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NYK and Ghelia form Business and Capital Alliance

Establishing a Strategic Partnership to Promote the Creation and Utilization of AI Services in the Shipping Industry

Nippon Yusen Kaisha  and GHELIA  have entered into a business and capital alliance agreement that comes with an investment by NYK in Ghelia. The two companies will collaborate on R&D for autonomous ships, avoidance navigation, etc., as well as promote DX by introducing Ghelia’s AI technologies to business processes in NYK’s sales divisions, corporate divisions, and the like


The shipping industry has recently seen a number of requests involving the development and design of digital engineering and digital twins, the establishment of fully autonomous ship systems, and technological innovation such as next-generation energy for decarbonization. The same can be said for ensuring safety throughout the process of vessel operation.

Under these circumstances, the NYK Group has been strengthening its initiatives in the technological field related to next-generation ships. At the same time, Ghelia has been developing a wider and deeper range of technologies — such as AI in edge terminals, deep reinforcement learning, image data processing, and natural language processing — and crafting them into products and services. In fact, since its foundation, Ghelia has been leading the expansion of social implementation of AI by providing a wider range of AI solutions to customers in various industries, thus allowing customers to improve profitability and work efficiency.

In this era of open collaboration in technology development, the two companies have entered into a business and capital alliance agreement to build a strategic partnership.

In accordance with this alliance agreement, NYK and Ghelia will work to realize AI technologies at NYK. In the future, both companies will try to create and utilize advanced, practical AI services, aiming at leading the global shipping industry and contributing to further expansion of the industry.

Details of alliance agreement

1) Collaborate by utilizing each company’s strong presence and management resources to develop new services and products

  • Strengthening of next-generation technology, such as the development methods and design of digital engineering and digital twins
  • Development and design of, and the establishment of, fully autonomous ship systems, in addition to technological innovation such as next-generation energy for decarbonization
  • Technological innovation for next-generation ships, such as autonomous ships and ships with new energies
  • Strengthening of technology for safety throughout the shipping process
  • Improvement of work efficiency in offices by introducing AI technologies

2) Co-creation of business value by utilizing data and know-how earned through (1) above

3) Collaboration in marketing, PR, and sales of services that will be developed by the partnership

4) Promotion of research of several technologies and human resource education through personnel exchanges

Comments by each company

Hideki Suzuki, executive officer of NYK:

We are convinced that this capital and business alliance with Ghelia, which has been providing AI solutions to a wide variety of customers through the company’s strength in AI development and deep reinforcement learning, will hugely contribute to further technological development in the shipping industry and the promotion of business DX through the utilization of AI. In the future, we expect to not only practically utilize AI technologies in NYK but also work on creating new value by providing AI services that lead the shipping industry.

Makoto Saito, president and CEO of Ghelia:

We are very glad to conclude the business alliance agreement with NYK and for its capital participation. We are confident that this alliance will mark another step forward in Ghelia’s mission of “Striving for symbiosis of humanity and AI.” Ghelia, which was founded at Sony CSL, has been working with key players in various industries as a cross-border AI solution vendor, to implement AI solutions in customers’ business operations. Through this alliance with NYK, a pioneer and a leader in the shipping industry, we will lead the practical application of AI solutions in the shipping industry, where digitization and implementation of AI are urgently needed on a global level. Together with NYK, we will promote the transformation of this industry.

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