Towards a carbon-neutral, zero accidents, automated and competitive EU Waterborne Transport Sector

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 10:00

Brussels, 17 March 2020

The  Waterborne  Technology  Platform  welcomes  the  Ministerial  Declaration  regarding  the  future outlook  for  the  European  Waterborne  Transport  Sector,  as adopted by the  EU Transport Ministers during a meeting in Croatia last week. This declaration is the first of its kind, and recognises both the importance  of  maritime  shipping,  inland  waterway  transport  and  the  broader  waterborne transport sector in one declaration.

The declaration  is  fully  in  line  with  the  content  of  the  Strategic  Research  Agenda  of  the  Waterborne Technology Platform as launched in January 2019. It does not only highlight the need to transform to a zero-emission mode of transport, but at the same time emphasizes the potential of digitalisation for the waterborne transport sector as well. In addition, zero-accidents and zero-loss of life are cornerstones  of  the  declaration.  Finally,  the  competitiveness  of  the  European  waterborne  transport sector will be another point of attention for policy making in the coming months.

Regarding research and innovation, the specific support for the candidate co-programmed partnership zero-emission waterborne transport in the framework of Horizon Europe is an important political sign. It shows the urgent need to increase not only the research and innovation activities, but at the same time the fact that a coordinated approach is the only way forward to be able to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal.

In  a  first  reaction, the  Chairman  of  the  Waterborne  Technology  Platform, Henk  Prins,  said “The Ministerial  Declaration  shows  the  relevance  of  the  Strategic  Research  of  the  Waterborne  Technology Platform.  It  not  only  contains  a  clear  reference  to  the  co-programmed  Partnership  zero-emission waterborne  transport,  it also provides  a  clear  sign  on  the  need  for  research  and  innovation  related  to digitalisation  at  the  same time  as  well. Finally,  one  of  the  key  objectives  of  the Waterborne  Technology Platform is the goal of zero-accidents, zero loss-of-life, zero-pollution to the environment by latest 2050, as highlighted in the Ministerial Declaration as well. Last but not least, Europe has all the tools to deliver the  technologies  needed  to  achieve  all  these  objectives,  and  thereby  competitiveness  of  the  European waterborne transport sector will be key.”

WATERBORNE TP WATERBORNE TP has been set up as an industry-oriented Technology Platform to establish a continuous dialogue between all waterborne stakeholders, such as classification societies, shipbuilders, shipowners, maritime equipment manufacturers, infrastructure and service providers, universities or research institutes, and with the EU Institutions, including Member States ( The members of waterborne TP comprise members as well as associated members from both maritime and inland navigation countries, representing about 14 Member States. In addition, the Associations member of the Waterborne Technology Platform represent the broader waterborne sector throughout the entire EU.

For further information please visit or contact:

Jaap Gebraad, executive director, jaap.gebraad @ Tel: +32 493 835 626

Read the original press release here.