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Coordination Action of Ports for integration Of Efficient Innovations and development of adequate Research, development and innovation Activities

CAPOEIRA will concentrate on maximizing the opportunities for successfull research, development and innovation (RDI) in the field of freight transport activities in ports. These issues will be addressed as three separate topics: seaport interface, land-port interface, and port information and communication. Recommendations for future RDI projects for European ports will be developed through workshops by bringing together the main stakeholders from European ports: port associations, technology platforms, research projects and advisory councils.

Tags: Multimodal


Port activity has rapidly grown over the last 20 years. This is valid for main ports and smaller ones. They all play increasingly a key role in the further distribution of goods in Europe. This causes huge problems for EU transport flows in general and in particularly creates expensive problems of congestion in ports, endangering their competitiveness and attractiveness.

Before 2015, maritime traffic will have doubled again.

To cope with this traffic growth and increasingly severe constraints, noatbly of environmental and spatial development nature, technological and organisational innovations are required in the ports.

Such innovation, and the implementation of its results, requires huge financial and human resource investments.

Past research, development and innovation (RDI) has not always led to sufficiently tangible results and commercial and competitive solutions in EU ports. Many (trans)port RDI projects funded by the EU or the Member States have not gone beyond the design table, notwithstanding the excellent technological or scientific approach. Less than 10% of the projects of the Fourth and Fifth Framework Programmes have allowed real business development and commercial results. A reason of concern; a reason to learn from past experiences and answer the question how one can minimize the risk that RDI projects wil not lead market implementation and commercial success.

It is expected that the results of this project will be of relevance for the activities of all transport related Technology Platforms, ACARE, ERRAC, ERTRAC and Waterborne, as well as EIRAC when implrmrnting their Strategic Research Agenda's.


CAPOEIRA aims at developing recommendations with concerned actors regarding future (and current) research, development and innovation projects in ports with the objective to minimise the risk of associated public or private investments. It will also:

  • concentrate on the transport of goods in ports (i.e. transhipment, information and communication, handling, storage, terrestrial and maritime modes’ accesses)
  • produce guidelines for current and future research, development and innovation projects in ports, presenting key success factors and a method allowing to assess the opportunity of RDI projects by linking them with indicators showing their technical feasibility (interoperability), social (impact on employment and working conditions, qualification) and societal acceptability, cost-effectiveness and efficiency
  • define common research topics based on needs (for solutions, products) in the field of transport at ports in the short, medium and long term (until 2020)
  • produce recommendations related to the implementation of RDI projects in ports (investments, transition period management, communication, training), to contribute towards improving the capacity of management of innovation by port actors and promote a culture of change in ports.

Description of work

With the help of a scientific board, this work will be carried out in direct interaction with the main relevant actors concerned by innovation in the field of transport of goods in ports, from both the business and the research communities, respectively gathered under two dedicated bodies:

  • A business group: high-level representatives from European ports, professional organisations of the port community
  • A research group: high-level industrialists, researchers and research programmers from European technology platforms and advisory councils, and professional research organisations.

CAPOEIRA will identify the necessary conditions for research to pass the commercialisation threshold, through the analysis of the reasons of failures and successes of past RDI projects.

Three workshops will be organised with the business group (bringing its solutions and products, experiences and visions for the future), and the research group (providing its competencies, facilities and RDI infrastructures).

A dedicated internet platform will be set up at the start so as to communicate proactively and continuously on CAPOEIRA developments in order to ensure two-way communication:


All the work will lead to a final conference and to a book, destined for business and research communities, written in a common language and collecting all the main project results:

  • The method of evaluation of innovation projects under the form of a ‘project opportunity assessment grid’ aggregating indicators defined so as to minimise the risks of investments in innovations (validated by port actors, technology platforms and advisory councils) and to guarantee that research will pass the commercialisation threshold.
  • The articles from a scientific board composed of relevant experts
  • The assessment of past projects, current and future needs of ports/products to be developed and common research topics to be addressed
  • The guidelines (key success factors for innovation, for implementation) for ports, research groups (technology platforms, organisations, industries, etc.) and EC research programmes.