RAMSSES (Realisation and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships) is a  48-month collaborative programme including 21 work packages, 37 partners from 12 countries, marked by the presence of the main shipyards (Damen, Meyer Werft, STX France, Naval Group etc) and European maritime research laboratories (including TNO in the Netherlands and the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden). RAMSSES is a pharaonic project. Its ultimate goal is to perform experimental campaigns and demonstrate that new advanced material solutions in ship design can reduce their environmental footprint.

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The European Innovation Action RAMSSES is addressing the most relevant problems that hinder a broader and quicker technology uptake, thus to obtain recognition and an established role for advanced materials in the European maritime industry. The project comprises both practical measures that are dedicated to improving, assessing and showing the readiness of certain technologies, and strategic actions that aim at enhancing the innovation capability of the European maritime industry on the long run and in a sustainable manner.

Innovative materials and their wider use are important to improve the life cycle performance of European built ships and maritime structures, to reduce their environmental footprint, to make the industry more competitive at a global scale and thus to create and maintain employment. Despite considerable progress in research and development as well as first commercial applications in recent years, the use of lightweight and other advanced materials in the maritime sector is lagging behind the potential. Therefore, it takes a comprehensive initiative of a dedicated group to overcome existing barriers.

With the introduction of innovative materials, which are lightweight and/or offer higher performance compared to commonly used material such as standard steel, RAMSSES aims at the feasibility of using such materials by means of demos, which cover the design and production phase of components and their integration into the entire vessel. The demos will prove that it is possible to reduce maintenance and life cycle costs significantly (30% or more compared to conventional materials and processes). To prove this expectation, key performance indicators (KPIs) will be defined, which are especially orientated towards economy and environmental impact over the entire life cycle. Inputs to pertinent regulatory regimes will be developed, where applicable and necessary.

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