Match Making and Transfer of Sustainability2019-08-23T14:54:46+01:00

This section is intended to multiply and valorise the achieved results within the SB region and outside. Since digitalisation, Blockchain and IoT technologies in transport in the SB area new (although already acknowledged and clearly supported by the industry and policy in other regions, e.g. US, Germany, UK, etc.), a special focus needs to be done in order to ensure the value transfer of digitalisation for the transport sector. WP6 covers the following:

1) Transfer of the gathered knowledge to the target groups outside the project – core ports, other small ports in the BSR, NSR, thematic experts, port authorities, municipalities, transport planners. Furthermore, the internationalisation of the project value added us ensured through inter-project cooperation. Networking and qualification of the project outputs avoiding any duplication of the activities and ensuring sustainability.

2) Implementation of internal and external validation of the project achievements during the entire life. Internal project evaluation is already ensured by submitted regular milestone-based progress reports. Externally, experts will be hired to evaluate the project without any partiality. This will be done with three evaluation reports. Responsible Partners will prepare at the beginning of the project the external evaluation matrix incl. the requirements, potential evaluators contact lists, tasks, scope and deadlines to be controlled by the external evaluators. The partner will ensure attracting one expert from industry for the external evaluation from the region, one from the BSR and from outside – e.g. EC, US, UK, etc.

3) Preparation of the introduced mechanisms to be used in the future – a) digitalisation and benchmarking index – online tool that will be used to include new subscribing ports to this service. Some rewarding incentives can be proposed in close cooperation with port authorities and municipalities for ports that transfer to the use or introduction of the tools by the project. We claim to have the authority support, since some of them act as direct partners; b) academia introducing the developed training contents and simulation tools and methods in transport and digital logistics courses (e.g. Wismar, Klaipeda, Gdynia, Karlskrona); c) Digitalisation Forum Small Ports organised 1 / year for min. 5 years beyond the project life. Costs shared by direct partners, implemented at university premises – no facility cost. Catering costs can be covered from participating industry partners – e.g. ABB; Emmerson, etc.

Activity 6.2 Study Visit at the Port of Antwerp – June 19th 2019

In the frame of Working Package 6.2 the Connect2SmallPorts Consortium originally wanted to organise a Study Visit to the Port of Rotterdam and connect it with the TOC-Event, an exhibition held in Rotterdam. Unfortunately, the responsible partner PP3 Motus Foundation didn’t receive positive signs from the port to implement the visit. Therefore, PP3 approached, in consensus with the Lead Partner and confirmation by JS, the Port of Antwerp for the Study Visit.

The Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Center (APEC), an international training institute for port and maritime matters focused on the transfer of knowledge via standard seminars, tailor-made courses, study visits and lectures abroad. Their courses are an ideal mix of theory and practice which allows port professionals to interactively finetune their expertise concerning port, maritime and logistic matters. APEC is a sister company of the Antwerp PortAuthority and offered an agenda containing four related presentations for the visit:

  • Presentation of the Port of Antwerp by Nico Suys (Port of Antwerp)
  • Innovation at the Port of Antwerp by Piet Opstale (Antwerp Port Authority)
  • Omnichannel Logisitcs by Dries van Gheluwe (Port of Antwerp)
  • C-point by Sarah Sak (Antwerp Port Authority)

followed by a guided port tour across the port area.

A great attention is paid to the promotion of innovations in the Port of Antwerp. As a main field of activity, the port considers the establishment of technical, organisational and legal assumptions for innovative start-ups and start-up activities in port with an aim to create an add value to port businesses. For example:

  • legal preconditions are being created for the use of unmanned and autonomous airplanes (drones) in the port,
  • a special area in the port for testing drone based technologies is dedicated for start-up’s (droneport),
  • an area for testing of remote-controlled floating equipment allocated
  • opening of data for app-developer
  • etc.

According to the rapporteur, the aim is to create a living lab, an environment that would allow innovative companies to experiment and try their solutions in real port conditions. Furthermore, the port follows different approaches in implement digital solutions relying on their clients. While on the one hand side some docks are developed to be more autonomous on the other hand some clients stay with human resources and integrate smart solutions.

Some of the innovative solutions introduced or currently being developed in the Antwerp port:

  •  E-noses for detecting volatile chemical compounds in the air
  • Truck calculation (for data analysis);
  • Use of ultrasonic sonars for the inspection of underwater part of hydrographic structures (quays);
  • Automatic detection of fender’s damages (using video analysis solution);
  • Remote managed inland waterway vessel (autonomous barge), commercial use is expected at the end of this year;
  • Digital port replica (twin) APICA, a GIS-based system that virtually replicates port processes (combines data from 12 different data sources), generate alerts, etc..
  • Use of drones for oil pollution detection in the port waters;
  • Use of drones for delivery of parcels;
  • Use of drones for inspection of high voltage power lines;
  • SAFIR innovation platform for drones;
  • Proximus 4G, antenna system for 100% connectivity in port area.
  • Truck calculation (for data analysis);
  • Use of ultrasonic sonars for the inspection of underwater part of hydrographic structures (quays);
  • Automatic detection of fender’s damages (using video analysis solution);
  • Remote managed inland waterway vessel (autonomous barge), commercial use is expected at the end of this year;
  • Digital port replica (twin) APICA, a GIS-based system that virtually replicates port processes (combines data from 12 different data sources), generate alerts, etc..
  • Use of drones for oil pollution detection in the port waters;
  • Use of drones for delivery of parcels;
  • Use of drones for inspection of high voltage power lines;
  • SAFIR innovation platform for drones;
  • Proximus 4G, antenna system for 100% connectivity in port area.

Particularly the drone technology seemed to be the main interest at the Port as well as

autonomic solutions for logistics.

Lessons learned:

a) The advanced technologies to come to port an interactive approach is needed. Good example from the port visited – establishment of a unit, responsible for enablement of innovations.

b) As port Authorities have limited human resources also in order to generate innovative project ideas, attraction of small-business (start-ups) is an option to consider for small ports as well. The role of port Authority should mainly be focussed to establishment of legal, organizational and financial preconditions for testing innovative ideas in port.

c) Open source options are available to implement digital solutions on existing infrastructures, even in small- and medium-sized ports.

d) Lack of existing test areas with “real conditions” for start-ups and / or new technologies at ports – option to get access to new technologies for small ports.