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Amongst others, one of the SmartPort Community activities is combining energy research driven questions from port businesses with research expertise of universities. As it is, SmartPort, BP, Uniper, Joulz, TNO and the Port of Rotterdam Authority do the research of the use of ‘green hydrogen’ for the production of petrol. MD Michiel Jak adds: “BP said ‘we want to do this’. Consequently, we take care for research onto dependence, how we can materialise the concept and how we can make a viable business case for it. SmartPort is to provide the information to support decision making. The business takes the decisions themselves.”

The new energy saving research project is one of the 55 projects being carried out. The budget for the five subjects for dedicated research is €25M. Smart Energy and Industry is one of the five.

Jak adds about need and necessity of the projects: “The research concept is effective, it is precompetitive. Knowledge is not just for free. It is about shared innovation, rather than open innovation. Everybody is welcome at the start, but once we started research there is no further admission. It all depends on the one who commissions research. On occasion, results will be disclosed.”

It is clear that SmartPort does not contract research for just the one party. “One needs to go to a consultancy for that. We seek collaboration with a number of parties for strategically important issues”, Jak concludes.

Although the current activities of SmartPort are planned to end on 31st December 2019, it could well be that scientific activities will be continued beyond that date. That will be decided on base results and the consequences of choices for businesses.

As it is, SmartPort is firmly grounded in the port community and can rely on appreciation of its attempt to create impact in the port, together with innovative stakeholders. SmartPort launched SmartPort Evaluation to establish whether there was support for its approach to making the port of Rotterdam smarter and more innovative. As it happens, the community rewarded the institution with the score 8 out of 10.

The survey SmartPort Evaluation was taken seriously: 60 respondents completed the query form: 55% of that amount were businesses, 27% universities and 18% governmental bodies, branch – or sector organisations.

When asked, SmartPort received a score from 46 respondents. They gave an average score of 8;  9% o them even a score of 9 out of ten, 9.46%  the score 8 and 35% the score 7.