The Docks of the Future Project:

The European Union maritime transport constitutes a crucial link in the global logistic chains and plays a leading role in international freight transport. EU ports handle over one fifth of the goods loaded and unloaded worldwide and the EU maritime fleet remains the largest among the G20 members. Serving 40% of the EU’s internal trade and 75% of its external trade, maritime transport is an essential element in supporting Europe in maintaining its number 1 position in global trade. Therefore, as a key node of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network, ports have the ultimate objective to fully integrate maritime transport into the global logistics chain.
Within this framework, the DocksTheFuture Project aims at defining the vision for the ports of the future in 2030, covering all specific issues that could define this concept including among others, dredging, emission reduction, energy transition, electrification, smart grids, port-city interface and the use of renewable energy management.

The DocksTheFuture Consortium is formed by the following partners:

Circle srl (Italy) as the leader of the Working Group including
ISL – Institut für Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik (Germany)
Magellan (Portugal)
PortExpertise (Belgium)
University of Genoa (Italy)

The DocksTheFuture Consortium has several relevant assets:
• the largest port Database from ISL;
• the largest maritime and logistics communication and stakeholder’s interactive digital platform with more than 1300 engaged stakeholders (Members of the European Parliament: 68, Member States Ministries of Transport: 106, European Commission: 52, Regions and Municipalities: 92, Associations: 216, Port Authorities: 155, Transport and Logistics: 249, Shipping: 46, Port Business: 64, Universities: 265, totalling 1314 stakeholders);
• the engagement of all the 329 TEN-T core and comprehensive ports as the main target for communication;
• the engagement of specific subcontractors for very specific topics such as the port – city relations (Association Ville De Port), sustainability (Lloyd’s register) and Port of the Future Concept (TU Delft);

Purpose of the Dissemination and Communication Plan:
The primary purpose of the Dissemination and Communication Plan is to plan and define the activities to be carried out and the different steps to be taken by DocksTheFuture pertaining to the project’s communication, ultimately thursting the project’s visibility and highlighting the importance of the European Union funding to tackle and overcome societal challenges.
Henceforth, the document outlines the overall Dissemination and Communication strategy of DocksTheFuture, including guidance on the dissemination and communication actions to be carried out throughout the lifetime of the project, particularly addressing the following dimensions:
• Communication & Dissemination Strategy laying out the objectives of the plan to be implemented;
• Dissemination activities, channels and promotion tools, including social media, dissemination materials, presence in events and conferences, among others Responsibilities of each partner for the purposes of promoting the project;
• Dissemination Administration & management: workplan, deliverables, plan of activities and intellectual property rights’ matters;
• Dissemination Key Performance Indicators to assess the project’s dissemination and communication impact.

Communication and Dissemination objectives set up by the Project

The impact of an EC funded initiative should not only be assessed in terms of objectives and results but should also consider its imprint on the proper target groups and upcoming policies, as well as its capability to be sustainable beyond the original time frame of the project.
This is particularly true for DocksTheFuture, for which a maximum level of Dissemination and Communication efficiency and effectiveness will be ensured by Project Partners.The project’s dissemination and communication specific objectives are presented as follows:
1. to establish a set of components to be used as a tool-of-the-trade to promote the Project and its activities target the definition of what a Port of the Future is;
2. to inform the target groups at local, regional, national and international level;
3. to foster awareness, consensus, knowledge and Best Practices transfer, experience give-and-take;
4. and to ensure a political, social, economic and technical continuity.
The project’s overall framework to be deployed to attain the aforesaid goals is presented as follows:
• Overall Communication and Dissemination strategy and related expected results, timing of actions foreseen to support DocksTheFuture’s visibility and communication to the target groups;
• Identification and segmentation of Communication and Dissemination target groups, including local, regional, national, international levels and tasks for each partner;
• Key messages to pass to each segment of the target groups;
• “Rules of engagement” for each segment of the target groups for each Partner;
• Visual Identity and related layouts guidelines and templates;
• Tools for the proper support to Dissemination and Communication activities;
• Project events/workshops/conferences as tools for proper Dissemination and Communication;
• Coordinated Dissemination and Communication action with other H2020 funded projects;
• Activities’ support.

Communication and Dissemination target groups

A key step in developing an effective communication and dissemination strategy is to clearly define the target groups to convey targeted messages, reach the full potential of the strategy and, consequently, put in place the most efficient strategy. By identifying target groups that, as a baseline, constitute a set of individuals/entities sharing similar needs, expectations and interests vis-à-vis the project results, DocksTheFuture aims at maximising the impact of its communication and dissemination strategy.
The main initiative Stakeholders, defined as groups or organisations interested in the Project impacts, will be, particularly, the European “Ports”, TEN-T Core and the Comprehensive ones specifically. They will be constantly informed and involved in specific consultations via internet and via the midterm and the final conferences. Notwithstanding, all other interested ports and inland terminals are welcome to conferences and will also be targeted via all the available media.

Table 1 defines the target groups that DocksTheFuture will reach out to, both internally and externally, defining their unique characteristics, needs, and the different communication approaches to be employed.

Magellan – Associação para a Representação dos Interesses Portugueses no Exterior, as the leader of Work Package 4 – Dissemination and Exploitation, will be responsible for the communication and dissemination of DocksTheFuture. However, every single partner will, to a different extent, contribute to the project’s communication and dissemination, in close cooperation with Magellan.

A Press and Media Manager has been nominated and will oversee managing relationships with the media, carrying out the task of disseminating information, managing communication activities and liaise with journalists. The Press and Media Manager is delegated to adequately convey the message of the Project and of its Beneficiaries to ensure that journalists disclose it correctly. The Press and Media Manager has cross and fundamental responsibilities for visibility and reputation. Furthermore, to mainly target C&D objectives, Media Relations will deliver information about the Project and its results.
Specific information about each partner’s responsibilities within the scope of Work Package 4 is presented in Section 3 – Communication & Dissemination Managament. Section 6 presents the contact information of the team directly responsible for dissemination related matters.

 Dissemination activities, channels and promotion tools
 Logo and Visual Identity
All the DocksTheFuture communication materials, publication and deliverables should indicate, at all times, that DTF has received funding from the European Union, obliging the following requirements:
• The EU emblem (on the top right side of the document’s header):

• Including the following disclaimer:
The views represented in this document only reflect the views of the authors and not the views of Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and the European Commission. INEA and the European Commission are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained in this document. Furthermore, the information are provided “as is” and no guarantee or warranty is given that the information fit for any particular purpose. The user of the information uses it as its sole risk and liability

• Include the following acknowledgment preferably on the cover page:
“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 770064”

Project Management Structure

The DocksTheFuture organisational structure is based on two layers:
i. operational layer – a Technical Management Committee (TMC) oversees the project technical control, planning, steering of the work progress and quality of results. It is chaired by the Project Coordinator (Circle) and supported by the Independent Consultive Committee.
ii. strategic layer – a Steering Committee (SC) is responsible for strategic decisions concerning the work plan, risk management and conflicts. Major changes regarding objectives and partners are to be discussed and prepared for the final decision-making of the Steering Committee. It is chaired by the Project Coordinator (Circle) as well.

The Independent Consultive Committee (ICC)
The ICC will be an independent committee, composed by 5 key experts and representatives of selected bodies wisely chosen. Members will be chosen between 1) the Union for the Mediterranean, 2) the European Technology Platforms “ALICE” and “Waterborn”, 3) the European Innovation Partnership “Smart Cities and Communities”, 4) the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe – Transport, 5) the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – Joint OECD/ITF Transport Research Committee 6) other relevant names in the maritime and logistics field. The ICC will support Project development, focusing on activities’ suggestion, specifically targeting European Commission and other experts in key sectors addressed by the Coordination and Support Action. They will periodically review and offer contribution and feedback to the DocksTheFuture partners based on foreseen meetings of ICC and which will play a relevant role during the Project Final Conference.
The project structure also includes the so-called Experts Workshops, which will be the main “tactical” tool of the project since these stakeholders will be invited to provide specific support to Project activities aiming at the validation of Work Package results.
As such, in addition to their responsibilities as members of the ICC, these stakeholders, who are experts in their fields, will have access to first-hand privileged information about the project and will be encouraged to communicate and disseminate it in their own networks, to further the project’s visibility.

 Website & Social Media
DocksTheFuture website: It wil be the main focal point for the Dissemination and Comunication activities, which will be setup by using open-source solutions to minimise costs (namely, WordPress), including requirements from H2020 CSA Guidelines and Best Practices. A special focus will be put on Search Engine Optimisation to maximise its visibility. The DocksTheFuture website can be found through:
Specific content placed on portal: OntheMoSWay is the digital multichannel platform dedicated to the Door-to-Door maritime and logistic chain. It aims to facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and experiences in the field of the freight, logistics and maritime co-modal transport. At least a piece of news about the Project will be published monthly.

Through the OnTheMosway platform, the consortium has the capability to consult and interact with a large platform of stakeholders via the digital multichannel platform. This platform has more than 1200 stakeholders already available for interaction, with 9.241 visitors in 2016, with an average session of 02:55 and 39381 page views, plus namely the 329 TEN-T core and comprehensive ports available for interaction. Such is the case since two members of the consortium (Circle and ISL) are the leading partners supporting the European Commission in developing the MoS Detailed Implementation Plan, for which the aforementioned ports are key stakeholders.
Interplay between the Project WebSite and The difference between Dissemination and Communication activities is going to be particularly evident in relation to the two main web-oriented activities. The Project Website will be the main Dissemination tool. It will focus on the project presentation to the different Target Groups, and on the information about the DocksTheFuture results. It will have a very focused goal and a short life span to avoid the maintenance of a non-used/updated tool, such as it the case in many EC funded projects.
On the other hand, will be used as the specific Communication and Exploitation tool for the project. Initially funded by the TEN-T and Marco Polo Programmes, OnTheMosWay, the official Motorways of the Sea Portal, prime source of specialised information for EU Policy and MoS, is a training and knowledge center, a useful tool for keeping oneself updated, a meeting place for discussion open to the companies and professionals who can contribute both through social networks. A specific vertical section will be put beside existing thematic ones (Motorways of the Sea Projects, Training Center, etc.) to make available the results of DocksTheFuture for Stakeholders and to exploit them, namely data, guidelines, and other tools. By using OnTheMosWay, and following IPR policies defined at Project level, the Consortium will extend the project results availability and will foster their exploitation by the target groups at large and by European Ports (the main Stakeholders). The main advantages in adopting such a solution, rather than simply using the Project Website, relying on the consolidated audience base of the OnTheMosWay, as abovementioned.

Social Media: a LinkedIn dedicated Group (fostering a “community sentiment”) will be set up to deliver DocksTheFuture contents out of the network and to reach other professional communities.

Targeted activities will be implemented to increase the number of the members of the group and to deliver contents throughout the project lifecycle. LinkedIn discussions will be also launched in specific thematic groups (i.e. Port Strategy, Port Technology). Furthermore, Project news will be deployed (besides LinkedIn Group) over a specific Twitter and Facebook accounts to drive followers to the news area on the website.


For the full report of the Deliverable, please click here.