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National Shipbuilding Research Program

Jun. 17, 2013

Over the last few years and with a projection well into the future, shipbuilding has become a major industry player in the U.S. once again. Since 2005, the U.S. government and its 11 major shipbuilders for the military have combined to create the National Shipbuilding Research Program, NSRP. At the request of the Navy, the shipyards were asked to form a group to help in reducing the cost to build, maintain and repair ships by improving productivity and quality through technological advancements and approaches. Since then, the NSRP has been able to use public and private R&D cost sharing based on investment plans.

 

Since its formation, the NSRP has split into 11 various panels covering everything necessary in building a ship from the keel up. Of these panels some of the major ones are Ship Design and Material Technologies, Welding Technologies, Electrical Systems and Warfare System Integration. As is stated above, the purpose of these panels is to observe where improvements can be made in the fabrication, operation and repair of naval vessels using advancing technologies. How the NSRP chooses and funds the different research projects depends on the size of the project and also by how much the technology is needed in the various shipyards.

The panel meets at 2-3 times a year to allow the individual researchers and teams a chance to update the panel on their progress and present any findings or demonstrate any new technologies. Each panel has roughly 5-10 different projects being conducted simultaneously.

The National Shipbuilding Research Panel has had a lot of success over the last few years since their start and they plan to continue as long as necessary. On average, a few approved and accepted research ideas can save a single ship builder in excess of over $3 million during the time of a single ship build which usually takes anywhere between 2-3 years, start to finish. Bug-O was the hosting location for the fall 2012 meeting and continues to be an active member of this industry governing body.