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Structuring the Waterborne transport sector, including through changed business and industrial models in order to achieve commercial zero-emission waterborne transport (ZEWT Partnership)
Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 5: Clean and competitive solutions for all transport modes
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
To ensure a coordinated approach to develop zero-emission, digital, automated and competitive European waterborne transport the participation of all types of both private and public stakeholders, including financiers, charterers and others within the commercial side of the waterborne business community should be envisaged.
The European Green Deal sets ambitious objectives to transform Europe into the first climate neutral continent by 2050 This presents a valuable opportunity for the European industry, and in particular for the waterborne transport sector, where Europe leads in high technology and green energy efficient shipping development. Also digitalisation has an impact on reducing emissions and increasing efficiency, while increasing safety, security, and reliability of the waterborne transport, and therefore is already impacting the business models and dynamics of the sector.
Whilst Europe is still a worldwide leader in advanced, digital and green shipping, there is a lack of take up of new technologies within the wider waterborne transport market. In part, this is a reflection of the sectors' conservatism and reluctance to change unless driven by regulation. It is also hindered by the complex commercial structures and finance models which can distance the interests of ship owners who commission new builds, financiers who commoditise vessel value by type, operators who can benefit from lower fuel consumption as well as cargo owners who may benefit from ‘environmentally friendly image’ and final points of sale where the use of low emission shipping can be a potential commercial advantage. Whilst new business models and labelling schemes to better incentivize green shipping have been developed, they are yet to be widely established and are largely unknown. There is a need to objectively analyse the segments of the waterborne transport sector, and within each segment characterize the business models, identify the barriers to the take up innovative low and zero-emission waterborne transport solutions and in cooperation with the stakeholders to propose commercial models which can provide a better incentive for increasing the investment in low or zero-emission solutions in the European waterborne transport sector.
Furthermore, it is important to increase awareness of the public and the broader non research waterborne sector about the economic and environmental importance of the European waterborne transport sector, highlighting its commitment, ability and opportunities to develop and implement competitive solutions which will meet the ambitious objectives reflected in the European Green Deal.
Cooperation with relevant existing initiatives, like the European Sustainable Shipping Forum, CESNI, the Waterborne Technology Platform and others, will be key. In addition, it should be ensured that proposals take into account the results of relevant R&I projects (including Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe) and relevant studies. Proposals should address all of the following:
- Identify business models and the financial and commercial barriers to the take up of innovative low and/or zero emission solutions for waterborne transport. The financial investment, labelling and contract structures as well as the new possibilities enabled by digitalisation should be considered. An analysis of the different responsibilities and business motivations between charterer, cargo owner, ship owner, point of sale etc. should also be taken into account.
- Analyse the needs and timing to retrofit and replace the current European fleet (including inland waterway transport vessels, ferries, short sea shipping, cruise ships and offshore vessels). The analysis should be combined with an overview of the European capacity (with respect to technology and skilled workforce) available to retrofit these vessels and identify any capacity gaps for the timely implementation of the European Green Deal emission targets;
- Provide an analysis of where disincentives exist to the increased deployment of innovative low and/or zero emission and smart shipping, within different market segments/ The analysis should consider for example the investment decision cycle: finance models, bunkering and fuel supply infrastructure, availability, longevity and costs of technologies, possibilities to retrofit/build a vessel timely, properly skilled workforce, etc. and propose incentives and improvements to the business models such as new contract models and financing structures.;
- Organise specific communication and exploitation activities towards relevant stakeholders outside the participants of the project to ensure that all stakeholders from EU Member States/Associated countries are informed about the solutions developed;
- To assure a beneficial societal impact from the activities, relevant social science and humanities expertise are expected to be taken into account, including the active contribution from SSH experts and/or institutions.
This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on ‘Zero Emission Waterborne Transport’ (ZEWT). As such, projects resulting from this topic will be expected to report on results to the European Partnership ‘Zero Emission Waterborne Transport’ (ZEWT) in support of the monitoring of its KPIs.
Project outputs and results are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:
- A full understanding of the business model, labour, financial and commercial barriers to the take up of innovative low and/or zero emission solutions for waterborne transport, including consideration of ship financing and investment structures, charter and other contracts.
- Identification of potential solutions to overcome business model and commercial barriers to the take up of innovative low and zero emission solutions in waterborne transport.
- Understanding of the industrial capacity and how it would be scheduled to retrofit and/or replace the current European fleet to meet 2030 and 2050 emission reduction and pollution targets. Considering all vessels operating within the European region, including inland waterway transport vessels, short sea shipping services (including ferries and cargo vessels), cruise and offshore vessels;
- Increase commitment from the wider waterborne sector, including finance, contracting insurance, charterers, operators, owners, public stake holders, technology providers as well as civil society towards recognizing the importance of European waterborne transport, its environmental objectives and the consequential economic impacts.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 33 pages.