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The world keeps on changing, and now faster than ever; this calls for new solutions. For example, a flexible and maximal effective and sustainable infrastructure could be a solution. As the port of Rotterdam, we won’t be the least expensive, but we don’t have to gain on those grounds. As long as we are the cleverest, most dependable and most informative port, ensuring clients can transport more cargo, amongst other things.

New technologies open up a lot of opportunities. We can keep a close eye on ‘our world’ from floor and flow to facilities and materials thanks to smart monitoring and assessment methods. The objective is to always create an advantage for both the owner and the users of the maritime infrastructure.

Challenge 1: Dredging Deeper
If we gain insight into the actual depth of all spots in the port, we can dredge more effectively. For example, ships with the maximum draught can rarely enter the port. It would make a huge difference if dredging only took place when those ships are expected, instead of structural dredging. In this matter, how can we effectively deploy our own sensors and those of the ships that call at the port?

Challenge 2: Measurement is the Key to Knowledge?
Thanks to all the data that are being collected in the port of Rotterdam, we have many “answers”. However, the problem now is that we don’t always ask the right questions. How can we use certain data sets in a smarter way? Can we think of combinations of data sets that can be used to formulate answers to a certain problem?

Challenge 3: Ships Communications Team
As soon as a ship calls at the port of Rotterdam, a team of specialists involved, from tug to warehouse and so on, is automatically put together. Is it possible to create a communications group for particular ships? A simple example is a WhatsApp group, but perhaps better and more extensive facilities are available. Consequence: can we shorten the turnaround time of ships with smarter and always up-to-date planning?

Challenge 4: Insight into Smarter Usage of Infrastructure
There are many mooring places, quays and poles all over the port. Their availability for ships differs per place. How can we create more insight into all these places and the intensity of their usage? Can we think of a system giving skippers insight into the places available to them and how long they can stay?

Challenge 5: Opportunities from Outer Space
In order to deal with more specific questions, the Port of Rotterdam is purchasing satellite images. In theory, it is possible for the port to have its own satellite.
What should the specifications of such a satellite be? What can we do with the data collected, such as images, infrared images and other matters?

Challenge 6: Data per Cubic Kilometer
Collecting all port data has a couple of disadvantages: it concerns so much data, that it is hardly manageable anymore. Moreover, it causes much interference; sometimes local data is more interesting. How can we cleverly divide all those port data per cubic kilometer? We need to go hunting for relevant data. Think of information about tides, draught, salt content of the port, flows and so on. This type of information determines the draught of a ship. But also: which bollards and poles are there? Where can I moor? How can we visualize this?