We are very proud to announce that on the 4th and 5th of October 2021, the EU-funded project PIONEERS has been officially kicked-off!

PIONEERS – Portable Innovation Open Network for Efficiency and Emissions Reduction Solutions

Reducing greenhouse emissions in ports while keeping their competitiveness!
Rethinking all aspects of port operations!

This ambitious and large-scale 5-years’ project will be undertaken by an international consortium of 46 partners – including the European IWT Platform, led by the Belgian Port of Antwerp with the total support of EUR 25 million grant from the EU Horizon 2020, the predecessor of the Horizon Europe framework programme for research and innovation.

PIONEERS is going to roll out a variety of 19 (!) demonstrators in the field of clean energy production and supply, sustainable port design, modal shift and flows optimisation, and digital transformation. The Port of Antwerp will function as a lighthouse port, deploying the majority of the demonstrators. The ports of Barcelona (Spain), Constanta (Romania) and Venlo (Netherlands) are the associate ports, which will play a role in the transferability of the solutions with the implementation of the best practices from the project.

Committed to becoming a carbon neutral port in 2050, Port of Antwerp is convinced that greening ports will only be possible through partnerships and active dialogue with a wide stakeholder network. The coming years will be crucial to get all stakeholders on board and roll out innovative solutions, and PIONEERS project provides a perfect opportunity for action. “The Port of Antwerp aims to be the first world port that reconciles economy, people and climate,” says CEO Jacques Vandermeiren. “In order to be climate-neutral by 2050, we need to act now.”

Together these could lead to a rethinking of all aspects of port operations ranging from terminal operations and mobility to the storage and use of energy. The actions that will be implemented for the next five years include:
• renewable energy generation and deployment of electric, hydrogen and methanol vehicles;
• building and heating networks retrofit for energy efficiency;
• implementation of circular economy approaches in infrastructure works;
• automation;
• and deployment of digital platforms to promote modal shift and ensure optimised vehicle, vessel and container movements.

Project’s website is currently under construction – we are going to regularly keep you posted on the overall progress.

IWT Platform team