Innovative solutions for ports of the future
The maritime sector is one of the most important economic sectors in Belgium, but is also continuing to grow worldwide. The 'BNP Paribas Fortis Transport, Logistics and Ports’ chair linked to the University of Antwerp brings together the most important actors within the national and international port community. They bring up the challenges of the maritime ecosystem through scientific research and jointly seek concrete and creative solutions to the local and global maritime challenges. The chair will continue its task for the next 2 years.
Didier Beauvois, Head of Corporate Banking, BNP Paribas Fortis "Through this chair, we're continuing excellent research that can be used directly by the wider port community. We would therefore like to extend this collaboration so that academics, industry players, colleagues and customers can get in touch with each other. By creating a community and facilitating cooperation, we are boosting the sense of innovation and making companies more competitive."
The chair's 10th anniversary fell in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the anniversary will be celebrated on 30 September 2021. During this event, players from the academic, industrial and business sectors will take a look back at the achievements of the past 10 years, including various co-innovation cafés and an e-book.
Prof. Dr Christa Sys, University of Antwerp: "This chair stimulates information exchange. This leads to new ideas and accelerates innovation initiatives and improvements within the maritime sector. This is a major advantage compared to other countries."
Keeping dialogue going
The celebration on 30 September is also looking to the future. What is the impact of demographic changes on the flow of goods? How do ports adapt their capacity accordingly? How can data be intelligently deployed to reduce waiting times and accurately track transports? What is the maritime sector's role in the transition to renewable energy? What adjustments are needed to ensure a smooth transition? Will the pandemic lead to production closer to end-consumers (nearshoring)?
Food for interesting discussions, but above all good opportunities for ports to broaden and strengthen their competitive edge. “More than ever, it is important to keep the dialogue between all stakeholders going and the chair offers the perfect platform for this,” says Prof. Dr. Sys.
Bringing Generation Z on board
In addition to scientific research and innovation, the chair is also fully focused on talent. The port and maritime sector is not only a highly dynamic sector, but also an exciting employer which welcomes various skills and profiles. The next generation will be prepared on the basis of guest lectures, thesis topics, an international sustainability week, a talent forum, etc. The maritime sector's future is already assured.
BNP Paribas Fortis and the University of Antwerp are proud to look back on the past 10 years and are making every effort to come up with innovative insights that will really help the sector in the years ahead.
Would you like to know more?
Prof. Dr Christa Sys, holder of the BNP Paribas Fortis Transport, Logistics and Ports Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org,0032 474 27 08 65.