Europort 2021 has announced the first programme components. The event takes place from 2 to 5 November in Rotterdam Ahoy and its brand new convention centre. An overview of what to expect from the fortieth edition of one of the largest maritime exhibitions in the world and why you need to be there.

Charting the path to a sustainable maritime future is one of Europort’s primary ambitions. To initiate a deeper understanding of the transition trails that are of vital interest to the maritime ecosystem, four major themes will dominate the Europort 2021 agenda: Digitalisation, Energy Transition, the Next Generation and Ship Finance.

Similar to the previous 39 editions, the event offers numerous conferences, thematic masterclasses, matchmaking and networking events, seminars and workshops in close collaboration with its partners and industry organisations.

Exhibition manager Raymond Siliakus: ‘Once again, a very extensive knowledge programme will be implemented. We’re proud to be working with many respected partners in the sector, in order to create a relevant programme for all of our maritime segments.’

Below is a selection of the first highlights of the definitive programme. To book your free tickets, please visit the Europort website.

Opening Summit & Innovation Stage

Maritime peers can get inspired during the official Europort Opening Summit, consisting of challenging questions on the four themes already mentioned and a triggering expert panel discussion. The Innovation Stage will focus on the four central themes as well over four days. Europort exhibitors and partners will pitch their innovations live on stage. Located in the heart of the fairground in hall 4, the Innovation Stage offers a free access daily programme. Each day another industry theme will be top of mind:

  • Tuesday 2 November: Digitalisation & Smart Technology.
  • Wednesday 3 November: Safety & Security.
  • Thursday 4 November: Energy Transition & Green Shipping.
  • Friday 5 November: The Next Generation.

Smart Digital Ports & Mare Forum

For the first time in its forty years of existence, Europort presents the “Smart Digital Ports” conference. Europort is committed to the next generation of efficient and connected ports. Global ports and the entire supply chain debate, discuss, network and share best practices on latest developments in automation, sustainability and connectivity.

Also new is the first Mare Forum “Funding the European Inland Navigation”. This event creates the chance to discuss and make a difference. With multiple keynote speakers and panellists the following questions will be addressed: Who has a clear view of the design of the barge of the future? What insights do we have into the
commercial viability of future ship designs? Who will take the investment risk on these technologies? What is the role of the capital provider and charterer? Is LNG just a transition fuel? Hydrogen, ammonia, batteries, and nuclear? Is there enough infrastructure in ports to facilitate new fuels? Will we have new trades requiring new ship types, for example hydrogen carriers and ammonia product tankers?

Ship Finance Pavilion

On the initiative of Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT) and the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR), this year there will be a dedicated “Ship Finance Pavilion”, located in the heart of the fairground. The Ship Finance Pavilion offers a daily programme of short presentations by industry experts in the field of ship finance, funding and/or subsidies for ship owners, shipbuilders and suppliers. The pavilion will also serve as an informal information and meeting desk where visitors can consult financial experts.

MariMatch & Shipathon

And then there will be MariMatch 2021 on November 3 and 4, organised by the Enterprise Europe Network. This is an international “matchmaking” event for companies and institutions in the maritime industry who are looking for new business and/or research partners. The event offers the opportunity to gain new international contacts for future technology partnerships. The focus is on innovative technology. After registration on the MariMatch website, participants can schedule appointments with other parties or be invited by potential foreign partners. The intermediate network of Enterprise Europe Network plays an active role in connecting parties from different countries.

Furthermore, a Shipathon will be organised where answers are sought by young professionals on many challenges, a variety of promising start-ups will present themselves on the exhibition floor and numerous industry organisations organise their own events.

Convention Centre

Ahoy’s temporary halls are now a thing of the past following the recently completed renovations at the Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre (RACC). Exhibitors and delegates will now benefit from a range of state-of-the-art exhibition and conference facilities now available at the RACC. The renovations saw to the expansion of the space and included a new entrance hall, foyers, conference and breakout-rooms and an additional 3100-m2 hall, all of which have been fully integrated with the existing exhibition facilities.

Furthermore, the renewal project has been achieved using techniques that reflect Europort’s over-arching Sustainability theme. These include energy-saving geothermal technology, sound-proofing of exhibition halls, wastewater separation systems, service ware made from 100 per cent recycled materials and locally sourced produce to reduce food miles.