Maine Maritime Academy Partners with SailPlan to Pioneer Intelligent Vessel Navigation

Posted on: January 26, 2021

CASTINE, ME –  Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) has partnered with SailPlan, a maritime technology startup based in Reston, Virginia, to accelerate the development of an intelligent vessel’s development navigation platform and shoreside vessel control.

MMA will equip its fleet, including the R/V Quickwater, an autonomous 41-ft workboat, with SailPlan’s intelligent navigation platform. SailPlan will provide real-time fleet location and health monitoring to MMA’s Shore Control Center resulting in unparalleled vessel telemetry being made available shoreside. SailPlan’s cloud-based route exchange capability will allow autonomous vessels to proactively mitigate collision risks while optimizing routing for efficiency.

“This partnership is an example of our strategic focus on faculty research,” said Dr. Keith Williamson, MMA’s new Vice President for Academic Affairs. “It will impact the future of the industry we serve while bringing real-world experience into the classroom.”

Sailplan’s navigation platform increases safety by capturing and analyzing data around vessel traffic, weather, berth availability, and geographic awareness to provide unparalleled situational awareness, resulting in the ability to proactively optimize voyage plans, avoid congested waters, and separate from potential collision scenarios to a far greater degree than possible with current market solutions.

“I am excited for our students and for MMA,” said Jennifer Norwood, Assistant Professor of Marine Transportation. “We have the opportunity to help shape this new technology and put our students at the forefront of advanced navigation development in the maritime industry.”

“The future of safe navigation rests on digital enablement and vessel connectivity. Our partnership will accelerate the adoption of these foundational, safety-critical technologies that provide advanced collision avoidance, intelligent vessel routing, and increased insight shoreside,” said SailPlan’s CEO, Jacob Ruytenbeek. “MMA has been an incredible partner for SailPlan. We look forward to seeing how this partnership impacts mariner safety and operator efficiency.”

About Maine Maritime Academy

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The job placement rate for MMA graduates exceeds 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as U.S. News and World Report, Washington Monthly, and Money Magazine.

About SailPlan

Founded in 2020 and based in Reston, VA, SailPlan is a maritime technology company committed to improving maritime navigational safety by developing an intelligent vessel navigation platform and a network of connected maritime infrastructure.