intelligent) solutions, which can successfully be implemented in small shipyards. The project specifically targets not only shipyards, but also partnering subcontractors and providers of engineering design services.

Project results

Taking the specific requirements of small enterprises into account, a Smart Solutions Catalogue will be developed on the basis of a list of approx. 25 technology ideas to get other European shipyards and service providers thinking about ways to improve their productivity. 

Specially selected technological solutions will then be implemented in hard- and software prototypes and practical tests will be conducted. The documentation and assessment of the prototype solutions accompanying the tests is intended to show companies from the European shipbuilding industry and from outside the consortium, that community research and development can lead to a substantial increase of competitiveness and to improved conditions of the work itself and the work environment.

In parallel to technological development SMARTYards will devise recommendations for business and cooperation models for small enterprises and substantiate these with practical examples. Furthermore, educational materials will be prepared in cooperation with technology and equipment manufacturers, in order to assist companies in the qualification of personnel and the introduction of new technologies.

The experience gained in the project will be used to make concrete suggestions on how to improve the information exchange between small and medium-sized enterprises and on how specific training programmes and a greater inclusion of small enterprises in research and development on a European level can be supported.

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