A European project that has backing from the EC is looking into new ways to reduce the lifecycle costs of ships.

The Breakthrough in European Ship and Shipbuilding Technologies (Besst), run by private companies and university researchers, will look at ship costs from the point of design through to safety and technical developments.

The project aims to achieve breakthroughs in design solutions through decreased lifecycle costs, while reducing environmental impact and improving safety through technical developments.

BESST is looking to reduce lifecycle costs by roughly €120m ($164m) per Panamax ship and cut CO2 emissions by approximately 12% per ship each year.

The project began work in September 2009 and expects to have solutions in 2013, according to gl-group.com.

BESST is formed of Europe’s leading shipbuilders, including STX Finland, STX France and Germanischer Lloyd along with research institutes, universities and companies.