Smart Maritime Council pledges support for ISO shipboard data standard

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Members of the Smart Maritime Council have unanimously voted to support the use of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 19848 data standard for shipboard machinery and equipment. The standard promises to make sharing of data easier between different onboard technology, regardless of what equipment provider it came from.

The standard provides a common ‘data dictionary’ and naming rule convention that can be used by different organisations to create a harmonised framework for maritime data and applications. This allows different systems to share shipboard data easily without the need for additional customisation.

Once a marine equipment provider has mapped its own data sets to the common standard then the data produced by that equipment can be immediately used for analysis by the vessel operator within any other application that has incorporated into that format. Incompatibility between programmes is currently one of the key barriers to widespread maritime digitalisation, according to the Smart Maritime Council.

“With some of the industry’s biggest names supporting this common standard, both technology providers and shipping companies alike, we hope to inspire other maritime stakeholders outside of our group to also support the use of ISO 19848 within their own IT systems,” said Rob O’Dwyer, chief network officer at Smart Maritime Network and chairman of the Smart Maritime Council.

“The wider these standards are applied, the easier it will be for ship operators to extract value from their vessel data without needing to waste resources on customised system implementations.”

ISO 19848 is independently maintained by a technical committee within the ISO, meaning that it can be freely applied by any company wishing to adopt the data dictionary, while also remaining independent of the influence of any single technology supplier.

The standard was published in October 2018, following years of research and development work originally carried out as part of a Smart Ship Application Platform joint industry project launched in Japan in 2012.

The Smart Maritime Council, a cross-industry group focussed on technology in the maritime sector, was established by the Smart Maritime Network in 2019 to bring together maritime service and equipment providers, vessel operators, and industry stakeholders to discuss issues of technology compatibility, standardisation, and harmonisation across global transport networks. Members include ABB, ClassNK, Kongsberg, and Wärtsilä.