Air lubrication technology manufacturer Silverstream Technologies in collaboration with the University of Southampton, has been awarded an Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) grant.

Under the two-year partnership, an associate of the university will work with Silverstream’s technical team to advance machine learning and artificial intelligence within the Silverstream System’s control and automation module. 

The Silverstream system, which uses air lubrication to reduce frictional resistance between a vessel’s hull and the water, can deliver fuel savings of 5-10% depending on the vessel and its operating profile, according to its developer.

Silverstream Technologies said that KTP will aim to increase this saving by analyzing operational data taken from installed systems.

This data will be combined with machine learning techniques, the ultimate aim being to further increase the system’s performance during a voyage, and gaining theoretical maximum savings associated with the technology every time it is operating. 

“Ultimately, this project will serve as a testbed for advancing machine learning and artificial intelligence within maritime,” the company said.

Air lubrication has considerable potential to help shipping companies push forward in meeting decarbonisation targets laid out by the International Maritime Organisation. 

“This KTP grant marks the next step on this journey, allowing us to work with the world’s leading researchers at the University of Southampton and The Alan Turing Institute to accelerate machine learning within shipping, ultimately enabling us to bring about a more efficient and more sustainable maritime sector,Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies, said. 

KTPs are funded by UKRI through Innovate UK with the support of co-founders, including the Scottish Funding Council, Welsh Government, Invest Northern Ireland, Defra and BEIS.

Innovate UK manages the KTP programme and facilitates its delivery through a range of partners including the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Knowledge Bases and Businesses.

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