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International Activities

International Maritime Research Center

to website of International Maritime Research Center (Japanese site)
The center name was changed on October 1, 2009.

1. The objectives of the Center

  1. The International Maritime Research Center in the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences and Faculty of Maritime Sciences, Kobe University, is an advanced maritime education and research organization.
  2. International cooperation in education and research are important for Japan's maritime industry and for international maritime society, where globalization and the multi-nationalization of ships' crews have become common in recent years. In particular, the development of systematic maritime education programs in developing countries, the training of human resources in the higher education sector, the enhancement of undergraduate and graduate education and research structures in universities, and improvements to the methods of formulating vocational skills training programs that go beyond country borders are required.
  3. The objectives of the Center are as follows; the construction of a maritime-related higher education international network that further develops the existing international maritime education network, the research and development of educational programs with international cooperation, the construction of a maritime-related academic and technical information database and research and development on the formation of an international information network, the promotion of education and research on safety-management systems for marine traffic (quality assurance), and active international contributions in the maritime field by demonstrating international leadership.

2. Academic and social significance and effects

  1. Today, even if we look throughout the world, other than IMO administrative agencies we will not see any other international maritime scientific engineering education-and-research bases.
  2. By organically combining the activities of three fields, the Center hopes to make as practical contribution as possible to international maritime society, including to the education of new seafarers, the education of maritime safety management engineers, the global standardization of educational methods, to provide recommendations on new international systems and qualifications, and also to build strong cooperative relations with countries that provide seafarers and with IMO.
  3. From a global perspective, the Center can contribute to constructing an international social system to promote safety management for ship navigation, to constructing a management system to realize safe navigation and environmental conservation in international maritime society, and to constructing an advanced ship safety management system using the latest information communication technologies.
  4. The Center's various activities can contribute to stabilizing the maritime industry in Japan, to ensuring the safety of marine logistics, and to protecting the marine environment.
  5. The maritime safety environment information system and the maritime information database and international information network constructed in the Center are expected to function as the infrastructure to acquire information on education and research activities, and they can greatly contribute to enhancing undergraduate and graduate education and research.

3. Overview of the Center's education and research

Descriptions of the education and research by field
  1. The field to develop international maritime education programs
    1. Research and development of advanced educational programs in the maritime field
      Within the context of the globalization of ship operations and the multi-nationalization of ships' crews, the Center conducts research and analysis of academic and technical information from a comprehensive and global perspective with the aim at constructing programs for a "next-generation type" education and training system in high-level maritime related universities. Furthermore, it researches and develops new educational programs that are necessary to train the maritime human resources who will be responsible for safety management in ship operations.
    2. Constructing an international education network in the maritime-related field
      The Center is constructing an organized network for international education with the aim of effectively utilizing management systems and educational programs in a form in which maritime- and marine-related academic and technical information will be easy to use in an interdisciplinary manner, both inside and outside of the University
    3. Support for the research and development activities of various international organizations with which it cooperates
      The Center conducts project research to support the international cooperative projects in the education and research field implemented by the various international organizations with which it cooperates.
    4. Constructing a database of maritime-related human resources for international cooperation
      The Center is constructing a database of maritime-related human resources for international cooperation to utilize to the greatest possible extent the human resources in maritime-related universities, such as in the members of the International Association of Maritime Universities, and to effectively manage international education programs. It also actively dispatches specialists to form and strengthen the network between international maritime-related universities, to promote exchanges of maritime specialists, and to utilize the dispatch of specialists for international cooperation projects.
  2. The field to develop an international maritime information network
    1. Research on total navigation management incorporating the human element
      The Center uses a safe navigation management system, together with information communication technologies, to conduct research into comprehensive navigation management that incorporates a quality management system that considers the human element, and it reflects the results of this research in its simulator development.
    2. Research on management-technology information on marine traffic engines
      From the viewpoint of the safety of marine traffic engines and the conservation of the marine environment, the Center conducts research on constructing a new database and international network relating to engine management-technology information, mainly for ships. In addition, it analyzes improvements to the reliability and integrity of engine plants and reflects its findings in its simulator development.
    3. Research on marine-environment information
      c. Ships can cause major environmental problems to the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. Whether on a local scale or global scale, international responses are essential to address environment problems caused by ships and other vessels. Toward this, the Center is conducting research into constructing an international marine-environment information database and an organizational network.
    4. Research on international information relating to maritime society
      From the perspectives of improving the safety of maritime activities and ensuring the preservation of the environment, the Center conducts research into building and managing an academic and technical information database on international maritime organizations, such as IMO, and for overseas.
  3. The field of research on international maritime safety systems (researchers promote research with collaborators ① and ② from in the faculty and elsewhere)
    1. Research on marine traffic safety and the conservation of the marine environment
      The Center analyzes a variety of maritime- and marine-related technical information and conducts research on improving the safety of marine traffic and logistics, and also into environmental-conservation issues with a focus on applications for ship navigation and for environmental conservation.
    2. Research to support safe navigation
      The Center conducts research into safety management and operations technologies for complex traffic systems that use ship-related information on marine traffic, marine phenomena, the weather, and port conditions, and also into a support system for all marine traffic utilizing an automated vessel identification system and radar technologies.
    3. 3) Research on an advanced fleet management system
      The Center conducts comprehensive research using advanced information communication technologies to build a system to monitor the navigation conditions of ships, such as in oceans or in limited sea areas, on engines, and on life on ships as a whole. It also conducts research into methods of quickly discovering anomalous phenomena at an early stage and to prevent fatalities and physical accidents and damage before they occur.
The Center's educational and research functions
Educational functions
  1. The training of overseas trainees
    The Center's teaching staff participate in the project teams of international cooperative projects, and by dispatching experts for short periods, it promote the transfer of technologies to its counterparts, including of maritime safety technologies and technologies for various measures for the maritime environment.
  2. Holds lectures and provides research guidance for students of the Graduate School
    The Center holds specialist lectures and provides research guidance for students in the Graduate School's postgraduate research programs (Master's program and Doctor's program).
Industry-academia collaborations and joint research functions
  1. Based on its track record of conducting joint research in the maritime field, the Center is contributing to maritime society by building a database on the maritime field and developing the analysis from it for industry and academia toward producing high quality research findings and enhancing its international cooperation function.
  2. The Center widely invites researchers from domestic and international maritime organizations as visiting researchers. It has the characteristics of being a think tank and it is positively developing functions capable of positively advising society on essential matters in areas such as maritime policy, administration, and education.
International-coordination function
  1. The Center coordinates with the 29 universities that are members of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) and other international universities with which it has cooperative agreements. Moreover, it contributes to the curriculum content for a new education for maritime safety management engineers, to the globalization and standardization of educational methods, and to building new international systems and qualifications for international maritime society.