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ReNEW – Resilience-centric Smart, Green, Networked EU Inland Waterways

ReNEW is a Horizon Europe project that will create and test new solutions for climate-neutral and climate-resilient inland waterways transport (IWT) and respond to the climate changes that affects the performance negatively.

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ReNEW will play a key role in promoting economic growth and minimising the negative impact on the environment and significant and lasting degradation of ecosystems.

This will be achieved by combining the technological advantages of digitalisation and automation, autonomous barges, including infrastructure interaction, that will improve the future IWT system whilst delivering climate-neutral and climate-resilient IWT services. IWT system resilience is essentially co-dependent on infrastructure and barge/fleet reliability, maintainability, and fault tolerance.

Research and Innovation activities

ReNEW will develop and deliver:

  • A decision-support framework including Resilience and Sustainability Quantification supporting the strategic planning and operational optimisation of Green Resilient IWT.
  • Innovative infrastructure resilience and sustainability solutions targeting rapid deployment after disruptive events.
  • A Green Resilient IWT Dataspace and Digital Twin providing primarily data sharing between infrastructure monitoring, RIS and traffic management and emergency systems and climate solutions.
  • Four Living Labs focusing on integrated IW and hinterland infrastructure and a LL addressing specifically inland waterway resilience.

The key priorities that drives the developments are:

  • Improving the competitiveness and sustainability of vessel fleet and infrastructure
  • Digitalisation and integration if inland waterway transport in multimodal transport chains
  • Securing availability of skilled workers

The research and development activities are centred around the four ReNEW Living Labs

Ghent’s Multifunctional Synchromodality Resilient City Logistics Hub

This living lab will create a flexible and resilient logistic system for multi-user and multifunctional purposes. The focus is to reduce the impact of events caused by climate changes on the operations of the City Logistics Hub.


Photo: OHB - Research and Innovation Center Belgium.

Smart Douro Inland Waterway Infrastructure Resilience Management

This Living Lab will develop of a digital twin for modelling of river behaviour, especially for drought and flood analysis and real time prediction of these factors.


Photo: Administracao dos Portos Dodouro e Leixoes SA

Netherlands / EU IWT Network Resilience Mitigation DT App

This living lab will develop and demonstrate a planning mitigation demonstrator app to boost modal shift.

Resilience promoting Autonomous Zero-emissions Barges

This living lab will further develop and use an autonomous CEMT class 4 barge to demonstrate and test improved resilience of the IWT infrastructure. In combination with the Ghent’s Multifunctional Synchromodality Resilient City Logistics Hub, this Living Lab will complement the use of automation to longer international routes and a different, larger-size, logistics.

Photo: ZULU Associates



Key Factors

Project duration

2022 - 2025

Project website:

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