About MODE

Program Background and Target

Maritime logistics by ship supports people’s lives, economy, and social activities as a social infrastructure that carries about 80% of the world’s cargo and more than 99% of Japan’s cargo. Japan’s maritime industry faces the following issues to be resolved: “development of new technologies and their social implementation in the context of the global trend toward decarbonization,” “introduction of automated vessels to improve safety and work styles to maintain shipping services,” and “securing overwhelming productivity in the increasingly sophisticated ship design and manufacturing processes.

MODE aims to address these challenges by using model-based development (MBD)* and model-based systems engineering (MBSE),** which are increasingly being introduced in the automobile industry.

MBD and MBSE approach those problems by examining the functions of products and components as computer models and then checking their behaviors through simulations. MBD and MBSE enable the optimization of complex system designs and the creation of a collaborative development process (“Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering”) involving a wide range of stakeholders, including shippers and operators.

The program for research and education using MBD and MBSE for the maritime field will be established by forming a broad network between the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences and the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo and research institutes around the world that are promoting advanced engineering initiatives, and relevant experts from other industries such as automobiles, aerospace, and aviation.

The program aims to develop, implement, and upskill users in the development of new technologies. It is also expected to expand into maritime fields such as offshore wind power generation and subsea resource development.

* Model-based development (MBD) A development method to reduce the total man-hours and period for development by utilizing a simulation model in the design and development of a product, and to reduce physical prototyping and trial tests.

** Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) A method of systems engineering that uses a modeling language to describe the system by defining the concept of operation and clarifying functional requirements based on the goals to be achieved by the system, and then designing, developing, verifying, and validating the system.

Program Outline

  • Period: From October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2027 (5 years)
  • Representative faculty memberHideaki Murayama, Professor, Department of Ocean Technology, Policy, and Environment, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo
  • Activities: Research and education on Model-based development methods and a common simulation platform in the maritime industry. Research and education on technologies and international rules for decarbonization and autonomous ships. International collaboration.

Member (As of December 7, 2023)

MTI Co., Ltd. (NYK Group company), Japan Marine United Corporation, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group company), Furuno Electric Co., Ltd., Japan Radio Co., Ltd., BEMAC Corporation, ClassNK, and NAPA Ltd., have come together to establish the “Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering” (MODE) cooperation program at the University of Tokyo from October 1. JRCS Co.Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Shin Kurushima Sanoyas Shipbuilding Co.,Ltd., Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Terasaki Electric Co., Ltd., Nabtesco Corporation have joined MODE on April 3, 2023. Daihatsu Diesel Mfg. Co., Ltd. has joined MODE on July 27,2023.

The program aims to promote and enhance digital engineering technology and skills for the maritime sector by building a cooperative simulation platform.