Going global with simulation in the cloud

Studenter jente og to gutter i klasserom foran PC-skjermer med skybasert simulatortrening
GLOBAL MARKET: The University of South-Eastern Norway will develop exercises for cloud simulation, delivered via Kongsberg Digital’s K-Sim Connect platform to their own students as well as students located worldwide.

The University of South-Eastern Norway has signed an agreement with Kongsberg Digital to develop and provide cloud-based simulation exercises for the international market.

The development of new technologies and the global effort to make more sustainable use of ocean resources is driving a need for new competencies within the maritime industry. Education is key to delivering them. 

New cloud-based simulation technology is bringing more opportunities and flexibility to maritime education. The University of South-East Norway (USN) will collaborate with Kongsberg Digital (KDI) to develop state-of-the-art cloud-based simulation solutions, to be used anytime and anywhere.  

– Through the collaboration our simulation-based teaching and skills training will move from campus-based physical simulators to cloud-based solutions. This will both strengthen the quality and relevance of our maritime professional education and aid with continuing and further training for a rapidly changing working life. At the same time, it will strengthen USN’s position as an international player in this field, says rector Petter Aasen at USN.

The agreement encompasses both the development of exercises and a partnership for commercial collaboration with KDI.

– A commercial agreement such as this is a new venture for USN. This agreement enables the university to commercialize its cloud-based products and provide them via KDI’s platform, thus giving them world-wide reach, says Jørn Kragh.

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World-wide reach

He is team coordinator in eMAR under the USN partnership, which assists in digitalizing parts of the University’s maritime education portfolio.

– The Covid-19-situation has highlighted both the possibilities and advantages of cloud-based simulator training, continues Kragh.  –We will now be able to offer other educational institutes the same quality product that we provide our own students, which will be profitable for USN.

Kongsberg Digital is a world leader in the development and commercialization of cutting-edge cloud-based solutions, which meet both existing and future demands for maritime education and training. Delivering the correct competencies within ocean space disciplines will ensure that the maritime industry continues as central contributor for Norway’s growth.

– Simulator-based education and training are central to maritime professional education. USN has an international position in this context, both in terms of the content of its educational programs and research-based academic approaches, says Aasen.

– For KDI, this agreement means that we can both develop and ensure the quality of our cloud simulations in cooperation with a partner with extensive competence in using simulators for education and research purposes, adds Morten Hasås, Senior Vice President for Maritime Simulation at KDI. 

KDI’s digital platform, K-Sim Connect, operates as a marketplace where companies, educational institutes and others can explore and subscribe to a wide range of cloud-based simulation solutions.

–Through close cooperation with USN we plan to create a roadmap for educating seafarers in the future. This agreement is an important step for us, combining cloud simulation with relevant educational content and methods to ensure that students can access the most relevant simulation technology and studies, updated and in line with ongoing changes in the maritime sector, says Gullik A. Jensen, Product Director for digital services at KDI. 

–Both the academic methods and technology developed through this collaboration will be applicable for other educational programs where simulations are included – or can be included – to enhance quality and relevance, adds Aasen.

The innovation project, named Skynav, is funded by Innovation Norway. USN is contributing by optimizing the simulation solution, and several of the cutting-edge simulation exercises provided to its students today will soon be available to the worldwide training market. 

– USN will create a training portfolio which efficiently utilizes the possibilities offered by cloud simulation, including the option for self-study in combination with traditional simulator training. USN is an important user of these systems and together we will ensure that technical solutions are developed in a goal-oriented and optimal manner, says Jensen.

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Online training

USN is heading the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Simulator Training and Assessment (COAST). The goal for this project is to equip the students with the knowledge and skills required by the emerging maritime industry.

Simulator training will ensure students and crew are offered close-to-real-life education, enabling them to build vital competencies. Cloud-based training solutions are conducted online and are therefore a cost-efficient training tool when compared with traditional on-the-premises simulators, which require both hardware and space.

– The future maritime industry is dependent on qualified crew. By moving simulation into the cloud and providing a digital learning environment, we believe maritime education can become more attractive to today’s young people. By enhancing competence, they can perform operations at sea in a more safe, sustainable and cost-efficient way, which will also have positive consequences for society in general, says Hasås.

The cloud simulator will also be adapted for post-qualification training for navigators and will contribute to simplifying the process of regular certificate renewals.