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Coordination Action to Implement an Advisory Council for Maritime Transport Research in Europe

ACMARE aims at supporting the European Technology Platform WATERBORNE, to which all stakeholders in the maritime industry and waterborne transport have developed a medium to long-term vision, assess the key challenges, formulate R&D actions to meet these challenges in a strategic research agenda (SRA), set out an implementation plan, and promote the mobilisation of necessary resources.

Tags: Water


The history of civilisation and commerce cannot be separated from that of waterborne transport. The trading of goods, passenger transport, exchange of knowledge, and the development of cities, regions and even civilisations were, in past centuries, often only possible by means of waterborne transport. Today’s Europe would not be one of the world’s most powerful regions without the performance of waterborne transport and operations, including the related European industry, knowledge and expertise. Always with a high commercially motivated innovative pitch, almost all maritime technology developments have been made in Europe, even today in the age of globalisation. European stakeholders along the waterborne value chain are amongst the world leaders in their fields, benefiting from a tradition of developmental co-operation between, for example, operators and builders or clients and suppliers – a proven maritime cluster. The WATERBORNE TP is the initiative of all parties involved in the areas of shipping and shipbuilding, offshore industry and leisure vessels, ports and infrastructure development, and equipment manufacturers and systems suppliers to present their contribution to the development and prosperity of the European Union and its Member States.


By supporting the activities of the ETP WATERBORNE, ACMARE is aiming to:

  • establish a continuous dialogue-seeking consensus between the various stakeholders (Member States, the EU, industry, research institutes, associations) in maritime transport R&D
  • highlight the future R&D needs, priorities and mechanisms, thereby stimulating the necessary investments in R&D from private, European and national sources
  • accelerate the generation of knowledge, innovation, and the uptake of research and technologies to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the waterborne transport sector, especially with regard to SMEs
  • contribute to social expectations regarding clean and safe waterborne transport
  • support the development and networking of regional and interregional clusters in maritime transport research, and help regions identify and address the particular challenges and opportunities relevant to themselves or their collaboration (e.g. short sea shipping)
  • contribute to aligning research and technology developments, and a coherent, consistent policy and regulatory framework in the EU
  • facilitate the integration of the new EU Member States (of which six are maritime and two are main maritime actors) on waterborne transport matters
  • encourage additional involvement of female researchers in the waterborne transport sector.

Description of work

ACMARE supports the organisation of expert meetings and work to develop the common medium to long-term vision of the waterborne industries, the WATERBORNE strategic research agenda (WSRA) establishing the R&D challenges and the WSRA IP setting up the priorities and time lines. This means:

  1. Providing the necessary management and administrative support for implementing the Coordination Action. Providing the interface with the Commission and make sure the contractual obligations are completed in due time.
  2. Establishing a proper documentation management system and thus creating a WATERBORNE website for the exchange of information among WATERBORNE stakeholders.
  3. Providing support to the drafting of the WSRA and other necessary reports.
  4. Leading the WATERBORNE Support Group, and providing an efficient and effective technical steering of planning, control and reporting.
  5. Providing WATERBORNE with the technical support necessary to conduct its role as research advisory body concerning the waterborne transport sector.
  6. Disseminating the WSRA IP, WSRA and the vision of the future for European maritime industry and waterborne transport research to Member States’ representatives, the European Commission, research organisations, the various actors in the maritime industry and the public. Two-way dialogue will be established and supported through seminars, a workshop and a website.


ACMARE, through the ETP WATERBORNE, has so far produced the following results:

  • a medium to long-term vision: the Vision 2020 was launched on 8 February 2006 in Brussels
  • the WATERBORNE strategic research agenda overview was launched on 4 May 2006 in Vienna
  • the finalisation of the WSRA implementation plan.

These documents will be regularly updated and disseminated to the WATERBORNE stakeholders.

ACMARE will continue the mobilisation of R&D efforts for projects definition, promotion and financial engineering.

ACMARE is trying to establish good relations with the other relevant European technology platforms.