The new Centre for University Innovation of the Port of Sevilla will be placed in the port territory, counting with 16 million € of EU financing. A committee selected in the beginning of 2020 the first 20 innovation projects, each of them including an industrial PhD. These researches will focus on topics such as renewable energies production and storage, new materials, Internet of things, logistics, blockchain in the food industry or marine detection of hazardous substances. The research projects must be operational before the end of 2021. This initiative shows the path towards fruitful collaboration between academia and industry, a relationship that has not always been easy, but it is crucial to answer to upcoming challenges.
A new program named “My first maritime work experience” has been. This program will give to young professionals the opportunity to learn about the different careers in the Panamanian maritime authority. It results of a collaboration between the maritime affairs and labour ministries, inspired by the national initiative “learning by doing”. The directorate of Gente de Mar (People from the Sea), will be in charge of forming the new generations of maritime professionals. The Maritime University of Panamá and the Panamanian Association of Navy Officers selected the first group of 20 trainees from different areas such as nautical sciences, shipbuilding or maritime administration. In the six-month period the young professionals will go through training to later join the different functions under the supervision of staff from the maritime authority.
Several European ports have presented their plans to reduce their carbon footprint in the coming years. The port of Helsinki (Finland), drafted the Carbon-Neutral Port 2035 including 50 measures, mostly destined to reduce the port’s emissions and those from vessels. These measures combine reducing the energy usage, acquiring energy from carbon-neutral sources and carbon offsets to compensate the remaining emissions. One example of the actions to be taken is the new price list for port operations, including significant “environmental” discounts. The port of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) is even more ambitious, aiming at carbon neutrality in 2030. Its priority is to boost clean energy production at port, such as the new project to generate hydrogen using electrolysis. Amsterdam port is also developing maritime wind energy fields. In Hamburg (Germany), the main terminal operator HHLA, wants to become carbon neutral by 2040, by using green electricity for all its operations. The company already reduced the CO2 emissions of container operations by 30% in 2019, aiming at 50% until 2030. The main challenge will be in the future to make the complete logistic chain carbon neutral.
The Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program was created in 2014. It has ever since gathered a broad and diverse group of advisors, under the leadership of the port authority to protect the endangered southern resident killer whales. In order to do so, the ECHO program has measured the noise levels of more than 10 000 ships in the Salish Sea. Over 5000 vessels have voluntarily slowed down or detoured to protect the feeding area of this cetacean from underwater noise. The program also offered resources to help mariners to raise awareness of the effects ships can have on these animals. The program has produced in this period several documents including a “Mariner’s Guide to Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises of Wester Canada”, the “Whales in our Waters tutorial” or the app WhaleReport Alert System, besides yearly reports and scientific papers.