Innovation & Continuous development

Operating at the forefront of technology requires substantial investments in research and technological development. HSVA is committed to maintain the position achieved and performs research in all areas relevant to our field. The main focus of our research activities lies on further improvements of our in-house tools and testing methods and their application to HSVA’s strategic research objectives. Besides, HSVA actively engages in the development and assessment of innovative maritime products, contributing to safer and greener shipping.

CFD developments form a prominent part of our research activities which are mostly run as collaborative projects in the context of nationally funded research schemes or under the umbrella of European Framework Programmes.

In addition to the numerical work, there is a considerable amount of research either related to advanced experimental techniques or the use of HSVA’s world-class experimental facilities to either improve existing or develop new maritime products, ships, platforms or other. 

The FLARE consortium of experts in ship flooding risk research comprises 19 key stakeholders from industry, academia and policy makers, involved in ship flooding risk research for years focusing on passenger ships. The overriding objective of the FLARE project is to develop a risk-based methodology for 'live' flooding risk assessment and control. This is to be achieved by: creating an updated accident database for passenger ships and damages, using this with support from suitably verified flooding simulation tools and crashworthiness models to develop a generic risk model for flooding incidents, accounting for collision and grounding with focus on cost-effective risk containment in emergencies.

HSVA concentrates on numerical simulation of damaged RoPax ships in waves until capsize or survival. Experimental data for validation of numerical codes were generated with model tests on a RoPax vessel. HSVA participated in benchmark tests with the HSVA Rolls code against HSVA model test data. Flooding mitigation efforts were numerically simulated and novel flooding mitigation model tests were carried out. Further, evacuation simulations were carried out to rank different flooding mitigation efforts on a damaged RoPax ship in waves.

This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 814753 over a period of three years, ending in May 2022.

Contact: valanto@hsva.de


The aim of GATERS is to design, manufacture and install a retrofit Gate Rudder System (GRS) and demonstrate the effectiveness of the retrofit GRS through sea trials and voyage monitoring. The project’s objective is to exploit the potential benefits and hence impact of the Gate Rudder System (GRS) on shipping operations at two levels and mainly for the “Retrofit” application of the GRS on ships. The first level is across the range of European Short Sea Shipping (SSS) operations by demonstrating the application and impact on an existing general cargo ship which will be fitted with the GRS and operated.

The second level is to demonstrate its implementation and impact through wider ship types at the concept exploration level, including the Oceangoing Shipping (OS) operations. The combination of both applications will demonstrate if the GRS can be the next generation of propulsion and steering system for green waterborne transport.

GATERS is an EU project funded in the last round of HORIZON 2020 (ID: 860337) with 13 European partners, coordinated by the University of Strathclyde. The project continues for three years until January 2024.

Project Website: https://www.gatersproject.com
Contact: Marzi@hsva.de


The Horizon 2020 European Research project “TrAM – Transport: Advanced and Modular” is a joint effort of 13 stakeholders of the European maritime industry. The aim of this project is to develop zero emission fast going passenger vessels through advanced modular production, with the main focus on electrically powered vessels operating in coastal areas and inland waterways. The project is innovative for the introduced zero emission technology, the design and manufacturing methods, while it should prove that electric-powered vessels can be fast and competitive in terms of offered service, the environmental impact and the life-cycle cost. 

In the frame of the project, HSVA takes the leading role in carrying out extensive numerical and experimental studies on hydrodynamic optimisation of a battery-driven catamaran’s hull form. A demonstrator of the presently studied catamaran concept is being built and will start operations on a multi-stop commuter route in the Stavanger area, Norway, before the end of the project. 

The TrAM H2020 project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 769303 and is coordinated by Kolumbus (Norway).

Project Website: https://tramproject.eu/
Contact: xing-kaeding@hsva.de

DEffProForm - Design von effizienten Schiffspropellern mit unkonventioneller Formgebung / (Design of efficient ship propellers with unconventional shape)

The aim of the research project is to investigate and to make full use of unconventional propeller potentials aiming to reduce the fuel consumption by increasing the propeller efficiency. Therefore we develop further the design procedure for such propellers (as tip-fin propellers) as well as the numerical tools for their performance prediction. 

For validation purpose of the designs and the numerical tools, model test with the new designs in HSVA’s large towing tank, large cavitation tunnel and the HYKAT will be performed. Full scale (trial) observations as well as measurements close the circle towards the ability of evaluating the propeller characteristics in the view of theoretical and experimental results determined in model scale.

 The project is funded by BMWi (03SX516D) over a period of three years.

Contact: luecke@hsva.de


The joint research project SAMSON, carried out by a consortium consisting of five partners under the lead of VDVB (Van der Velden Barkemeyer) aims to investigate the potential of active and passive flow control for shipbuilding applications and to demonstrate the effectiveness for a number of application cases. These target manoeuvring as well as seakeeping characteristics and power demand providing new options to reduce emissions and to enhance safety of shipping. The effectiveness of the measures is initially estimated numerically. Subsequently, multi-stage experimental studies are carried out in the course of the technology development, utilizing HSVA’s large towing tank and HYKAT facility.

The research project SAMSON carried out from 2019 to 2022 is partially funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the framework program “Maritimes Forschungsprogramm”, registration number 03SX496B.

Contact: kroeger@hsva.de

Within the MarTERA ERA-NET founded joint research project “Twin-crp-pod ULCS”, HSVA develops measurement and testing techniques for innovative propulsion systems. A new propulsion system for an Ultra-Large Container Ship (ULCS) is investigated, which consists of a twin skeg arrangement with conventional propellers, each supplemented by a contra-rotating pod. In order to assess the hydrodynamic efficiency of such setup compared to conventional single-screw propulsion system, a special test technique is developed at HSVA using the HYKAT cavitation testing facility. Tests in HYKAT enable high flow speed and therefore realistic Reynold’s number.
The model tests performed at HSVA supplement studies on CFD analysis, manoeuvring and ship-handling tests, and life cycle analysis of the required retrofit, investigated by the six consortium partners.

The project is coordinated by the Foundation for Safety of Navigation and Environment Protection (Poland), and the German part is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (03SX520A) over a period of three years.

Contact: schmale@hsva.de

Energy efficiency has always been a key concern for shipbuilding and shipping. Whereas in the past it was mainly economic reasons that motivated the search for a low power requirement for a ship, today ecological reasons and compliance with statutory regulations to reduce emissions are coming strongly to the forefront with at least equal weight. These concerns call for a consistent strategy of energy efficiency as well as a significant reduction of exhaust emissions not only in the construction but also substantially in the operation of ships.

For these reasons, HSVA, together with ten leading partners from the maritime industry, launched a large-scale project to develop comprehensive technologies for the energy management of ships and - associated with this - to reduce emissions from ship operation. Together with associated shipping companies, a future-oriented energy management and decision support system based on rational methods is to be developed, taking into account current operational status data as well as geo-information.

MariData is a national German project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (03SX528C) over a period of three years, ending November 2023.

Website: www.maridata.org
Contact: Marzi@hsva.de 

The Research Project Mega-Yacht-Schaum (MYS) targets to replace the traditional method of manual applied and smoothened epoxy filler. The target of a totally smooth hull surface shall be achieved instead by an automatic applicated and milled PUR foam. The role of HSVA within the project ist to analyse the new hull finish within the harshest environment – The Arctic. Therefore probes of the sandwich structure of hull and foam are tested to withstand ice friction and compression forces as well as the forces induced by thermal ice pressure.   

The project is funded over a period of three years by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Information Technology (BMWi, 03SX440B).

Contact: Schroeder@hsva.de

Project archive

The Air Induced friction Reducing ship COATing (AIRCOAT) project develops a passive air lubrication technology inspired by the Salvinia effect. By applying the AIRCOAT technology in form of a foil to ship-hull surfaces, the foil will produce a thin permanent air layer, when submerged in water. Thereby, AIRCOAT aims to introduce a game-changing hull-coating and validates its potential to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency, by reducing frictional resistance, reducing emission of pollutants, reducing biofouling and designing application along with production procedures within the project. The AIRCOAT project has received funding for a period of three years from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 764553.

Project website: https://aircoat.eu/
Contact: myland@hsva.de

In order to strengthen Germany's position in the global maritime market, innovation and competitiveness are the keys to success. This requires excellence in maritime research and testing technology. With the FAMOS project initiated by a consortium of Germany’s major model basins including HSVA, a test facility of the future for the investigation of ships and offshore structures in waves, wind and currents is to be created in Germany. This covers technical specifications, cost estimates, operating concept and economic benefit.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Information Technology (BMWi) and led by the German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industries Association (VSM).

Contact: Lassen@hsva.de