- The Clock Building of the Port Authority of Valencia (APV) has hosted an informative conference with the participation of the professionals responsible for implementing the Ports 4.0 project in the Valencian docks: Francesc Sánchez, president of Fundación Valenciaport; Antonio Torregrosa, general director of Fundación Valenciaport; José Llorca, head of Innovation of Puertos del Estado; and Juan Manuel Díez Orejas, head of Innovation of the APV
- Together with them, professionals linked to the programme have informed about the funding and development opportunities for innovative ideas and actions within the framework of the Ports 4.0 programme. In parallel, entrepreneurs who have participated in previous editions have explained their experience
- The deadline for applications for the current call is 29 February for ideas projects and 1 April 2024 for commercial projects
- “We aspire to lead logistics innovation”, said Francesc Sánchez at the presentation of the programme
Valencia, 24th January 2024 – The Clock Building of the Port Authority of Valencia hosted yesterday the conference ‘New opportunities for innovation in logistics. New Call 2024 of Ports 4.0’. At this meeting, information was provided on the opportunities offered by the new call of the Ports 4.0 technological entrepreneurship challenge programme for companies and start-ups with links to the port logistics sector.
The professionals responsible for implementing the Ports 4.0 project on the Valencian docks were invited to give details of the launch of the programme: Francesc Sánchez, president of Fundación Valenciaport; Antonio Torregrosa, general director of Fundación Valenciaport; José Llorca, head of Innovation at Puertos del Estado; and Juan Manuel Díez Orejas, head of Innovation at the APV.
Francesc Sánchez, president of Fundación Valenciaport, opened the event by highlighting the commitment to innovation: “the majority of Spanish ports have begun to consider new challenges in the field of innovation and we also aspire to lead in logistics innovation”, he stated.
In turn, José Llorca, Head of Innovation at Puertos del Estado, detailed the main lines of the new Ports 4.0 call for proposals: “innovation has to penetrate the productive port logistics fabric”, which is why “the Ports 4.0 Fund is aimed at financing the technological maturation of projects that are immersed in an innovation process”.
The amount for the financing of ideas in a more incipient phase and for commercial projects with more maturity amounts to €6,750,000, which is distributed in €750,000 for ideas and €6,000,000 for projects in the commercial phase. The main requirement to benefit from the aid is the development of a new product or the improvement of an existing technology with a new innovative component to be applied in the port logistics sector.
The deadline for submitting applications for ideas is 29 February, while the deadline for commercial projects is 1 April 2024. Further information on applications for funding under the Ports 4.0 Plan can be found on the Valenciaport website.
Challenges of the Spanish Port System
The director of Innovation of Puertos del Estado pointed to data management as one of the keys to the future of the sector. “The management of data and its rapid interpretation will help the ports to be able to anticipate events”, he affirmed. In parallel, Juan Manuel Díez Orejas, head of Innovation of the Port Authority of Valencia, said that this fund “has opened up the port sector to new technologies and to the new economy of open innovation”. Antonio Torregrosa concluded the conference by thanking “the support that Valenciaport has in its promotion of open and technological innovation”.
Solid and credible projects to apply for State Ports funds
The call Puertos 4.0, within the Plan de Impulso al Emprendimiento para la Innovación de Puertos del Estado, consists of the promotion of initiatives that are committed to carrying out actions and research programmes where efficiency and sustainability become pillars for the increase of competitiveness in the port area.
Logistics efficiency in infrastructures, environmental sustainability, safety and security and the digitisation of intelligent processes and platforms are the innovative services that can be promoted in the port sector thanks to this new edition of the Ports 4.0 funding programme. For this reason, Valenciaport considers the development of state funds that encourage the search for sustainable alternatives and digitisation for port systems to be of vital importance.
Projects participating in previous editions
Next, in the section on ‘Projects selected in previous calls for proposals by Ports 4.0’, some of the keys for companies to access funding were detailed with the testimonies of some of those responsible for projects that are already in the commercial phase. It should be noted that a total of 750 ideas and projects have been presented in the three previous calls for proposals for Ports 4.0, of which 132 have been validated and are currently being financed. Jorge Marcos, from Fundación Valenciaport moderated this round table.
Josep Sanz, Director of Energy Transition and Sustainability at Fundación Valenciaport and head of the ‘PERSEO’ project emphasised the importance of directing projects towards electrification. “The ports are increasingly tending to electrify their activity, and in the case of Valenciaport and the ports of the south, photovoltaics will play a fundamental role”, he assured.
Mohamed Amine Koubaa, founding director of PV Nexus, commented that “any idea in an early stage of maturation is difficult to materialise and that is why 4.0 is so important for the development of technological proposals”.
Gabriel Ferrús, CEO of SEAPort Solutions and responsible for the ‘PAULA’ project, highlighted the importance of collaboration with facilitating agents such as the APV. “The facilitating agent plays a key role. It is very important to rely on them to monitor and check the progress of the logistics-port proposal”, he pointed out.
The explanatory day was led by the Port Authority of Valencia, Fundación Valenciaport, Puertos del Estado, PV Nexus, SEAPort Solutions and Opentop Valenciaport Innovation Hub. These are public and private organisations that seek to promote the creation and growth of innovative technology companies through these training courses.