A Joint Nordic Research project "Effecive and Safe Ships" is presented. The project is aiming to develop methods and tools for quantitative evaluation fo ship safety. This report is the report of the preliminary phase where the plan for the main project is developed. The objectives of the project are described. The areas of safety that are presented are collisions, groundings, cargo shifting and ship fire. The areas of lack of knowledge are identified and the tasks within each subproject suggested. The proposal for the main project is presented in the summary. Background material of the state-of-the art is given in the appendices. The project is planned to take three years from the start. There are 28 tasks and the total volume is 18 personyears, or 6.3 MFIM. A scientific approach will be used in performing the tasks and some of them may be subjects for post graduate studies. A close co-operation between the participating organisations is suggested. Each subproject is managed in one country but individual tasks maybe shared between the participants.