Webinar Autonomous Ships: A World of Opportunities and Exciting Challenges


Maritime transport faces several challenges: decarbonisation, digitalisation and automation, as well as training, recruitment and retention of highly qualified personnel. With due regard for maritime safety and security and the integrity of the regulatory framework, autonomous ships are part of a sustainable solution for a sector that is responsible for 85% of world trade.


Therefore, a webinar on tackling autonomous ships will take place on Tuesday 22 June, starting at 13:00 CEST (12:00 GMT).




We will discuss the required regulatory framework and outline various pilot projects. Special attention will be paid to technological preconditions and autonomous applications required for appropriate digital support. The Royal Belgian Shipowners' Association will also share its expectations on operating autonomous ships.


This webinar is organized by FPS Mobility and Transport on the initiative of the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister of the North Sea, Vincent Van Quickenborne: "With this webinar, our country once again proves the leading role of the Belgian maritime sector at a global level. With the new legal framework, we now enable pilot projects with autonomous vessels. This will give a boost to the various Belgian companies investing in this technology. We will also be laying the foundations for a regulatory framework on an international level."



Practical information


Register here: webinar registration


You can find the programme here:







Sophie Mirgaux


Introduction by the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the North Sea

Vincent Van Quickenborne


MASS national regulation: drafting of a first Belgian legal instrument dedicated to autonomous shipping in order to strengthen the regulatory framework while facilitating the approval process and providing for the possibility to register an unmanned vessel


Aline Douxfils (FPS Mobility & Transport)



Introduction Pilot Projects

Marc Nuytemans (The Blue Cluster)



Project 1: dotOcean: development of control systems for autonomous navigation of vessels and advanced situational awareness software for the maritime and defence industry.

Koen Geirnaert (dotOcean)



Project 2: development of an unmanned system that includes the USV and the required software. Providing the Belgian and Dutch naval forces with a comprehensive, integrated and cyber-secure solution to be deployed by mine hunters.



Steven Luys (ECA Robotics Belgium)



Project 3: SeaHub: Vessel-to-vessel and vessel-to-shore communication: Creating an offshore experience onshore. Reliable VoIP, livestreaming and file sharing.





Mitch De Geest (CityMesh)



Project 4:  Seafar: development and design of Shore Control Center that supports and operates automated vessels remotely.

Louis-Robert Cool (Seafar)




Expectations from the shipowners

Wilfried Lemmens (Royal Belgian Shipowners Association)

Catrien Scheers (Fast Lines)

T.B.C. (Deme)



Marc Nuytemans (The Blue Cluster)


Concluding remarks

Jean-Baptiste Merveille (FPS Mobility & Transport)



Sophie Mirgaux