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SmartPort stands for joined forces of the Port of Rotterdam, entrepreneur association Deltalinqs and the Rotterdam municipality, with the Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft University of Technology. In this structure leading parties in the port of Rotterdam are connected with two internationally highly regarded universities.

SmartPort has its separate place in the innovative ecosystem. We are the sole party that specifically aims at making Rotterdam the ‘Smartest Port’ through knowledge development for collective ambition. We want to give clear and objective answers to questions Rotterdam port area based businesses have about our common future. We take the lead in this, control the long term, but also see to fast, concrete results.

Our ambition is to develop our organisation to become the unavoidable knowledge institution for and by all involved in the port of Rotterdam. It will be an institution that links the best in class researchers, the most innovative businesses and related authorities, and offers them the platform to work together intensively in tackling tomorrow’s challenges. Their common goal will be to keep Rotterdam and the Rotterdam port area future-proof: SmartPort Connection Knowledge.



SmartPort is supported by a committed core team, surrounded by dedicated representatives from businesses and knowledge centres. The team is supported by a Board of well respected and competent persons from the private and public domain.

From left to right:
 Joan van Winsen
Robert van der Linden
Michiel Jak
Dirk Koppenol


The team is supported by a Board of well respected and competent persons form the provate and public domain.

“SmartPort ensures that Rotterdam will remain the smartest port, through linking the best knowledge with the best businesses.”

Paul Smits

CFO Port of Rotterdam | SmartPort Board Chairman

“SmartPort leads the way to a future-proof port.”

Ton van der Pijl

Secretary Executive Board Erasmus University Rotterdam | Board Member Smartport

“Science develops demand driven knowledge via SmartPort, just to allow the port to remain the smartest and largest in Europe.”

Rinke Zonneveld

MD Innovation Quarter | Board Member SmartPort

“Science may well be the best guideline for sustainable long-term choices. SmartPort joins science and businesses in the port of Roterdam.”

Frits Eulderink

COO Vopak | Board Member SmartPort

“Innovation requires scientific research. It’s added value will be even more substantial, provided questions are raised by trade and industry. As it is, collaboration within SmartPort already presents new, surprising insights.”

Michiel Jak

MD SmartPort

“Tomorrow’s smartest port requires ongoing dialogue between science and port businesses today. SmartPort strengthens and boosts this process.”

Frank Tazelaar

Managing Director at TBA | Board Member SmartPort

Roadmaps Ambassadors

Rob Zuidwijk is professor of Ports in Global Networks at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). He has over two decades of experience in academic research, education, and research projects with industries. He teaches freight transport systems, intermodal transportation, international logistics and supply chain management, and inter-organizational systems in logistics to BSc, MSc, and PhD students, and he is also involved in post-experience courses. He is also Academic Director of the Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Compliance programme, and of the MSc in Maritime Economics and Logistics. Since April 2016 he is chair of the SmartPort Roadmap Smart Logistics, aspired to be the driving force behind the transition to more sustainable and reliable port logistics.

Rob Zuidwijk

SmartPort Roadmap Smart Logistics

Ruud Melieste holds a master’s degree in economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He started his career at the regional energy company, and joined the Port of Rotterdam Authority in 1993. In collaboration with chemical companies, Ruud developed new business in pipeline infrastructure in the port and acted as managing director for resulting joint ventures MultiCore with Vopak, and RC2 with German ARG. As manager of a commercial department from 2006 to 2013, Ruud was responsible for enhancing the Port of Rotterdam’s competitive position as an energy port and industrial cluster. His current position is corporate strategist. His role includes analyzing trends and developments in energy and industry, assessing possible impact on Rotterdam, and defining long-term scenarios, strategies and roadmaps. Since 2016, he is chair of the SmartPort Roadmap Smart Energy & Industry, in order to stimulate scientific research into the Rotterdam Industry Cluster.

Ruud Melieste

Roadmap Smart Energy & Industry

Egbert van der Wal is Manager Port Engineering at the Port of Rotterdam. He received a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Delft and is a board member of PIANC Netherlands. After working as a Project Manager at Arcadis and Impect, in 2008 he became Project Manager for Port Infrastructure at the Port of Rotterdam. From 2010-2012 he worked as Manager Spatial Planning and Engineering in the newly developed Port of Sohar in the Sultanate of Oman. Currently he focusses, as Manager Port Engineering, on optimizing the use of the existing port complex,  the design and use of future port infrastructure. A key-factor in achieving this goal is improving the cooperation between port companies and universities. Since April 2016 he is chair of the SmartPort Roadmap Futureproof Port Infrastructure in order to fasten the use of new innovations and to improve the efficient use of the Rotterdam Port infrastructure.

Egbert van der Wal

Roadmap Futureproof Port Infrastructure

Michiel Nijdam is an experienced researcher in the Maritime, Port and Transport industry. After obtaining his PhD-thesis on Leader Firms in the Port of Rotterdam in 2010 at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, he became  researcher at the research company Urban, Port and Transport Economics of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. In 2010, he became Executive Director of this research company, making him responsible for the organisation and operations of the research institute of 15 specialists. In 2015, he became Corporate Strategist at the Port of Rotterdam, advising the board and management team on corporate strategy and commercial developments. Since April 2016, he is chair of the SmartPort Roadmap Port Strategies, aspired to improve the competitiveness of the Port of Rotterdam.

Michiel Nijdam

Roadmap Port Strategies

Frank van Oort obtained his PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2002 with a doctoral dissertation on agglomeration benefits and innovation in cities. He worked for many years at Utrecht University and was director of the Urban and Regional Research Center Utrecht. He also worked for the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in The Hague until 2013, on issues related to urban and regional economics, spatial planning and policy development. Frank van Oort is specialized in agglomeration economies, urban economics, economic geography, planning and housing, economic networks, urban geography, spatial planning, knowledge economy, European regional development, and urban development in China. He combines fundamental research with applied and policy-oriented research. For example, besides NWO and EU funded research, he also conducts research for ministries, cities and regions. Since April 2016 he is chair of the SmartPort Roadmap World Port City, in order to stimulate further research on the effect of the coming transition on Port-City relations.

Frank van Oort

Roadmap World Port City

Project team Roadmaps

Dirk M. Koppenol is policy advisor at SmartPort since September 2015. He studied History and International Relations, and Public Administration at the Erasmus University as well as English at the Oxford School of English, in Oxford. During and after his study, he was a trainee policy maker for two members of the Dutch Parliament in The Hague, researcher at the National Archive in The Hague and lecturer at Leiden University. In 2016 he obtained his PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam with a dissertation on the decision-making process of Rotterdam of Port land reclamation project Maasvlakte 2. As policy advisor of SmartPort he is responsible for stimulating scientific research into the effects of the coming transitions on Port business and the dissemination of this knowledge.

Dirk Koppenol

Policy advisor SmartPort

Roy van den Berg, joined Smart Port as project developer, as of mid August 2016. He primarily focusses on developing projects within the Smart Logistics Roadmap. Roy is very familiar with the Port of Rotterdam due to his past working experience at the Port of Rotterdam Authority where he worked as Business Manager Logistics. In 2015 Roy received his doctoral degree at the Eindhoven University of Technology for his dissertation Strategies and New Business Models in intermodal Hinterland Transport.

Roy van den Berg

Project planner SmartPort

Natalya Rijk has a background in public administration and is currently finishing her PhD at the Erasmus University. Her interests lie with (European) energy policy and she mainly concerns herself with paths to make the energy and industry sectors more sustainable. She has experience with CCS and the small-scale LNG development in the port of Rotterdam. Working together with businesses and governments to make the Rotterdam port region more sustainable, without losing competitiveness, in her view is an important and interesting challenge.

Natalya Rijk

Project planner SmartPort