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Revolutionary Norwegian ship design

Oslo: Ulstein launches a ship’s bridge that could revolutionise the shipping industry. “This is an outstanding example of a Norwegian company that asserts itself on the basis of quality, a unique product, innovative solutions and design,” says Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske.

On Wednesday 29 of August 2012 the Ulstein Group launched the international sensation “Ulstein Bridge Vision” at the large oil and energy trade fair ONS in Stavanger. The shipyard and industrial group have worked with the development of the concept since 2009. It all started when Ulstein received start-up grants for idea development from the Design-driven Innovation Programme (DIP).

“The amount we have invested in the idea phase of this project has triggered research and development activities at Ulstein worth tens of millions of kroner, and has given the world a user-centred solution which sets a sky-high international standard for ship’s bridges,” says Skule Storheill, Innovation Director and DIP Officer at the Norwegian Design Council.

Over a three year period, 479 businesses from 90 sectors have applied for a total of NOK 220 million in innovation support from the DIP. In total, 53 companies in Norway have received a total of NOK 18 million in DIP support. “There are many more applications than we have money to support,” says Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske.

Giske: – Provides inspiration and learning

“This has been so successful and is so unique on an international level that it should be continued. By helping selected projects with design-driven innovation, we achieve results that provide inspiration, learning, knowledge and competence to industry, research and development environments, and society as a whole,” emphasises Giske.

A ship’s window onto the future

Ulstein Bridge Vision is a collaborative project between Ulstein, Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Ålesund University College and Kwant Controls. AHO has taken a user-centred approach in studying how the ship’s crew uses the equipment on the bridge. On the basis of this insight, Ulstein has developed a vision of a ship’s bridge where the operator is given information directly on the bridge’s windows through the use of projectors. This prevents the crew from having to choose between looking at the computer screen or what is going on outside the ship.

Another innovation is that the ship’s operator can switch between a large number of working positions. This not only increases concentration, but the chance of accidents and injuries is also reduced.

– Maritime success requires innovation

Skule Storheill says that maritime companies are extremely well-represented among DIP applicants. He believes that the power to innovate is crucial for Norwegian businesses that want to assert themselves in the maritime sector internationally, where Norwegian companies compete against market participants that have only a fraction of the salary costs.

“Here, design acts as an innovation-triggering tool which increases accuracy. Good design is about user-friendliness and appropriate solutions, but this requires that one works with the development of new products and services methodically right from the very start, just as Ulstein has done,” says Storheill.



Norwegian Design Council
Skule Storheill, Director R&D and Innovation Programmes
Mobile: (+47) 901 03 361

Norwegian Design Council
Grete Kobro, Head of Information
Mobile: (+47) 907 65 971

This article was written by Pressenytt for Norwegian Design Council. Pressenytt has editorial responsibility for the contents of the article.

Download high resolution imagesPUBLISHED 04.09.2012 10:00