• The WISAMO project, an innovative solution contributing to the
decarbonization of maritime shipping
• A further illustration of the Group’s “all-sustainable” strategy
Michelin has transformed ambition into action by presenting one innovation that addresses some of the major challenges impacting the future of mobility. Designed to make transportation more efficient while conserving resources and getting a positive environmental impact, Michelin’s latest wind propulsion solution aims to contribute to maritime transport decarbonization.
In that context Michelin announces that it has joined the International Windship
Association (IWSA), the not-for-profit organisation bringing together wind propulsion
projects, research organisations and other projects and promoting the wind as a
credible, viable and increasingly economic option for commercial vessels.
Michelin fits well with the association’s longer term development approach. And by
joining IWSA it is a great opportunity to benefit from its experience of wind propulsion
projects, ship builders, engineering and design companies along with maritime
associations and regional government.
“We are delighted to welcome Michelin and the WISAMO team to the association,
they bring innovative approaches and a great deal of knowledge and passion to IWSA
and we look forward to working together to make a future wind-powered fleet a
reality.” states Gavin Allwright, IWSA Secretary General. The WISAMO project, an innovative solution to help decarbonize maritime
The Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) project is an automated,telescopic, inflatable wing sail system that can be fitted on both merchant ships and pleasure craft. The system is the product of a collaboration between Michelin Research & Development and two Swiss inventors who share the Group’s “all-sustainable” vision.
This gain may vary depending on the type of vessel, its route or prevailing weather conditions.
The inflatable wing sail harnesses the wind, a free, universal and inexhaustible source
of propulsion. Its revolutionary design enables a ship to reduce its fuel consumption
and thereby have a positive impact on the environment by lowering CO2 emissions.
Designed and developed by the WISAMO project team, the system is installable on
most merchant ships and pleasure craft. Especially suitable for ro-ro ships, bulk
carriers and oil and gas tankers, it can be fitted as original equipment on newbuilds
or retrofitted on in-service vessels.
The wing’s range of use is one of the market’s broadest, with proven effectiveness
on many points of sail, and especially when close-hauled (windward). It can be used
on every maritime shipping route. The telescopic mast is retractable, making it easy
for a ship to enter harbors and pass under bridges. In all, the system can improve a
ship’s fuel efficiency by up to 20%*.
A collaboration with Michel Desjoyeaux, a world-renowned skipper and ambassador
of the project, enables Michelin’s research teams to perfect its development. His input
and technical knowledge of this seasoned sailor will enable it to be tested in actual
maritime shipping conditions. As Desjoyeaux points out, “the advantage of wind
propulsion is that wind energy is clean, free, universal and totally non-controversial.
It offers a very promising avenue to improving the environmental impact of merchant
The WISAMO system will first be fitted on a merchant ship in 2022, when Michelin
expects it to go into production following completion of the trial phase.
A further illustration of the Group’s “all-sustainable” strategy
Michelin’s vision of the future relies on a belief: tomorrow, everything will be
sustainable at Michelin. All decisions should be made with the best balance between
human, economical and environmental stakes that should be activated thanks to
Our target is to remain relevant for our customers while enlarging our actions to
innovations, relying on existing ecosystems. Michelin Group intends to act for a
positive impact on humanity and planet.
The WISAMO project is Michelin’s contribution to enabling greener, softer maritime
mobility in advance of future regulations. Michelin is also taking action to reduce the
environmental impact of its supply chain. In addition to this commitment, and in line
with its strategic plan, the Group is basing a portion of its growth on the development
of new businesses.
Benoit Baisle-Dailliez, WISAMO Initiative Leader, points out that “WISAMO aims to
contribute to maritime transport decarbonization acting for the development of wind
propulsion for the shipping sector. Supporting and committing to the involvement of
IWSA and its active work was only natural for us. It’s also a great opportunity for the
WISAMO team to rely on the IWSA organization and ecosystem for our development