Mobility and Transport




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The competitiveness of Europe’s maritime industries and their capacity to meet the environmental, energy, safety and human-factor challenges they face is influenced to a high degree by research and innovation. These efforts should lead to new types of safer vessels, advanced propulsion systems, energy efficiency, environmental protection, surveillance systems taking full advantage of advanced information technologies or intelligent transport systems enhancing the integration of maritime transport in the logistic chain.

The Commission supports innovation and technological development of maritime transport through its multi-annual framework programmes for research and development since 1994. Moreover, the Commission supports RTD platforms such as the Waterborne Technology Platform. In the years to come, the deployment of ‘e-Maritime' services at European and global level will be one of the main priorities in terms of practical implementation of RTD efforts in the field of maritime transport.

Networking activities

Maritime Transport Co-ordination Platform (MTCP) – This Think Tank and stimulating body consists out of authorities in their fields of expertise. It is expected from this centre of excellence e.g. a firm opinion on what should be the maritime policy in these sectors.  For the next three years, eighteen studies are scheduled.  The project will also supply external experts to support policy development.  A portal/database on maritime research outputs will be created as well.

  • April 2004 until March 2007
  • Coordinator: British Maritime Technology Ltd - UK
  • 23 contractors
  • EU contribution : €2 740 660

Selected Research and Demonstration Activities

Maritime Navigation and Information Services (MarNIS) – A global Automatic Identification System (AIS) to broadcast both certified positioning and all the presently (and future) required administrative (customs, immigration, navigation, port state controls, port operations…) documentation. Outcome and results are expected to give a solid technological and scientific basis to the Commission and the Member States administrations to study, substantiate, test and formulate possible legislation on Safety, Security and Efficiency in Shipping.

  • 4 November 2004 until 3 November 2008
  • Coordinator : AVV Transport Research Center, Rotterdam – The Netherlands
  • 44 principal contractors
  • EU contribution : €11 995 615

The Arctic Operational Platform (ARCOP) – The project validates operational and technical concepts and assesses the regulatory framework in order to set up an integrated maritime transport system for safe and cost-effective transport of oil and gas from North-west Russia to Europe. It establishes a discussion platform for transport, infrastructure, safety and environmental topics.

  • 1 December 2002 until 30 November 2005
  • Coordinator: Kvaerner Masa Yards, Inc – Finland
  • 24 contractors
  • EU contribution : €3 018 550

Information exchange and impact assessment for enhanced environmental conscious operations in European ports and terminals (ECOPORTS) – This is an industrial bottom-up, self-regulatory approach to environmental management and information, developing, validating and certifying relevant system (EMIS) on a European scale : “Case studies” on waste management, port-city relationships, emissions, habitat directive, easy accessible databases on best practices, etc.

  • 1 June 2002 until 31 May 2005
  • Coordinator: Port of Amsterdam Authority – The Netherlands
  • 12 principal contractors + 13 assistant contractors
  • EU contribution : €2 717 000

European Maritime Study for Baseline and Advanced Regional and Coastal Traffic Management (EMBARC) – Optimisation of Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information Systems (VTMIS), both at short range (ports, approach to ports and coastal waters) and at long range on a European scale - Integration of new technologies into VTMIS (Automatic Identification Systems, Galileo satellites) to realise the benefits for waterborne transport (e.g. the mitigation of risks in specific maritime regions) and explore the possibilities of enlarging the scope of VTMIS to new applications - Development of a risk assessment tool to be used by maritime administrations, ports etc.

  • 1st December 2001 until 30 May 2005  
  • Coordinator : Nederlands Instituut voor Maritiem Onderzoek (NIM) - The Netherlands
  • 15 principal contractors + 6 assistant contractors
  • EU contribution : €2 000 870

On board treatment of ballast water (technologies development and applications) and application of low sulphur marine fuel (MARTOB) – One part of the project addresses the testing of onboard technologies to prevent the introduction of organic species through ballast water (standard for testing samples, laboratory test for different ballast water treatment technologies, on-board testing). Invasive aquatic species are one of the four greatest threats to the world's oceans, and can cause extremely severe environmental, economic and public health impacts. A second part addresses the economic assessment of a sulphur cap on marine bunker fuels relevant to the EU policy on ship emissions (marine fuel sulphur directive). The project is clustered with the project SEAM (see after).

  • 1st April 2001 until 30 June 2004
  • Coordinator : University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UNEW) - UK
  • 25 principal contractors
  • EU contribution : €2 002 164

Assessing concepts, systems and tools for a safer, efficient and environmentally aware and friendly maritime transport (SEAM) – Currently, regulatory and technical measures and procedures to mitigate the impact of operational shipping pollution due to ballast water, anti-fouling paints and marine fuel are under development. In order to derive the right (acceptability, costs, time to market etc.) remedial solutions, the implications associated with potential technical and operational options are assessed in close co-operation with the stakeholders. SEAM uses risk assessment as the methodological framework and come forward with proposals/recommendations for solutions having a high level of acceptability - low market entry barriers. The project is clustered with MARTOB (see above).

  • 1stApril 2001 until 31 March 2004
  • Coordinator : Maritime Engineering and Technology for Transport, Logistics and Education (METTLE) – France
  • 5 principal contractors + 6 assistant contractors
  • EU contribution : €1 004 819

Shipping quality and safety of high-speed vessels, terminals and port operations in nodal points (SPIN-HSV) – Identification of safety-related issues of high-speed vessels and identification of potential (remedial) actions/solutions (risk analysis, navigational aspects, port access, speed and manoeuvring characteristics, collision avoidance, the role and behaviour of the human element etc.) as well as concepts/systems for the optimisation of the ship-shore interface.

  • 1st January 2002 until 31 December 2004
  • Coordinator: Maritime Engineering and Technology for Transport, Logistics and Education (METTLE) - France
  • 12 principal contractors + 9 assistant contractors
  • EU contribution : €1 902 669

Tools and routines to assist ports and improve shipping (TRAPIST) – Development of support tools that will enable ports to enhance the efficiency of their operations and to optimise the planning, management and use of their resources, in the area of routines for examining the port’s operating and physical environment, market observation, benchmarking, information and physical flows, optimal loading, safe work practices.

  • 1 June 2002 until 31 August 2004
  • Nautical Enterprise Centre Ltd. (NECL) – Ireland
  • 21 principal contractors
  • EU contribution : €1 899 938