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Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V.

The SEAMLESS journey begins

The European research project examines the waterborne logistics of the future by making use of automated elements on the water and ashore.

Groupphoto of participants
Group photo of the participants at the SEAMLESS Kick-Off Meeting in Brussels. (Photo: NTUA)

Funded by Horizon Europe, the SEAMLESS (Safe, Efficient, and Autonomous: Multimodal Library of European Short-sea and inland Solutions) project kicked off in Brussels, Belgium, on 16 and 17 February 2023. The consortium consisting of a total of 25 research partners from twelve European countries and led by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), gathered to discuss the project goals and the work packages as well as to agree on the project and quality management and the initial tasks in each work stream.

During the four-year term of the SEAMLESS project, the consortium pursues the goal of developing and demonstrating autonomous waterborne freight feeder loop services both in the short-sea shipping and inland waterway transportation sectors. In order to do so, the SEAMLESS project aims to develop and adapt the missing building blocks and enablers ashore and aboard for a fully automated, economically viable and cost-effective, waterborne freight feeder loop service for short sea shipping and inland waterway transportation. Eventually, SEAMLESS will develop integrated autonomous systems in a way that ensures safe, resilient, efficient, and environmentally friendly operation to shift road freight movements towards waterways. For this purpose, SEAMLESS will work to present the innovations as part of two demonstrator use cases (in Norway and on the Rhine) and six transferability cases across the European continent.

The project coordinator, Prof. Nikolaos P. Ventikos (NTUA), welcomed the project partners in Brussels. (Photo: DST)

The IWT demonstrator is to run from northern France via Antwerp (B) and Duisburg to the West German canal network. (Photo: DST)

SEAMLESS is the follow-up project of a series of European research initiatives, such as AUTOSHIP, AEGIS, IW-NET, MOSES, NOVIMAR, and NOVIMOVE, in which various aspects of automated waterborne logistics have been pre-examined. DST contributes to the SEAMLESS project with existing knowledge from the national project DeConTrans as well as its participation in the projects NOVIMAR and NOVIMOVE.

More precisely, DST is engaged in a series of work packages and will focus on the scientific examination of the autonomous waterborne freight feeder loop services from a logistics perspective. In that sense, DST will coordinate the set-up of a reference logistics system architecture and the evaluation of the use cases. In addition, DST will engage actively in the IWT demonstrator campaign on the Rhine, in which an automated inland vessel is to operate from Dourges, France, via Antwerp, Belgium, and Duisburg, Germany, to the West German canal network.

The SEAMLESS project has a project volume of almost 15 million euros and has officially begun its 48-month project duration on 1 January 2023.



Cyril Alias, Phone: +49 (0)203 / 99 369 52, Mail: alias@dst-org.de

Dr. Igor Bačkalov, Phone: +49 (0)203 / 99 369 27, Mail: backalov@dst-org.de


The SEAMLESS project receives funding from Horizon Europe, the European Union’s key funding programme for research and innovation, under grant agreement No 101096923.

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    Development Centre for
    Ship Technology and Transport Systems

    Oststr. 77
    47057 Duisburg

    Tel.: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 0
    Fax: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 70

    E-Mail: dst@dst-org.de