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DIONYSUS Project – Achievements during the 1st Year of implementation


DIONYSUS’s Project Partners continue to perform their implementation activities and the project itself successfully completed its foreseen tasks due at the end of the 3rd Reporting Period in line with the provisions of the approved Application Form. Many good things happened since July 2021 until end of December 2021, with the DIONYSUS partnership continuing on the well-established pathway towards a successful project implementation process.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions all over Europe, the 3rd Set of Project Management Meetings (3rd Consortium Meeting, 3rd Steering Committee Meeting and 3rd Work Package & Activity Leaders Meeting) and the 1st Year Review Meeting (as requested by the regulations of the Danube Transnational Programme) were successfully organized online, on 16 September 2021 by ERDF PP1 Ennshafen Port (EHOO/AT).

The main goals of all these Project Management meetings were:

  • to introduce the detailed tasks, deliverables and outputs of the project’s specific content work packages, to inform the Project Partners about the status of the tasks planned to be carried out in Period 1 & Period 2 and to jointly agree on the planning of the next activities to be executed during Period 3.
  • to update the Steering Committee Members (SCOM) with regard to:

(i) the status of the DIONYSUS Project’s activities and to the main issues related to the project’s administration and

(ii) the progress of the project in terms of objectives, outputs and result achievement, as well as in terms of financial spending.

- to review – in the framework of the First Year Review – the status of project performance regarding the activities and deliverables / outputs, as well as the financial performance the level of PP engagements, any relevant problems, challenges to be tackled and what solutions are necessary to overcome these problems and to ensure a smooth and timely project implementation.

Some of the most significant Deliverables achieved during the 3rd Reporting Period were as follows:

  • Report on on-going and planned projects on the transport corridors in the DR [For selected Sections & Nodes]
  • Report on IWT cargo potential
  • Active participation in policy and logistics events (Yearly Activity Report / 2021)
  • Danube Ports Accessibility and Connectivity Report (Country-based & Summary)
  • Danube Ports Governance Structure (Summary Report)
  • Danube Ports Digitalization Initiatives (Yearly Activity Report / 2021)
  • Analysis of infrastructure investment needs in the future for the agricultural Danube ports (Country-based & Summary)
  • Analysis of the existing infrastructure & the investment needs at DR ports level for River Cruise Industry [IWT/Road/Rail] (Country-based & Summary)

Also, the 1st Output of DIONYSUS Project: Awareness and promotion strategy for Danube transportation [Strategy & Action Plan] was successfully prepared.

The Deliverables and the 1st Output elaborated within the framework of DIONYSUS Project during the 3rd Reporting Period (July 2021 – December 2021) will have a significant contribution to the smooth and successfull achievement of the next tasks and activities planned to be executed during the next months until the end of the project, supporting the efforts of the Project Partners.

Danube Ports Day 2021 Successfully Organised on 23 November 2021

The 2021 Danube Ports Day was successfully organised in the frame of the DIONYSUS project by the teams of Pro Danube Management and the Port Authority Vukovar, with the support of the Danube Ports Network.

The event brought together more than 70 experts from the Danube Region and beyond, interested in topics related to (i) the potential of inland ports in urban mobility, (ii) fleet electrification as well as (iii) sustainable port logistics solutions.

The first edition of the Danube Ports Handbook is now available

The first edition of the Danube Ports Handbook, elaborated by the team of PDM in cooperation with the ports portrayed in the handbook and supported by the Danube Ports Network, is now available. The handbook was developed based on the results of a survey, which was carried out amongst the ports of the Danube Region to collect information on port traffic in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic covering the years 2019 and 2020. While Danube shipping is closely correlated with developments in the global and regional economy, the average number of port calls, as well as the amount of handled products and traffic in passenger transport, generated useful insights into the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Danube navigation.

The first edition of the Danube Ports Handbook is available for download here:

IWT Digitalisation Workshop Successfully Organised with the Support of the DPN

On the 23th of November more than 100 stakeholders from the public and the private sector participated in the transnational workshop on digitalization in Inland Waterway Transportation (IWT). The workshop was a joint initiative of the European projects Platina 3, Masterplan DIWA, RIS COMEX and DIONYSUS and the sector organisations Pro Danube Management, EICB and the IWT Platform, supported by the DPN.

The workshop focused on how digital transformation can support business activities and reporting formalities in the upcoming years. Participants provided valuable inputs regarding further requirements on synchromodality, ICT infrastructure, River Information Services and Smart Shipping, data sharing & integration, cybersecurity and compliance.

During the plenary part of the workshop, the 4 projects were introduced by short interviews moderated by the Master of Ceremony Henk van Laar. The workshop perfectly fitted into the timelines of each project, as currently project partners of PLATINA3, Dionysus and the masterplan DIWA are working on collecting input for their dedicated studies, yet at the same time giving them the chance to share intermediate results with a wide range of experts. The RIS COMEX project will launch its European fairway information portal ‘EuRIS’ in the course of 2022.

After the break, the participants joined either one of the four break-out rooms to go into more detail and moreover to share opportunities, requirements and discuss how relevant authorities together with the industry representatives can support a successful digital transformation in IWT.

The themes of the four break out rooms were:

  • Smart Shipping
  • Synchro modality
  • River Information Services
  • Sea and inland ports

This thematic approach resulted in lively discussions and new expert inputs relevant for all of the European projects. During the final plenary part, the results of the discussions in the break-out rooms were shared with all the participants. Representatives from European Commission’s DG MOVE congratulated the initiative and highlighted the need for similar future cooperation activities of the IWT sector in Europe.

The Role of the DPN Highlighted at the Launch of the Danube Commission’s Expert Group on Ports

During the meeting, the role of the Danube Ports Network (DPN) as a knowledge facilitator and project initiator was highlighted. Launched in the framework of the DAPhNE project, the DPN is an initiative that has emerged in response to a real need to address and reduce the development and innovation gap between the ports situated on the Rhine-Danube Corridor, aiming towards cooperation strengthening between inland and maritime ports in the Danube Region. DPN brings together public and private sea & inland ports and terminal operators from the Danube Region willing to engage in a long-term, active and coordinated cooperation process benefiting the port industry and regional economy at large. Moreover, DPN emphasizes the importance of sharing knowledge and networking to keep the Danube ports at the forefront of global innovation and as such to adapt them to the needs and requirements of a future-oriented European transport system. One of these recent initiatives refers to E4Danube - On-Shore Power Supply in Danube Region Ports. In light of Europe's ambitious target to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, E4Danube aims to provide solutions for the transition towards a zero-emission transport mode. The project furthermore aims to comply with the corridor approach in order to reflect the possibilities for a harmonised financing, invoicing, and payment framework.

The presentation is available for download here:

Update on the Rhine-Danube Corridor Meetings and Opportunities for Future Projects

Organised on 24 November 2021, the Rhine-Danube Corridor Meetings brought together representatives of the European Commission and of the IWT industry to discuss and evaluate current and future port-related initiatives. Several DIONYSUS partners attended the meetings, bringing in the perspective of the ongoing proceedings within the project, the reached & future milestones as well as the challenges that still lie ahead. While participating in these kinds of events is essential for the Danube IWT sector to bring in their specific needs and requirements, initiatives such as the Danube Ports Network (DPN) play a vital role in keeping Danube ports at the forefront of global innovation, actively facilitating knowledge transfer and creation for the benefit of the Danube IWT sector.

1st Workshop: Facilitation of Cross-Border/Cross Black Sea Services

On 8th of December 2021, Port of Constanta Administration held online 1st DIONYSUS Workshop to facilitate cross-border/cross Black Sea services.

The event was organized within the DIONYSUS project, Work Package T1 – Transport Corridors & IWT Markets, and gathered more than 50 representatives of project partners, associated strategic partners, external stakeholders, IWT experts, researchers (universities), representatives of business support organizations and policy decision-makers.

The 1st Workshop to facilitate cross-border/cross Black Sea services aimed to identify the possibilities and opportunities to build up new transport links among the Danube corridors and the riparian Black Sea & Central Asia regions.

The main focus of the online webinar was analyzing the existing transport infrastructure together with the status-quo of the on-going and planned infrastructure projects, as basis for the elaboration of various assumptions on potential traffic and trade flows of the Danube ports in connection to the development of the transport links to the corresponding corridors, succeeding to collect important and valuable feedback for the design and operation of potential new cross-border/cross-Black Sea transport links.

The event has brought to the same table relevant information on the topic, delivered by the representatives of the Romanian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, TRACECA, Sea Lines, Odessa National Maritime University, APM Terminal in Poti and Danube Logistics SRL.

The next two editions will be organized by Odessa National Maritime University and Hungarian Federation of Danube Ports next year. Until then more activities on this topic will be carried out within DIONYSUS.

The Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented DIONYSUS project at the forum “Three Seas Initiative”

The Chambers of Commerce and Industry that took part in the business forum “Three Seas Initiative” in Sofia, held under the auspices of the President Rumen Radev had the opportunity to hold a productive discussion. The meeting was attended by representatives of national and bilateral business organisations from 9 countries.

The focus of the discussion was the priority areas of the Three Seas Initiative – transport, energy and information connectivity.

The Executive Director of the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber Ms. Eleonora Ivanova shared the experience of the organisation in two of the priority areas – transport and energy. General information on the DIONYSUS project was presented. For the past 5 years, the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber has been an active participant in international projects related to improving the connectivity of the Danube countries and improving the conditions for inland waterway transportation of people and goods.

A port of new opportunities – Russe / BG

A port of new opportunities is the motto for the investment profile of the largest Bulgarian city on the Danube River - Ruse. Being a logistics hub of international transport corridors, Ruse combines river, rail, and road transport, having in its immediate vicinity two international airports - Bucharest and Varna.

Ruse has everything it needs to attract investors. At the same time, the DIONYSUS project helps identify the major challenges in port management and planning, which need to be addressed in order to facilitate the integration of the Danube Region into smart and sustainable multimodal transport chains.

The BRCCI team, as a part of the DIONYSUS project consortium, put its efforts in the foundation for the development of the representative document, that is currently used by the municipal administration to present investment opportunities in the region during international meetings.

Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority – USPA continues to promote the development of Danube IWT

SE “Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority” continued to actively promote the DIONYSUS project as a supporting organizer of the international specialized exhibition New Ports, which took place in Kyiv in October 2021. As part of the exhibition, a conference “New Ports UA: Port Infrastructure Development” was held with the participation of more than 100 companies from the Ukrainian maritime industry.

During the conference, SE "USPA" informed the participants about the goals and implementation of the DIONYSUS project.

The exhibition presented the best possible engineering and design solutions, the newest models of handling equipment, construction technologies for storage facilities, innovative methods for the building and reconstruction of hydraulic structures, modern equipment/materials/components, as well as solutions for increasing the energy efficiency and workflow optimization.

A partner within the DIONYSUS project is expanding its potential for freight transportation on land and water

Two new locomotives will bolster Bulmarket’s railway fleet.

Main Bulgarian shippers’ interest in railway transportation keeps growing. Bulmarket – one of the partners from Bulgaria within the DIONYSUS project – continues its consistent policy for transition to entirely ecological vehicles that have zero carbon footprint. In November, the company signed a contract for the purchase of two new locomotives "Transmontana", which are the first of their kind on the Bulgarian market, with a capacity of 6000 kW and a maximum speed of 200 km/h. The two machines will be given the names Ruse and Giurgiu.

Bulmarket owns a freight transportation port on the Danube River and specializes in railway transport of fuels and grain. The company’s management announced that throughout the last several months there has been a significant growth in shipping activities of all sorts of bulk freight. It was also mentioned that at the end of 2021 the domestic supply chains are running from ports (including Port Bulmarket) to end users. Transit traffic through Bulgaria is also developing well - from Western and Central Europe to Turkey and the Middle East, as well as from Romania to Greece.

Being a member of the DIONYSUS consortium, Bulmarket is actively working in cooperation with the other Bulgarian project partner BRCCI to achieve the objectives of the project, which include addressing major regional challenges in port infrastructure planning and management, and facilitating the integration of the Danube Region into smart and sustainable multimodal transport chains. Development of port infrastructure and services in Bulgaria is crucial for reducing transportation costs, increasing connectivity, and facilitating trade in the region.

DIONYSUS Partnership Consortium wishes to all Danube IWT stakeholders:
“Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2022”


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