St. John’s, NL: August 21, 2013: Virtual Marine Technology Inc. (VMT), based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, has joined leading European organizations to improve emergency response and survival training for small craft operators in Arctic waters. 

The EU-funded SMACS project aims to make the Arctic a safer location for small craft maritime activity, by developing a safety and emergency response training program specifically focused on the needs of Arctic small craft mariners.  With funding from the Northern Periphery Program, Cork Institute of Technology through the Nimbus Centre  and the National Maritime College of Ireland are leading a team to produce an Arctic operations training program for use throughout northern Europe.

VMT develops small craft simulators for the offshore, defence and shipping industries with a specialized capability to emulate harsh environmental conditions.  VMT’s simulators are internationally certified for small craft training, and incorporate advanced ice models which have been rigorously tested by ice experts within the St. John’s Ocean Technology Cluster. 

“We are privileged to have been selected to bring our expertise in ice simulation to such a prestigious maritime development team” said Randy Billard, CTO for VMT.  “We believe that Northern Europe, with its similar operational environment, can benefit from the advanced training technologies we have developed in Newfoundland & Labrador”. 

About VMT
Founded in 2004, Virtual Marine Technology is a simulation system provider specializing in maritime simulation systems.  VMT develops high fidelity simulation systems to enhance and augment marine/maritime training for oil and gas operators, defence contractors, shipping and maritime training organizations.  The Company has partnered with leading maritime institutions and organizations to research, model and simulate small craft motion in less than ideal sea conditions. 

About SMACS
SMACS – Small Craft Emergency Response and Survival Training for Arctic Conditions – is a collaborative international project under the Northern Periphery Programme (www.northernperiphery.eu) of the EU, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. The project (started October 2012) and its primary objective is the development of a safety and survival training programme for small-craft Arctic mariners.  The SMACS partners are:
•    Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland (www.cit.ie, Lead Partner) through the National
Maritime College of Ireland (www.nmci.ie) and the Nimbus Centre (www.nimbus.cit.ie)
•    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden (www.chalmers.se) through the Department of
Shipping and Marine Technology)
•    Swedish Sea Rescue Society, Sweden (http://www.sjoraddning.se)
•    Norwegian Sea Rescue, Norway (http://www.redningsselskapet.no)
•    Maritime and Survival Training Centre (MSSTC), Iceland, (www.landsbjorg.is/saebjorg)

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For More Information on the SMACS Program Contact: John Barrett, Telephone:  +353 21 4335565; Email: john.barrett@cit.ie; Website: www.smacsproject.eu

For More Information on Virtual Marine Technology Contact: Alfred Whiffen, Telephone: +1-709-738-6306, Extension 215, Email: alfred.whiffen@vmtechnology.ca; Website: www.vmtechnology.ca