In Norway, the MUNIN project has sparked a fascination for and a great interest in autonomous and unmanned ships as the next major revolution in shipping. The interest came up in late 2014 and has only been increasing since then. The latest manifestation of this is the founding of the Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships (NFAS – http://nfas.autonomous-ship.org/, only Norwegian) and immediately before that, the establishment of the autonomous ship testing area in the Trondheim Fjord. The latter event was marked on September 30th, 2016 with a signing ceremony on board the R/V Gunnerus, NTNU’s (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) research ship. The Norwegian Maritime Administration and the Coastal Administration institutes signed the agreement together with representatives from local industry, universities and research.
The NFAS organisation was established on October 4th during a conference in Oslo. The Norwegian Minister of Transport opened the event and keynotes were delivered by the Director General at the Norwegian Coastal Administration, Ms. Kirsten Slotsvik, and Director General of Shipping and Navigation at The Norwegian Maritime Authority, Mr. Olav Akselsen. 39 companies and organisations signed up immediately as members of the forum. MARINTEK, technical coordinator of MUNIN, provides the secretariat for NFAS and was also one of the signatories to the test area agreement.
NFAS welcomes cooperation with similar initiatives in other countries. For more information, contact Mr. Ørnulf Jan Rødseth at MARINTEK.