The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers formed its Ship Production Committee (SPC) in 1970 to address research and development in the ship production field. The Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended in 1970, charged the Secretary of Commerce to "collaborate with … shipbuilders in developing plans for the economic construction of vessels." The Maritime Administration selected the newly formed Ship Production Committee to provide industry management and technical input. The resulting cooperative effort has become known as the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP). This paper provides a brief history of the SPC and the NSRP, notes the growing need for technical input to the program and shows how the SPC is changing to meet evolving ship production research demands and opportunities. Appendix A lists projects underway and planned. Appendix Β is a listing of project reports covering work completed under the National Shipbuilding Research Program.

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