Connectivity Fieldlab North Sea

In some places on the North Sea it is difficult to communicate and this is often a matter of improvisation. This is due to a lack of digital connectivity. This hinders the users of the sea in their functioning, creates risks and puts a brake on economic, ecological and technological developments. It is also a serious threat to the digital transformation of the North Sea. With the Connectivity Fieldlab North Sea (CFNS), Rijkswaterstaat wants to stimulate the development of digital connectivity at sea. So that by 2030 people and devices can communicate with each other everywhere in the Dutch part of the North Sea.

Without digital connectivity there is no communication

The number of windmills appearing in the North Sea is increasing, what could lead to accidents. it could just happen: a cargo ship collides with a wind turbine some distance off the coast. The ship sends a digital distress signal to the Coast Guard Center. This sends a drone into the air to record the situation on site. The images are shared live with the Coast Guard Center and the nearest salvage company ship. Meanwhile, a buoy near the accident transmits data about wave height and wind speed, so that this can be taken into account during the salvage operation. Three hours later the cargo ship's crew was safely brought ashore.

The reality is that these types of communication options are lacking in large parts of the North Sea, simply because there is no digital connectivity. The rescue operation in the example would therefore be a lot more difficult in reality. And that's where the CFNS comes in.

Together we lay the foundation for new communication options at sea

In the CFNS, governments, companies and knowledge and research institutions together lay the foundation for new maritime communication options. Through pilots and proof-of-concepts, they investigate which combinations of wireless technologies are suitable for use at sea and how the associated hardware and software can be installed at fixed, floating or floating installation points.

Mission-driven innovation

The CFNS functions as a mission-driven innovation program. This means that participants work together on the basis of equality on innovative solutions for connectivity and the underlying social issues. With the Offshore Expertise Center (OEC) as its home base, the CFNS wants to develop into a knowledge community for everyone who wants to contribute to better digital connectivity in the North Sea. Policy makers, technicians, students, researchers, start-ups, large and small companies: anyone who wants to share their knowledge and experience is very welcome to participate!

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