A Strategic Research Agenda for Inland Waterways Transport

24 January 2019

On 24 January, the Inland Waterway Transport Sector released its Strategic Research Agenda to the European Commission and the European Parliament. This Strategic Research Agenda was released during a discussion at the EP Intergroup Seas, Rivers, Islands & Coastal Areas on the overall Waterborne Strategic Research Agenda.

Nobody knows the future 30 years ahead, but we all know it is crucial to meet the COP21 objectives and societal needs by adopting emerging technologies towards 2050.

The Strategic Research Agenda for Inland Waterways Transport and Ports therefore addresses the following priorities:

  • Healthy and easy-to-reach cities
  • Zero-emission and resource efficient economy
  • Easy-to-use and reliable mobility and logistics
  • Climate resilient, thriving and sustainable waterfront

These objectives require investments in research & development activities, both by the sector as well as by the European Commission. A proper inclusion of the Inland Waterway Transport and Port sector in Horizon Europe, is therefore essential. Equally important is the need to support research and deployment activities in inland waterway transport through the Connecting Europe Facility 2021 – 2027 so as to enable the sector to further integrate in a zero-emission logistics chain.

The development of this Strategic Research Agenda is the result of a close cooperation between the Inland Waterway Transport and Port Organisations (European Barge Union and European Skippers’ Organisation), European Inland Barging Innovation Platform (EIBIP), Inland Navigation Europe (INE), European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP), with the support of the European Association of Shipyards and Maritime Equipment Manufacturers (SEA Europe).

Background Note

Inland waterway transport and ports play an important role in the transport of goods in Europe. More than 40,000 kilometers of navigable waterways and over 250 inland ports connect hundreds of cities and industrial regions. 75% of inland waterway transport takes place across borders. The potential for increasing the modal share of inland waterway transport is significant. Compared to other modes of transport which are often confronted with congestion and capacity problems, inland waterway transport enables to reach key economic regions thanks to free capacity and with reliable, energy efficient transport. The EU 28 waterborne technology industry is currently the leading global region in terms of aggregated production value of shipbuilding and ship systems production (EUR 112.5 Billion), and an important generator of employment (900.000 direct and indirect jobs).

For further information please contact:

Inland Navigation Europe
Karin De Schepper
Koning Albert II-laan 20, 9G40 – 1000 Brussels
Phone + 32 2 553 14 80

SEA Europe
Jaap Gebraad
Rue de la Loi 67 – 1000 Brussels
Phone +32 493 835 626