To examine the techno-economic aspects of Small Flexible Automated Zero-emission (SFAZ) vessels in smart, competitive and green transport systems. We’re looking at:

  • Customer Preferences: Understanding what customers prefer in logistics networks that use Class I/II vessels.
  • Business Applications: Figuring out how these vessels can be used effectively in real-life situations, considering various scenarios and data.
  • Technology Advancements: Exploring the latest developments in automation and identifying new opportunities.
  • Regulatory and Safety Considerations: Looking at the rules and safety measures related to these vessels.



To undertake focused research in SFAZ design and solution components in line with vessel research:

FOREMAST’s goal is to innovate ship design by maximising the impact of high automation and electric propulsion. Focusing on main areas including:

  • Innovations in SFAZ vessel design, making sure they meet the needs of shallow and restricted water spaces. We want to enhance operational flexibility in terms of cargo capacity, types, and load units. Additionally, we’re working on tailored zero-emission propulsion concepts suitable for shallow waters.
  • Developing Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) solutions for highly automated vessels, including fully autonomous ones. We’re considering how these vessels interact with humans and existing infrastructure, ensuring safe mixed traffic management with both SFAZ and conventional vessels.
  • Creating hybrid, zero-emission energy solutions, and optimising the use of various green energy sources.
  • Customising a Digital Twin (DT) platform to integrate these innovations, applying the results (R2, R3) for designing and optimising Last-Mile (LL) solutions.

To test and demonstrate the SFAZ vessel concept in the FOREMAST Living Labs (LLs) through two main steps:

  • Testing on Inland Vessels: upgrade two existing Class I/II inland vessels named Avatar and NEAC.
  • Virtual Simulation for Coastal Scenarios: design and simulate a virtual Class I and II vessel suitable for coastal areas. This involves customising a green shipping Digital Twin (DT) developed as part of the DT4GS project.



To accelerate the wider deployment of SFAZ vessels, through the following activities:

  • Stakeholders Cluster: form a group of stakeholders to amplify the impact of our project solutions.
  • Exploitation Strategy: create a strategy that’s relevant to the market. This strategy aims to advance the commercial aspects of our project’s Key Exploitable Results (KERs) while also safeguarding sensitive intellectual property.
  • Competency-Based Training:  provide training focused on the skills needed for operating small automated or autonomous vessels for inland navigation.
  • Modelling and Policy Roadmap:  create models to predict the spread of small, zero-emission, automated vessels. Additionally, deliver a roadmap outlining policies to speed up their widespread deployment.
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