The Advisory Committee of Bilbao PortLab, the Port Authority’s initiative to position the Port of Bilbao within an innovative ecosystem, has met to review its activity during 2021. Prominent actions that have been taken this year include support for innovative idea projects put forward by companies, start-ups, SMEs or large companies with innovative technologies and business models, to address the challenges facing the port community. One source of funding for these ideas has been through the 2020 call for proposals of the Ports 4.0 Fund.
Among the projects and ideas awarded funds through this initiative promoted by the Spanish State Ports Authority, 6 ideas and 7 approved pre-commercial projects have secured the support and collaboration of Bilbao PortLab. In this respect, the port of Bilbao will be the living lab environment where six of the pre-commercial projects will be able to test their proposed solutions and technologies.
The projects to be tested in the port of Bilbao cover a range of solutions to address challenges facing the port community: MACHSENSE is an artificial intelligence system for decision making in the control of diffuse particulate emissions in port environments; the Owskimmer Project is a highly efficient solution for the recovery of plastics and hydrocarbons in port environments; GSSC is an approach to deploying predictive governance of cyber-physical risks to improve security; Exocare is designed to provide the port-logistics environment with a solution that enables advanced monitoring of people and vehicles, to anticipate potential risk situations; Noiseport is a proposed Monitoring 4.0 solution for the advanced evaluation and management of environmental noise in ports; and ‘Izurun – My Plant Manager’ offers an intralogistics asset management platform focused on the end user.
In total, the projects and ideas supported by Bilbao PortLab have mobilised funds amounting to EUR 4.5 M, in addition to the EUR 1.5 M from the Ports 4.0 Funds, the grants awarded through the Galatea call for the development of new cross-sector and cross-border industrial value chains that integrate technologies and know-how from the aerospace and ICT communities into the key domains of Blue Growth, and those of Hazitek, the Business R&D support programme for the implementation of Industrial Research or Experimental Development Projects, of both a competitive and strategic nature, in the Basque Country business sector.
Bilbao PortLab will once again provide support for initiatives connected with the port of Bilbao which are submitted within the new call for proposals of the Ports 4.0 Fund, which seeks to capture ideas and projects in the commercial phase for port digitalisation.
The Fund will provide EUR 6.75 million for this second call, with grants of EUR 15,000 per selected idea (EUR 750,000 in total) and the remaining 6 million for grants of between EUR 100,000 and 2 million per project in the commercial phase, or those that are on the verge of being launched onto the market.
New strategic collaboration
Furthermore, other projects in which PortLab is involved were presented at the meeting, including its collaboration with Erhardt Proyectos in the Neterh project, a digital platform for end-to-end coverage of logistics activity from the request for tenders, the awarding and generation of contracts and the management of the transport operation, through to the storage and/or delivery of the cargo at the end destination, through different solutions.
Another project supported by Bilbao PortLab is BilbOPS, an initiative to reduce GHG emissions by using a renewables-based Onshore Power Supply (OPS), or ColdIroning. This consists of equipping the docks with a power grid connection service for vessels when they dock at the quay, thereby enabling them to switch off their auxiliary engines. The port of Bilbao will serve as a living lab for this project, which is considered as strategic for achieving the sustainability of port activity.
Bilbao PortLab will also collaborate in MTA’s Global Futurizer, a public-private initiative to promote and generate innovative solutions to business challenges, attracting talent and 4.0 professional profiles to the port of Bilbao and engaging groups of multidisciplinary university students to identify and resolve the challenges facing the port and its community. The first pilot challenges will be confronted during the first half of 2022.
With regard to Social Sustainability, a project on SDGs has been taken forward throughout 2021 based on survey data drawn from the port of Bilbao community and the Deusto Cities Lab Katedra. Kaia 2030 Lab which will look into the relationship between the port and its environment and the ways in which the port ecosystem must be a key factor in sustainable metropolitan development by 2030.