Why virtual reality has a bright future in maritime & offshore

An increasing number of companies and organisations in the maritime & offshore sector embrace virtual reality as a training tool. And they do this for good reasons, as I will explain in this blog post.

Although marine & offshore are often mentioned together, they are two specific markets with their own characteristics and opportunities.

Maritime: tightening of international law

Historically, the maritime business is a rather traditional sector, characterized by small margins and a strong focus on cost savings. Incidents such as the sinking of the Titanic (1912) and the Torry Canyon (1967), and the fire on the Scandinavian Star (1990) sparked an awareness among national governments that maritime safety needed to be regulated by international law. The accident with the Costa Concordia in 2012 enhanced this realisation.

Accident with the Costa Concordia in 2012

Offshore: growing safety awareness

In its relatively short history, the offshore sector has seen several major incidents. Despite the large margins and innovative culture, safety has long been neglected in this sector. But after the disasters on the Ekofisk Bravo Platform (1977), the oil production platform Piper Alpha (1988) and Deepwater Horizon (2010) we saw the rise of an industry-wide awareness that safety is not a luxury, but a key aspect of corporate risk management. This causes a need to train people in safety protocols, procedures, communication and crisis management.

This explains why both maritime and offshore have a growing demand for efficient, cost-effective training solutions. For multiple reasons, virtual reality is a particularly attractive solution.

Benefits of virtual reality

Virtual reality makes it easy to reconstruct past incidents to create learning experience for the future. It also enables you to create realistic scenarios of safety risks that are very sector-specific. This way virtual reality enables to lay a solid foundation for safety and situational awareness on vessels and platforms.

STCW training concept

A good example of the application of virtual reality is the hybrid training solution for international shipping that XVR Simulation developed in partnership with Falck Safety Services and Saphire Complete Training Concepts.

We developed this training concept in response to the recent tightening of international law for safety training in shipping (STCW). This law offers room for the introduction of new training methods like virtual reality and web-based learning.

The training concept is built from eighteen 40 foot shipping containers that provide a realistic ship environment, including the main risk areas: engine room, laundry, galley en crew recreation area. The facility is also equipped with a comprehensive simulation centre, shaped as a ship’s bridge and engine control room.

Simulation centre

Within this facility, Falck Safety Services provides a combination of realistic training and simulation training through virtual reality. This way, trainees assist each other to achieve competence in the various disciplines covered by the training. Experienced instructors ensure that this occurs within the required conditions and control the scenario from a central observation room.

Fewer training days, same quality

A key benefit of this hybrid training solution is the time saving: a full STCW repeater course can be reduced from 7 days of traditional classroom training to 4-5 days of interactive, scenario based training. This anticipates to the strong demand in the industry to minimize training costs without compromising the quality of the product.

Several major companies, including Boskalis – the Netherlands’ largest maritime service provider – and Holland America Line (HAL) have already used this training solution. HAL is considering extending this training to all its nautical and technical officers. Another cruise operator, Carnival UK Group from Southampton (UK) has already decided to use this training solution for all its 850 nautical and technical officers.

Further development

Naturally, we have plenty of ambitions to develop this training concept further. For instance we would like to include a water mist system in the training facility, to add to the realistic experience. We also have plans to expand this training concept with a specific Crisis Management module.

The results we have achieved so far, the very positive responses from the trainees and the amount of interest in the market, strengthen my conviction that virtual reality is the future for training safety procedures, incident response and crisis management in the maritime & offshore sector.

Are you active in this sector and would you like to know more about the benefits of virtual reality for your training needs? Feel free to contact me.

Blue Orange Wave solution will enable brand-new simulation centre to meet the needs of emergency responders

September 30, 2019 – The Hague – An official opening of the upgraded training center, Jovellanos Centre (Spanish Maritime Search and Rescue Agency), equipped with the Blue Orange Wave turn-key solution, took place on September 30.

The market leader in VR simulation training solutions Blue Orange Wave has been selected to supply and configure the software solution for a new, state-of-the-art, purpose-built simulation centre, located in Gíjon, Spain.

Being part of the Spanish Maritime Search and Rescue Agency, Jovellanos Centre is designed to meet the specific simulation training requirements of the first response personnel of the Agency and national maritime customers throughout the country.

Blue Orange Wave provided the integrated solution in an existing part of the main building consisting of simulation centre design, the simulation and training solution, along with the scenario development and staff training to ensure the required level of competency has been reached. The XVR Simulation software suite will enable the teaching of the latest approaches in emergency response, and equip trainees with skills needed onboard.

Blue Orange Wave’s unique and tailored approach to deliver its turn-key solution was cited as being a key consideration in the contract award by the Spanish Ministerio de Formento. The European tender was granted to Blue Orange Wave in May 2019 and is linked to a five-year continuous service agreement.

The simulation center is the first and only training centre in Spain to have integrated XVR Simulation Suite and associated course provision.

“XVR Simulation without a doubt is the most realistic and advanced solution on the market. It delivers an immersive real-world situational environment in which trainees can learn how to operate in different adverse scenarios safely. The center will promote crew safety and operational efficiency, and we thank Blue Orange Wave for their support throughout the project,” commented Director of the Center, Julian Camus Bergareche.

“This project is an important milestone for Blue Orange Wave as it is the first training centre to be equipped with the XVR Simulation software in Spain. We are proud of what has been achieved in such a short time and were honored to provide the expertise and full scope of services needed to address the needs of Centro Jovellanos,” says Tim Lodder AFNI, Managing Director of Blue Orange Wave.

Media contacts:

Tim Lodder  AFNI
Managing Director
Blue Orange Wave
Tel: +31(0)85 002 09 37
Email: lodder@blueorangewave.com

All Blue Orange Wave releases are available at www.blueorangewave.com

Blue Orange Wave in brief:

Blue Orange Wave is a globally operating consultancy company providing an extensive range of innovative business solutions, hands-on advice and support to clients of all kinds engaged with maritime or offshore oil, gas and renewable energy related projects in the fields of quality, health, safety, security, environment and training.


Jovellanos Centre in brief:

Jovellanos Centre, which opened in May 1993, depends organically of the Spanish Maritime Search and Rescue Agency, attached to the Ministry of Public Works through the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine. Designed to provide comprehensive training services, it is equipped with modern means and facilities. The centre employs a team of highly qualified technicians and specialists who work in the fields of safety and the marine environment.


Blue Orange Wave turnkey solution for the new state-of-the-art training center

May 21, 2019 – The Hague – Market leader in professional maritime training and simulation solutions Blue Orange Wave has been selected to provide a turnkey solution for a new training facility or SACS Group, located in Columbia.

With this recently signed 5-year contract, Blue Orange Wave is to supply and configure the XVR Simulation Platform for a new purpose-built training center being constructed in Bogóta, Columbia. The solution has been ordered by the SACS Group, a leading provider of HSEQ training services. 

Scheduled to complete in summer 2019, it will be the first and only training center in South America to have integrated XVR Simulation Platform and associated course provision. In addition to the software, Blue Orange Wave will also provide tailor-made simulation scenarios, project management, and product training. Prior to the center’s implementation phase, the desired design and hardware specifications were established in close cooperation with the client. 

The new training center will use the incident command training platform XVR Simulation to train emergency responders in the maritime, offshore, oil and gas and aviation industries, and equip trainees with the skills needed in the safe and environmentally friendly workplace. 

A set of modular applications for all training objectives is available through the XVR platform: 

XVR On Scene – Comprehensive, versatile and flexible incident response training in an immersive 3D environment.

XVR Crisis Media – Interactive simulation of media and public responses.

“We thank Blue Orange Wave for its support in helping us deliver a very high standard training curriculum and become the very first education provider in South America to employ Blue Orange Wave turnkey solution for emergency response training. We are very pleased to be able to call on the extensive Orange Wave experience to make this project a success, ”says Mario Gamboa, Chief Executive Officer or SACS Group. 

“We are delighted to have been selected to provide our turnkey solution for this training facility and to raise safety and security awareness within the national Colombian maritime and offshore industries. The quality of the products we deliver is the highest on the market, and we believe this center will deliver outstanding training possibilities through the use of these solutions», says Tim Lodder AFNI, Managing Director of Blue Orange Wave.

XVR Simulation appointments Blue Orange Wave as preferred reseller

04-06-2018 – Delft – Global leader in virtual reality training software XVR Simulation BV has chosen maritime services provider Blue Orange Wave BV as preferred reseller for the maritime and offshore markets. In this role, Blue Orange Wave will be responsible for all global sales and support efforts of the XVR Platform in these designated markets.

XVR Simulation CEO Joost Beerthuis is excited about the newly formed partnership. “With Blue Orange Wave as our preferred reseller, we are able to offer the maritime and offshore market the same personal and flexible approach as our users have come to know us by. The people behind Blue Orange Wave have years of experience in the maritime and offshore market, enabling them to offer sound advice and tailor-made solutions to users. «

Tim Lodder, CEO of Blue Orange Wave, is looking forward to continuing the maritime and offshore efforts of XVR Simulation. “Blue Orange Wave and XVR Simulation share a common mission to enhance the knowledge and expertise of maritime safety & security professionals to improve their preparedness for any incident or disaster. The XVR Platform has a proven track record and is already active in these industries. We are looking forward to extending our services to a wider group of users worldwide ”.

XVR Simulation has chosen Blue Orange Wave as preferred reseller for the maritime market for their extensive range of services it provides. Tim Lodder: “Blue Orange Wave solutions specifically designed for maritime safety and security professionals. We’ll support them with software implementation, scenario development or advice. «

Joost Beerthuis is very confident about the partnership: “Combining the flexibility and user friendliness of the XVR Platform with the knowledge and experience of Blue Orange Wave results in the best possible solutions for existing challenges in the maritime and offshore markets, especially in the fields of Safety, Security and Environment. «