Within the framework of the project funded by the State of Lower Saxony and the EU (EU-EFRE), Böning has developed the "SmartBridge" (digital bridge), which enables an intelligent, self-learning information technology networking and consolidation of all operating parameters on a generic platform. The core market for the "SmartBridge" is private yachts. Here, great success has also been achieved in international markets such as the USA. More than 50 SmartBridges were sold in the years following the completion of the project. Due to the success in the segment of private yachts, application needs from the commercial shipping sector have now been identified more and more frequently. In particular from the applications with special tasks such as fishing boats, offshore service boats, police boats and research vessels, there have been many enquiries for a "SmartBridge" which also enables workflows and processes on ships to be recorded, documented and controlled. This will be made possible with the SmartBridge2.0.

The "SmartBridge2.0" will then not only integrate all operating parameters of the ship, but also all parameters and data resulting from the application. In the area of fishing, for example, these include the location and movement of shoals of fish, the load and position data on the nets, the degree of processing of the catch on board and the utilisation of the cold stores. It must also be possible to store these application parameters and data, process them, present them in a suitable manner and make them available to all relevant actors in the respective application. In the fisheries sector, for example, this would be the fish processing industry or the monitoring bodies of authorities.

This results in two particular challenges for Böning.


1.    The "SmartBridge2.0" must meet the requirements of the ship classification societies in all functions and applications in order to be approved for use on work ships.

2.    The "SmartBridge2.0" must not only be "Smart" with regard to the operating parameters of the ship, but also with regard to the actual use of the ship. The solution should be as generic as possible and transferable to other applications - offshore and research vessels, pilot boats, government vessels, multipurpose freighters - so that it can be used easily and efficiently for any application. The "SmartBridge2.0" represents the "brain" of the ship, which in future will optimally record, document, present and control all processes on board the ship by means of machine learning, and is thus also prepared for future challenges in the areas of IoT, cloud solutions, BigData, machine learning and artificial intelligence.


These two framework conditions result in a conflict of objectives which in itself represents a high development risk. In addition, the generic approach with regard to application and transferability in terms of ship size and type, as well as scalability into the future, also poses a development risk with regard to the integration of possible new developments in the most diverse areas. A special focus will be placed on the development of the "SmartBridge2.0", a platform that will enable future developments such as autonomous driving and automated driving manoeuvres. In addition, the holistic availability of data and information will enable new business models. The planned development project will focus in particular on the fishing industry with the focus markets in Norway and Great Britain. By combining vessel manoeuvring with fish locators, winch systems, catch monitoring systems and energy management in one concept, the "SmartBridge2.0" will be a real innovation for this application. The "SmartBridge2.0" is planned as a unique fusion of features and operator comfort for efficient fishing.