Published in three languages (Catalan, Spanish and English), PierNext (piernext.portdebarcelona.cat) aims to position itself as a platform for analysis and reflection on innovation, with a special focus on the port and maritime sector.
Port of Barcelona president Mercè Conesa and the port's Strategic Projects and Innovation chief Carles Rúa unveiled the platform, which aims to stimulate global debate on the future of international trade, logistics and ports.
As a digital hub providing information on the technological and digital transformation of the port sector, PierNext aims to energise the innovative ecosystem that has been generated in the Port of Barcelona in recent years through initiatives driven by the port itself and by operators and private companies.
Hutchison Ports’ BEST terminal was the group’s first semi-automated terminal and the most technologically advanced port development project in Spain. The mega boxship-capable terminal has an eight-track railway facility, which provides good connectivity to Southern Europe.
“Innovation and the digital revolution that is transforming our sector will be one of the axes defining the strategy of the Port of Barcelona in the years to come,” said Conesa. Through PierNext, the Port of Barcelona aims to enrich Barcelona's innovation cluster with its specialised view of the port and logistics sector, “which we consider to be full of opportunities and potentialities, mainly for startups and SMEs”, she added.
Barcelona is the fourth European city in terms of capital investment in start-ups (58% of all money invested in Spain) and ranks third among entrepreneurs looking to found a start-up. “From the Port of Barcelona we want to add and to contribute to this. We aim to explain how the great digital revolution in our sector is happening, but we also want to show all the possibilities that this transformation can offer, both in terms of attracting investment and talent,” said Conesa.
“PierNext contains seven sections, which correspond to the six main elements of the smart port model (logistics, mobility, economy, environment, people and governance) and one more (technology), which we have added because of its cross-cutting nature and to highlight innovations with a significant technological or digital component” said Rúa.
The hub will be updated with weekly content presented in the form of reports, accompanied by videos, infographics and other graphical resources, and will also include contributions from international experts.
PierNext is part of the Digital Port project, launched last year to promote the digitisation of the port environment and which has defined 54 priority initiatives currently in varying phases of execution. “Within this process, we are creating applications, products and services to make us more efficient and competitive, both at the Port of Barcelona - as an organisation - and for the operators and customers of the Port Community,” said Conesa.