The motivation and also the social relevance for the network SCAS results from several current and future developments in the field of the maritime economy:
· Autonomous driving in road traffic will become a reality in the coming years. Networking autonomous systems on land, in the air and at sea enables synergies in passenger and freight transport and new forms of mobility.
· The density on shipping routes is increasing, which increases the demands on systems for increasing traffic safety.
· The availability of specialist personnel is decreasing, creating a need for autonomous and semi-autonomous systems.
· Cost pressure with simultaneous acceleration of many processes increases, with autonomous systems costs can be saved because many processes can be carried out more efficiently.
· CO2 and pollutant emissions as well as fuel consumption must also be reduced for ships; more efficient routing is conceivable with autonomous systems.
· Digitisation in upstream and downstream sectors of the economy is increasing, and autonomous systems represent the interface with freight transport.
· With the expansion of offshore wind capacities, there is a growing need for supply and service vessels; semi-autonomous and autonomous systems are conceivable here.
The network SCAS of companies, research institutes and institutions has set itself the goal of realising systems, components, sensors, communication services and technologies for partially or fully autonomous ships.
In the network, the focus will not only be on the complete autonomy of the vehicles, but also aspects of partial autonomy, such as assistance systems for automated berthing.
Particular attention will be paid to the role of the small and medium-sized technology companies seeking access to the maritime economy. A special goal of the network is to build a bridge between technology providers and technology users. This approach offers the possibility to initiate innovations in the maritime industry quickly and purposefully.
Partners from science and industry will cooperate in the network in order to achieve the common goals through research and development. The initiation, moderation and design of this cooperation is supported by the network management. Cooperation projects are to be initiated and accompanied in workshops with the network partners.
A special focus is on small and medium-sized technology companies. 11 SMEs with highly qualified know-how are members of SCAS. Some of them already have very good connections to the maritime economy, but some of them still have hurdles to overcome.
The combination of the different expertise for the maritime industry distinguishes the SCAS network in a special way and makes it particularly exciting as a partner for users - shipping companies, shipyards and logistics companies.
From the very beginning, the network has attached particular importance to establishing contacts with international partners.
Close contacts already exist with Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and South Korea
SCAS is also a member of the international network for autonomous ships - INAS.