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Safer waterborne transport and maritime operations


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

―Waterborne transport operations (including offshore operations), in complex traffic fairways and in extreme environments, simulation modelling and real time information management including big data.

―New and improved vessel and equipment design concepts that offer a clear risk reduction and intrinsic risk mitigation (including human machine interfaces), resilience, integrity, fire resistance and improved survivability in extreme conditions, cargo control including numerical simulations, and cost efficiency considerations, and better salvage and evacuation options.

―A comprehensive safety assessment for low flash point and volatile fuels, covering on-board use and installations as well as the shore side supply interfaces.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation [COM(2012)497], international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 7 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

More intense and more diverse waterborne traffic, also in areas so far underused, needs specific operational knowledge and information management, technology support as well as advanced vessel and equipment designs that are intrinsically safer and address safety issues holistically and based on goals (which ideally cover the entire life-cycle). The specific challenge is to build the enabling knowledge, develop designs, technologies, and operational procedures and test them in a real world environment with the aim of guaranteeing safe and environmentally sound waterborne operations, also taking into account the increasing use of low flash point fuels.

Activities will improve waterborne safety through proof of concept for new operational and traffic management approaches (including those in extreme environments); through workable goal-based approaches to risk and impact minimisation covering the design and the entire life cycle of vessels and suitable as formal inputs to international regulatory regimes; and through a validated safety analysis for fuels with higher intrinsic risks which can be applied in practice. Improved safety is expected to reduce risks for environmental damages linked to accidents in waterborne transport.

It is considered that the expected impacts can be leveraged through international co-operation, in particular where the objective of inputs to the international regulatory regimes is pursued.