June 28th, 2018. Digitization can help ports and shipping to reduce costs and make processes even more efficient. Research institutes, companies and harbors from six European countries now want to work together to develop concepts by 2021 that will enable using advanced digital technologies use in port infrastructures.
The European research project PortForward, which began in July 2018, has set itself a major goal. Under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg, 13 partners from Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom and Norway want to develop new concepts in order to operate small and medium-sized ports with the help of digital solutions in a smarter, more networked and environmentally friendly way. Five European ports are involved in the PortForward project, where the new solutions will be developed and tested. The project, which will run until 2021, has received five million euros funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
The result is to provide a modular platform that allows port operators to use innovative technologies and services to network and digitize infrastructure and processes. It will support planning and operations in ports increasing their economic and environmental efficiency and enabling them to compete internationally.
Fraunhofer IFF contributes its expertise in the field of digitization
In this project the Fraunhofer IFF is working closely with the operator of the port of Magdeburg, the Magdeburger Hafen GmbH. As the only inland port in the research network, the port of Magdeburg occupies a special position. It is aimed to develop here digital solutions that are primarily intended to support warehousing and logistics in the port area. In this context, the Fraunhofer IFF will primarily bring its expertise in the field of digital networking, sensor technology and the “Internet of Things” for industrial applications.
PortForward will also benefit from the modern research infrastructures of the Fraunhofer IFF. In the Elbedome, Europe’s largest mixed-reality laboratory, methods will be developed and tested to better illustrate the flow of information from the “Internet of Things” in virtual reality scenarios and to support decisions in the operation of large infrastructures. Furthermore, the networking of sensors will be supported and the port operators will be provided with services via a Fraunhofer-owned, secure cloud infrastructure.
M.A. René Maresch
Press and public relations
Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF
Read the original version of this article published by the Fraunhofer IFF.