Every five years, DNV GL publishes its Technology Outlook. This keenly awaited report is primarily intended to give customers and stakeholders a basis for discussion and insight into the technology landscape of the next decade within selected industries.
“It may be hard to believe we’re on the cusp of a technological revolution at a time when the global economy as a whole is slowing. But our view in DNV GL is that we are indeed entering a new ‘renaissance’ in industrial progress, with the accelerated uptake of cyber-physical systems,” says Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO.
The digitization of information flows will spur the automation of existing processes and functions, and have a positive impact on safety and environmental performance. As the world’s leading class society, DNV GL believes that ships are becoming sophisticated sensor hubs and data generators. In effect, vessels are becoming floating computers, echoing developments in the automotive industry where family cars today have more computing power than early space shuttles. Self-driving vehicles of the future will of course have even more. Advances in satellite communications are improving ship connectivity and allowing a massive increase in the volumes of data transferred at ever-lower cost.
The next ten years will introduce many changes. As an example, additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is dramatically changing where and how things are made. Spare parts for ships, for instance, could be printed out at a port of convenience; conceivably from recycled material as circular economy models become pervasive.
When it comes to the production of energy, large generating plants and passive components still dominate today’s power system. But that time is over. In the next 10 years, the new energy landscape will be a hybrid of large and small scale elements: large scale renewable generating plants and super grids which move power over long distances, and micro grids and energy producing buildings where consumers have an active role.
DNV GL’s Technology Outlook 2025 is about more than the maritime and energy industries. It establishes a platform for 2025 based on predictions of economic trends, geopolitical trends, demographics changes, etc. The Technology Outlook itself has three main focus areas – shipping, energy and life sciences.
The report states that digitalization will be one common thread, while the rise of Asia is another. Technological advances in Asia will drive much of global innovation in the next decade and beyond. In the 1980s, the theoretical epicentre of global economic activity was midway between the US and Europe. By 2025, that spot will have moved to central Asia.
It is fitting therefore that the worldwide launch of Technology Outlook took place today in Asia – in Shanghai, China in front of customers and stakeholders.
At the launch, Remi Eriksen stated: “This edition of Technology Outlook is very much about the probable, and less about the possible. It is not an investigation into edgy, avant garde technology. Instead, it explores technology likely to be taken up in the next ten years.
“Our view is that the coming decade will be about implementation. It will be about action. Technologies that until now have been considered breakthrough – from subsea to renewables to driverless cars to digitalization to the cloud – are all going to be deployed on a large scale by 2025 or not long thereafter,” he said.
“China will certainly play an essential role in this technology development, and as a regional manager for DNV GL Greater China I am eager to work together with the industry to achieve those probabilities. We can see many opportunities for safer and smarter solutions, and DNV GL will continue to be part of this,” concludes Torgeir Sterri.
DNV GL Technology Outlook 2025 has been developed to share the report’s content and to invite interaction.
Quite what this technological onslaught means for practicing marine surveyors over the next period is hard to understand at this point.