Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

In order to meet these challenges, proposals should address one or several of the following aspects:

―New or much improved systems for waterborne operations, feedering and short sea vessels, addressing one or several of the following issues: smart connections to deep sea shipping and inland waterways transport, new unitised multi-modal cargo concepts, and reliable transport services even in extreme seasonal weather conditions.

―New cost-efficient vessel concepts for the transport and distribution of natural gas, including safe discharging.

―Automation in all waterborne operations, including in short sea trades and in inland navigation (with a view to bringing about a Digital Inland Waterway Transport Area) and in the urban environment; this may include remotely controlled and autonomous vessels and docking systems and the regulatory developments necessary to implement joint operations of conventional and unmanned vessels.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 to 12 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Bringing waterborne much deeper into multi-modal transport concepts, in particular to the benefit of domestic shipping and inland navigation in the EU is a necessity. The specific challenges are to overcome the traditional barriers between transport modes; to work on the greening, expansion and optimisation of the entire (waterborne) transport chain, including in the urban environment; and to contribute to the EU´s energy union through new energy transportation concepts for natural gas (in particular in short sea trades), including discharging and safety considerations. Short sea, river and canal transport can offer particular opportunities for automation (in terms of operations as well as maintenance) that can improve safety and address current employment challenges and the competitiveness of SMEs in the sector. European GNSS services can play an important role in this.

The outcome of activities will yield measurable contributions to a more efficient waterborne transport, fully integrated into multimodal transport or energy supply chains in Europe, through the proof of concept for new and significantly improved transport systems including a full cost-benefit analysis and a quantitative and qualitative comparison to current systems. Concepts for the automation of waterborne transport operations will be proven, including an assessment of cost-benefits and the impact on the waterborne work environment and the skills requirements. Where feasible solutions will be made available directly to operators, in particular SMEs

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