NSR Connect Policy Workshop and Partner Meeting in Brussels, March 2022Published 01. April 2022
NSR Connect Policy Workshop Supporting the green transition
On March 28th, 29th and 30th 2022 partners and stakeholders from all over Europe came together for a Policy Workshop and a two-day Partner Meeting in Brussels.
The Port of Brussels has invited to a Policy Work Shop on the 28th of March 2022 in the framework of the Interreg North Sea Region project NSR Connect. The focus of the policy workshop has been on the smart involvement objective and the role of inland waterways and inland ports within the logistics chain and in the context of the green transition.
The political agenda up to 2030 and 2050 is clear and fit for 55 is underway. Important questions that have been clarified, especially in this context, are: How does this affect regional, national, and interregional policy? How can innovative logistics solutions help to reach the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal and at the same time allow for a competitive environment in the logistics sector?
The host, Rainier Reekmans, Director General ad interim, provided a short welcome and introduction to their institution. This was followed by a short background information on the North Sea Region Connect project and its activities and pilots.
This was followed by several keynote speeches which were dedicated to two different themes. The first three speeches focused on the topic of the policy framework for strengthening inland navigation.
Turi Fiorito, Director of the European Federation of Inland Ports, gave a presentation on how inland ports enable green logistics. This was followed by a presentation of Manfred Lebmeier, Senior Environmental Advisor Hamburg Port Authority, who provided an insight into innovative ideas to strengthen inland shipping in the North Sea Region and how important the cooperation of the different stakeholders is, to enable the uptake and proper usage of innovative ideas.
After that, the next four speeches were aimed at the topic of innovative concepts for urban barge logistics. Andreas Stolte, CEO of Delta Port, presented the Log4NRW project which is about the Last Mile distribution by barge in the DeltaPort hinterland. Afterwards, Mark Goossenaerts, Director Shipit Multimodal Logistics Brussels, gave a presentation about innovative concepts for inner-city parcel distribution in Brussels. Subsequently, a presentation from, Cédric Virciglio Director of strategic planning HAROPA, was given about the challenges and opportunities of short distance barge services. At the end, Ranjith Clemminck, Director for Strategy & Policy at the Gemeente Waalwijk, gave an insight about the Smart Port Waalwijk that is currently setting the pace for creating the first fully sustainable inland port in Europe.
The two different topics concluded with a Q&A session, where numerous questions were asked from the audience, which inspired various discussions.
After the policy event, the participants and stakeholders were invited to join the NSR Connect project partners for a networking reception.
NSR Connect Partner Meeting
On Tuesday, the 29th of March, the project partners of NSR Connect met for a two-day partner meeting at the headquarters of the Port of Brussels to discuss the progress of the project and the further procedure.
After the Lead Partner Port Hamburg Marketing gave some warm words of welcome, the introduction of the new partner Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) took place. Wolf-Jobst Siedler, Railway Infrastructure Head of Railway Logistics /-telematics, is responsible for the rail pilot activity and gave the other partners an insight about the expansion of integrated slot operations across stakeholders.
Vives then gave an overview of their report on the “identification of bottlenecks in the intermodal network”. The partners discussed the findings and agreed to expand the discussion internally. Furthermore, the Lead Partner suggested treading the document as a “living document”, so that further findings from discussions and so on could be integrated into the report at a later stage.
The Lead Partner then followed with an overview of their report on “Smart Port Solutions for remoter areas”. The partners then discussed some of the examples in more detail. The Lead Partner will also be responsible for the final wrap-up of the ‘report series’ in WP3 and thus had a closer look at the interlinkage of the findings so far and how the discussion between the responsible partners could be deepened to produce the best possible final paper.
Vives and Port of Oostende then provided an update on the pilot progress with an overview of the Robot Operating System and the equipment used and needed for the modeling of the digital twin and look at autonomous cargo handling.
Afterwards, Port of Brussels gave an update on their pilot and provided a midterm overview of one of the studies. The activities here picked up very much, compared to the last meeting and are promising. More progress should be seen in the next couple of months.
The Swedish Partner then provided an overview of their activities in their pilot. Unfortunately, there are still some delays, but with new staff and less pandemic restrictions, it seems promising to have everything in time as planned for the end of the year 2022.
The afternoon was spent with a site visit to the Port of Brussels and the ShipIt construction consolidation center. The day was finished off with a partner dinner in town.