The NAVDEC has been developed by a team of researchers from the Faculty of Navigation, Maritime University of Szczecin, Poland, for years working on applications of modern technologies in marine navigation. Initially, the work was performed as statutory research at the Faculty comprising such topics as:
- artificial intelligence methods in marine navigation (1999 – 2001),
- applications of artificial intelligence methods in marine navigation (2001 – 2003),
- intelligent computing systems in marine navigation (2004 – 2006),
- navigational decision support system on board a sea-going vessel (2007–2009).
The results from the research made up a theoretical basis and a starting point for developing a prototype system of shipboard decision support system. R&D work was undertaken by a team headed by Prof. Zbigniew Pietrzykowski as a research project ‘Development of a navigational decision support system on a sea-going vessel’ (N N509 1759 33), financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (started 23.10.2007, completed 22.10.2009). The project outcome was a prototype of a navigational decision support system on a sea-going vessel in open areas as a computer-based system (computer hardware and software), that can be installed onboard and work in real time. A review of solutions used in navigational information systems on board ships has confirmed the innovative character of the system developed by our team. Consequently, the Maritime University of Szczecin submitted a patent application to the Polish Patent Office, Ref. No P.389638: A method and system of navigational decision support in the process of safe vessel navigation (26.11.2009). Additional funds from the budget of Zachodnioporskie voivodeship made it possible to apply for an international patent under the PCT (Patent Co-operationTreaty): No PCT/PL2010/000112.
A method and system of navigational decision support in the process of safe vessel navigation (8.11.2010) (agreement No WPR-I/27/2010 on the subsidy granted to the Maritime University of Szczecin for covering the costs of international patent application). The team’s work and achievements were documented in a monograph edited by Zbigniew Pietrzykowski ‘Navigational decision support system on a sea-going vessel’, partly financed from the Zachodniopomorskie voivodeship budget (agreement No WKNiDN-II/7/2011 on the subsidy granted to the Maritime University of Szczecin for covering the costs of publishing the mentioned monograph). The publication is a major item in the literature on navigational safety and computer-based decision support systems. It is addressed to firms, scientists and specialists dealing with problems of navigation, maritime transport and computer science. Apart from the monograph, several scientific articles written by NAVDEC authors have been published.
The NAVDEC has successfully passed laboratory tests on an ECDIS Navi-Sailor 2400S simulator from Transas (owned by the Maritime University of Szczecin), as well as field tests on the research/training vessel Nawigator XXI (also owned by the University). The persons testing and verifying the system unequivocally emphasized that handing that tool to navigators would significantly enhance the navigational safety level and, consequently, reduce risks of marine accidents. Ship masters confirm NAVDEC’s usefulness and wish to have their ships fitted with a NAVDEC. Apart from research and technical work, launching a product on the market requires some formalities and arrangements. One major step in commercializing the NAVDEC was a licence agreement between its creators and the Maritime University of Szczecin. Under its provisions, intellectual property belongs to the University, while the inventors (University employees) get exclusive commercial title to the invention.
Sup4Nav LLC is the only manufacturer of NAVDEC.