Testbeds & trials

Ports of the Future

  • Started on 19 Feb 2020

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Major drivers are the pressure to reduce operating and capital costs, and the movement towards energy transition, which means that new players are targeting their focus on renewable energies and alternative fuels. Digital technologies are extending the range of innovation possibilities providing opportunities across the entire value chain, for example big data analytics can allow a renewed vision of the supply chains as well as predictive maintenance and automation  which can reduce operational costs.

Ports of the future addresses not only the operations at the port but also the activities for the transport of people and goods, shipbuilding, off-shore energy, air and water quality monitoring, and more generally, any automation and security activities that support the efficacy of these practices. The evolving port environment presents a lot of opportunities for the European industry to come up with new and innovative commercial solutions enabled by space. 

More info on esa website


Space technologies can play an important role in conjunction with the deployment of novel technologies in the improvement of the port ecosystem. The utilisation of big data analytics, image-recognition algorithms, crowd-sourcing, etc. offers a wide range of opportunities for new services. 

5G Systems
5G systems, the next step in the evolution of fixed and mobile communication, could have a central role in the evolution of the port ecosystem. 5G will permit meeting a set of requirements (i.e. high data-rate, wide coverage, high throughput, high reliability) which are fundamental for enabling services relying on communication means for relying data with high availability and in a secure manner. This will be needed in the case of monitoring and management of assets with a large amount of data. It is expected that sensor networks and IoT technologies will rely massively on the new capabilities offered by 5G networks.


ESA Space Solutions can provide funding for assessing business and technical feasibility of new, space-based services related to the improvement of the port ecosystem. The activities will be 100% funded up to €200K per activity.


We look for teams that have identified an attractive market opportunity with real potential to engage customers. Motivation, business experience and domain expertise are all important features. We want to hear about your ideas that involve utilisation of either space technology or space data. 

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