The port of the future is a smart port. During Supernova, the festival of the future being held in the Eilandje docklands neighbourhood from 27 to 30 September, the port of Antwerp is presenting its vision and its current innovative projects. For the occasion Antwerp Port Authority has built a spectacular floating pavilion in the middle of the Bonaparte dock where visitors can discover the port of the future. In the meantime the latest technological developments will be on display in the MAS Port Pavilion, while the Echodrone autonomous sounding boat will be driving itself around in the Bonaparte dock.
Futuristic water pavilion
What will the port of the future look like? Digitisation and technological innovation will certainly play a leading role. At the Supernova festival of the future dedicated to the world of tomorrow, the port of Antwerp gives visitors a sneak preview and lets them become acquainted with the latest technological developments and surprises. The futuristic water pavilion on a pontoon in the middle of the Bonaparte dock can accommodate more than 350 visitors at a time for an astonishing 360° surround-screen projection featuring the port of tomorrow.
“Technological innovation is essential in order to collaborate ever more effectively, safely and efficiently, and to make the port platform more sustainable, as the main engine of the Belgian economy. Permanent innovation is the lever we need for further growth in employment and added value for the entire region. It will, at the same time, provide solutions for dealing with climate challenges,” says Port Authority CEO Jacques Vandermeiren.
MAS Port Pavilion is innovation hub
One of the developments that is fast becoming a reality concerns self-steering, self-navigating vessels. At Supernova there will be demonstrations with the “Echodrone,” a fully autonomous sounding boat that uses unique, innovative cloud technology. For the occasion the MAS Port Pavilion will be transformed into an “innovation hub” where the latest practical developments and innovations in the port will be presented.
Smart port with a digital nervous system
“Our 360° surround-screen video presentation in the Water Pavilion is more than just an inspirational vision of the future,” says Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at Antwerp Port Authority. “On the contrary, many of these developments are already up and running. Our ultimate ambition is to have a digital nervous system covering the entire port so that we can be constantly be aware of what is happening and take immediate action in real time. By demonstrating practical, on-the-ground examples at Supernova we want to show the outside world how we are playing a pioneering role in innovation and digitisation.”