After an inactivity of some years, the Waterborne Technology Platform (TP) relaunched itself in June 2017 with a General Assembly meeting in Brussels. Since then, the TP has been active in reorganising its structure and in preparing its vision for Framework Programme 9.
For the Waterborne TP, TRA 2018 in Vienna (16/19 April 2018) was an important milestone in the revival or renaissance of the technology platform. The bi-annual exhibition paved the way for the technology platform to show the innovative ship types and maritime systems, equipment and technologies that the European maritime technology sector builds or produces. The event also allowed the TP in general and specific EU funded Waterborne projects to show success stories in terms of research, development and innovation. With 9% of turnover invested in research, development and innovation, the waterborne sector’s research intensity is one of the highest in Europe.
The eyecatcher at the Waterborne booth was the cruise vessel “Genting Dream”, a ship of 335 metres length, 39,7-metres width and over 150,000 GT, built by Meyer Shipyard in Papenburg and designed for the Asian cruise market.
The Waterborne booth was well visited by stakeholders from the Waterborne industry and other modes of transport or technology platforms. It was also visited by Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and various high-level people from DG RTD, including Transport Director Clara de la Torre.
Various representatives from the Waterborne sector also took the opportunity of TRA 2018 to present their vision on future challenges, such as digitalisation, automation and automated processes as well as on other topics relevant for Waterborne transport.
Henk Prins, Chairman of the Waterborne TP, said: “I am very happy to note the renewed enthusiasm amongst Waterborne stakeholders and in the European Commission for the innovative solutions provided by the European waterborne sector, be it on greening of transport, digitalised shipping and logistics or other relevant topics. I very much look forward to the next TRA in Helsinki in 2020, which should be a truly waterborne exhibition”.