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Topic outline

  • Brief information on the Funding Opportunity

    Program: Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)  |  Call ID: HORIZON-CL5-2023-D5-01-13
    Geographical coverage: EU

    Available contribution €: 15 000 000 €

    Deadlines: 20 April 2023 17:00:00 Brussels time

    Type of Action: HORIZON-IA HORIZON Innovation Actions

    Type of MGA: HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based [HORIZON-AG]

    For more information on meanings of TRL, Type of Project and General Rules, please refer to the General Annexes of the Work Programme:  Link to the General Annexes of the Work Programme

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  • Expected Outcomes

    Project outputs and results are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:

    • Progressing beyond the state of the art, full-scale demonstration of an interoperable port call and voyage optimisation tool on existing routes and services involving at least three ports and two shipping companies and relevant stakeholders in port call operations.
    • Improved operational efficiency of vessels when arriving to/departing from ports, towards elimination of waiting times during navigation and at the port. Develop and demonstrate in realistic environment, KPIS’s to quantify these gains.
    • Increased navigational safety through improved sea traffic management from onshore which has been assessed with respect to the status quo considering also situational awareness during port entrance, manoeuvring, berthing, departure and potentially related skills issues.
    • Optimised fuel efficiency and reduced vessel emissions through voyage, waiting at anchorage and port arrival optimisation to facilitate more efficient sailing speeds. Reductions in fuel consumption of 10 to 20% with corresponding reductions in greenhouse gas emission should be demonstrated, compared to business as usual during navigation and at port and port-to-port approach.
    • Enable shipping companies to quantify their fuel savings and the GHG emissions avoided as a result of the optimisation system and the real-time information shared with ports during vessel voyage.
    • Development of port call optimisation standards considering the on-going standardisation initiatives by IMO/ISO groups to facilitate a secure and resilient operational, real-time digital data sharing and decision support system for port and voyage optimisation; and develop operational roadmap(s) for standard technical committees.
    • Assessment and quantification of the benefits of port and navigation optimisation for different types of maritime traffic, e.g. tramp and regular services for bulk, container, passenger, cruise ships, Ro-Pax, Ro-Ro, etc.
    • Adaption to the existing and/or development of business models to prove the commercial viability of voyage and port call optimisation to facilitate take up and its wider application.

  • Scope

    Shipping is frequently subject to prolonged waiting periods offshore before birthing and offloading cargo. Vessels waiting at anchorage pending the availability of port capacity reduce operational efficiency as well as increasing emissions, either whilst waiting or due to faster sailing speeds to arrive at port in case of birth availability. To avoid these situations, port call optimisation systems have been developed and are now being piloted. However, these have been generally limited to specific services. More widely applicable navigation and port call optimisation tools which can address the entire voyage, promote the most efficient sailing speeds to reduce emissions and ensure direct berthing without delay could substantially improve operational efficiency and reduce emissions.

    Activities should take a holistic approach to the development and scale up of an integrated port scheduling and voyage optimisation tool to address real multi vessel traffic scenarios, focussing on vessel routing and voyage optimisation, minimising emissions and the eventual port call process, going beyond existing systems and combining the perspectives of both shipping and port operators.

    Proposals are expected to address all of the following aspects:

    • Develop collaborative harmonized collaborative standards and communication amongst relevant stakeholders to enable an interoperable optimisation system to be deployed across the operations of the stakeholders concerned. Thereby facilitate the real time sharing of operational digital data, supporting enhanced situational awareness and decision support to reduce emissions through lower total voyage fuel consumption. For example, the following functions may be included; cargo handling, port services, clearance, commercial services such as bunkering, onshore power connection, berth availability, terminal capacity, weather, sailing speed, voyage data etc. Standards should address security, resilience as well as potential integration within existing port infrastructures and their monitoring systems.
    • Develop methodologies and tools to enable information sharing and optimisation of routes and time of arrival in real time, including decision algorithms that use methods such as AI, Edge Analytics, heuristics, and business analytics.
    • Using existing routes and services, progressing beyond the state of the art, demonstrate the operation at full-scale of an interoperable port call and voyage optimisation tool towards at least three ports and two shipping companies in addition other stakeholders linked to port call operation.
    • Consider system security as well as resilience and mitigation actions in case of failure.
    • Carry out risk assessment for the developed solutions, using existing models (such as FSA, HAZOP, etc.) to support safety and business continuity in case of failure as well as regulatory development at IMO and EU level.
    • Address the full voyage, including vessel positions far from port, to maximise emission reduction and operational efficiency benefits. Data sources should include among others weather, consumption, emission, traffic and port planning.
    • Build upon existing systems, technologies and regulations (for instance, European Maritime Single Window and other national undertakings) to ensure direct applicability with existing requirements. Other innovative and new technologies can also be deployed.
    • Develop and measure KPIs for efficiency from real cases, including calculation of the gains from the application of the solutions developed within the project. Measure the resulting reduction in emissions achieved as a result of the voyage and port scheduling optimisation system compared to a typical similar non-optimized service.
    • Plans for the exploitation and dissemination should include a strong business case and sound exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this destination. The exploitation plans should include preliminary plans for scalability, commercialisation, and deployment (feasibility study, business plan) indicating the possible funding sources to be potentially used

    Participation of end users in proposals is necessary. Commitment from end users towards the deployment of solutions developed in the project will be considered positively. All proposals will need to demonstrate a clear and credible pipeline from development to the operational deployment of the solution following the projects end.

    This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on ‘Zero Emission Waterborne Transport’ (ZEWT). As such, projects resulting from this topic will be expected to report on results to the European Partnership ‘Zero Emission Waterborne Transport’ (ZEWT) in support of the monitoring of its KPIs.

  • Specific Topic Conditions

    Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-8 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.
  • Clean and competitive solutions for all transport modes (2023/24)

    This Destination addresses activities that improve the climate and environmental footprint, as well as competitiveness, of different transport modes.

    The transport sector is responsible for 23% of CO2 emissions and remains dependent on oil for 92% of its energy demand. While there has been significant technological progress over past decades, projected GHG emissions are not in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement due to the expected increase in transport demand. Intensified research and innovation activities are therefore needed, across all transport modes and in line with societal needs and preferences, in order for the EU to reach its policy goals towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to reduce significantly air pollutants.

    The areas of rail and air traffic management will be addressed through dedicated Institutional European Partnerships and are therefore not included in this document.

    This Destination contributes to the following Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientations (KSO):

    • C: Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems;
    • A: Promoting an open strategic autonomy[[ ‘Open strategic autonomy’ refers to the term ‘strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy’, as reflected in the conclusions of the European Council 1 – 2 October 2020.]] by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains to accelerate and steer the digital and green transitions through human-centred technologies and innovations.

    It covers the following impact areas:

    • Industrial leadership in key and emerging technologies that work for people;
    • Smart and sustainable transport.

    The expected impact, in line with the Strategic Plan, is to contribute “Towards climate-neutral and environmental friendly mobility through clean solutions across all transport modes while increasing global competitiveness of the EU transport sector", notably through:

    • Transforming road transport to zero-emission mobility through a world-class European research and innovation and industrial system, ensuring that Europe remains world leader in innovation, production and services in relation to road transport (more detailed information below).
    • Accelerating the reduction of all aviation impacts and emissions (CO2 and non-CO2, including manufacturing and end-of-life, noise), developing aircraft technologies for deep reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and maintaining European aero-industry’s global leadership position (more detailed information below).
    • Accelerate the development and prepare the deployment of climate neutral and clean solutions in the inland and marine shipping sector, reduce its environmental impact (on biodiversity, noise, pollution and waste management), improve its system efficiency, leverage digital and EU satellite-navigation solutions and contribute to the competitiveness of the European waterborne sector (more detailed information below).
    • Devising more effective ways for reducing emissions and their impacts through improved scientific knowledge (more detailed information below).

    Several levels of interactions are foreseen with other European initiatives, in particular with the Industrial Battery Value Chain (BATT4EU) partnership, the Cooperative Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) partnership and the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities, in particular:

    • Joint topic “2ZERO – BATT4EU” D5-1-4 B - Innovative battery management systems for next generation vehicles (2ZERO & Batteries Partnership) (2023)
    • Joint topic “CCAM – 2ZERO – Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities” D5-1-5 Co-designed smart systems and services for user-centred shared zero-emission mobility of people and goods in urban areas (2ZERO, CCAM and Cities’ Mission) (2023)

    Zero-emission road transport

    Main expected impacts:

    • Affordable, user-friendly charging infrastructure concepts and technologies that are easy to deploy with a wide coverage of urban spaces and of the road network and include vehicle-grid-interactions, ready for mass electrification of passenger and freight road transport.
    • Accelerated uptake of affordable, user-centric solutions for optimised energy efficiency and energy flexibility (vehicles and services).
    • Effective design, assessment and deployment of innovative zero-emission solutions for the clean road transport challenge.
    • Innovative demonstrations use cases for the integration of zero tailpipe emission vehicles, and infrastructure concepts for the road mobility of people and goods.
    • Increased user acceptability of zero tailpipe emission vehicles, improved air quality, a more circular economy and reduction of environmental and health[[These aspects are also dealt with in the specific “Impact of transport on environment and human health” section]] impacts.
    • Support EU leadership in world transport markets at component, vehicle and transport system level, including related services.


    Main expected impacts:

    • Disruptive low TRL technologies that have potential to lead to 30% reduction in fuel burn and CO2, by 2035, between the existing aircraft in service and the next generation, compared to 12-15% in previous replacement cycles (when not explicitly defined, baselines refer to the best available aircraft of the same category with entry into service prior to year 2020).
    • Disruptive low TRL technologies that have potential to enter into service between 2035 and 2050, based on new energy carriers, hybrid-electric architectures, next generation of ultra-high efficient engines and systems, advanced aerostructures that will enable new/optimised aircraft configurations and their cost-competitive industrialisation.
    • New technologies for significantly lower local air-pollution and noise.
    • Increased understanding and analysis of mitigation options of aviation’s non-CO2 climate impacts.
    • Accelerated uptake of sustainable aviation fuels in aviation, including the coordination with EU Member States/Associated countries and private initiatives.
    • Maintain global competitiveness and leadership of the European aeronautics ecosystem. Focus on selected breakthrough manufacturing and repair technologies that have high potential to lower the overall operating cost.
    • Further develop the EU policy-driven planning and assessment framework/toolbox towards a coherent R&I prioritisation and timely development of technologies in all three pillars of Horizon Europe. Contribute to the mid-term Horizon Europe impact assessment of aviation research and innovation.

    Waterborne transport

    Main expected impacts:

    • Increased and early deployment of climate neutral fuels, and significant electrification of shipping, in particular intra-European transport connections.
    • Increased overall energy efficiency and use of renewable energies such as wind to drastically lower fuel consumption of vessels. This is increasingly important considering the likelihood of more expensive alternative fuels, where in some cases the waterborne sector will have to compete with other transport modes.
    • Enable the innovative port infrastructure (bunkering of alternative fuels and provision of electrical power) needed to achieve zero-emission waterborne transport (inland and maritime).
    • Enable clean, climate-neutral, and climate-resilient inland waterway vessels before 2030 helping a significant market take-up and a comprehensive green fleet renewal which will also help modal shift.
    • Strong technological and operational momentum towards achieving climate neutrality and the elimination of all harmful pollution to air and water.
    • Achieve the smart, efficient, secure and safe integration of maritime and inland shipping into logistic chains, facilitated by full digitisation, automation, resilient and efficient connectivity.
    • Enable safe and efficient fully automated and connected shipping (maritime and inland).
    • Competitive European waterborne industries, supporting employment and reinforcing the position of the European maritime technology sector within global markets. Providing the advanced green and digital technologies which will support European jobs and growth.

    Impact of transport on environment and human health

    Main expected impacts:

    • The reduction of road vehicle polluting emissions (looking at both regulated, unregulated and emerging ones) from both existing and future automotive fleets in urban and peri-urban areas.
    • The better monitoring of the environmental performance and enforcement of regulation (detection of defeat devices, tampered anti-pollution systems, etc.) of fleets of transport vehicles, be it on road, airports and ports.
    • Substantially understand and provide solutions to reduce the overall environmental impact of transport (e.g.: as regards biodiversity, noise, pollution and waste) on human health and ecosystems.

  • General conditions

    1. Admissibility conditions: described in Annex A and Annex E of the Horizon Europe Work Programme General Annexes

    Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System

    2. Eligible countries: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes

    A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon Europe projects. See the information in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide.

    3. Other eligibility conditions: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes

    If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).

    4. Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in Annex C of the Work Programme General Annexes

    5. Evaluation and award:

    • Award criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex D of the Work Programme General Annexes

    • Submission and evaluation processes are described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes and the Online Manual

    • Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes

    6. Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in Annex G of the Work Programme General Annexes

    The funding rate is 60% of the eligible costs, except for non-profit legal entities where the funding rate is up to 100% of the total eligible costs.

    7. Specific conditions: described in the specific topic of the Work Programme

  • This topic was introduced in the Horizon Europe info days - Cluster 5, you can find the video and presenation below

  • Documents

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