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

PIONEERS brings together four ports with different characteristics but shared commitments towards Green Deal goals and Blue Growth socio-economic aims.

The H2020 project PIONEERS is an international partnership between ports, knowledge institutions, technology developers and government agencies with the shared ambition to make green ports the norm for our sustainable future.

Coordinated by the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, with a consortium of 47 partners from 11 different countries, PIONEERS is developing a Green Port Master Plan by 2026 as a harmonised approach for greening all European ports and is developing concrete solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at ports. Specifically, PIONEERS showcases a real-life Green Port through the implementation of 19 demo projects in the four ports (Antwerp-Bruges, Barcelona, Constanta, Venlo), addressing challenges in the fields of: Clean Energy Production and Supply; Sustainable Port Design; Modal Shift and Flows Optimisation; and Digital Transformation.

The PIONEERS project is structured around four key pillars:

  1. Clean Energy Production and Supply: Implementation of renewable energy sources and deployment of electric, hydrogen, and methanol vehicles to reduce emissions.
  2. Sustainable Port Design: Retrofitting of buildings and heating networks for energy efficiency, and integration of circular economy principles in infrastructure development.
  3. Modal Shift and Flows Optimization: Utilization of AI and 5G technologies in digital platforms to enhance the efficiency of passenger and freight transport, and optimize vehicle, vessel, and container movements.
  4. Digital Transformation: Adoption of digital technologies to support vehicle automation and improve operational efficiency.
PIONEERS will deliver a Master Plan and roadmap for the energy transition at the participating ports, providing a blueprint for green port planning and implementation across Europe. This includes developing technology evaluation processes, business case analyses, and the necessary institutional, regulatory, and financial frameworks to support the adoption of green port solutions.

In a ground-breaking stride, Antwerp Terminal Services (ATS) and PSA Antwerp NV (PSAA) have jointly developed a cutting-edge technology: a pioneering hydrogen dual fuel straddle carrier, the first of its kind in the world. Read more here.

Other demonstrations in the project are featured in the Euronews OCEAN series, portraying how ports act as drivers of the energy transition, decarbonisation, and environmental sustainability.

For a comprehensive overview of these demonstrations, PIONEES has developed an interactive map, showcasing the applicability and feasibility of innovative green solutions for ports, serving as a guiding beacon for EU ports looking to adopt sustainable practices.


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All Project PIONEERS related past events, news and documents

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101037564. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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