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Skip Navigation · Home · 474 startups and corporations compete in Ports 4.0 to drive the future of logistics
474 startups and corporations compete in Ports 4.0 to drive the future of logistics

Of the total number of initiatives presented, 320 correspond to projects in the pre-commercial and commercial phase and 154 to Ideas

474 startups and corporations compete in Ports 4.0 to drive the future of logistics


  • The 12 million fund for this first call will cover up to 80% of the expenditure per project, with a maximum of EUR 2 million


  • Francisco Toledo: The Ports 4.0 call has been a success, and we hope that it will unleash a flood of innovation in the sector.

  • The selection process for applications is now under way and the results are expected at the end of January



29-10-2020 (Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda) Ports 4.0, the pioneering programme of Puertos del Estado and Port Authorities, included in the Innovation Plan for Transport and Infrastructures of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA), has completed its phase of receiving applications in its first edition, bringing together more than 474 projects and technology-based ideas for the transformation of the Spanish logistics-port sector, which have been received to date. Thus, Ports 4.0 has managed to generate a space of open innovation for the improvement of logistics without precedent in Europe.


The conclusion of this first phase reinforces the success of this innovative initiative which, during the presentation period of the Projects Programme, which ended yesterday, 28 October, having received 320 applications, pending others from non-EU countries, which could be received in the coming days, project applications in addition to the 154 from the Ideas Programme, received at the end of its own call last September.


The projects presented develop optimizations and improvements for the entire national logistics-port ecosystem through technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotization, blockchain, process automation, machinery sensorization, unmanned vehicles or the use of drones, among others.


The cases of using the ideas and candidate projects are limited to the challenges posed by Puertos del Estado, after a process of analysis with the main actors of the logistics sector, in which the areas of improvement and potential for innovation of the ecosystem were detected.


According to Francisco Toledo: "The projects presented cover the main challenges of the port system as set out in the Strategic Framework: digitalisation, security, environmental protection, efficiency and decarbonisation."


The first call for Ports 4.0 Projects has a budget of 12 million euros in grants, to finance the development and implementation of the innovative component of the proposals presented for Ideas and Projects in both the pre-commercial and commercial phases. For projects in the pre-commercial phase, the investment will be up to 60% of the costs associated with the innovation component with a limit of 1 million euros; in the second case, for more mature projects, the aid will cover up to 80% of the costs, up to a maximum of 2 million euros.




During the period of receiving project applications, 329 of them have used the advisory services of the technical office awarded to the Kpmg-Innsomnia joint venture through the different sites where the programme is being developed: A Coruña (9), Algeciras (9), Alicante (6), Barcelona (51), Bilbao (32), Cartagena (10), Las Palmas (17), Madrid (49), Málaga (18), Palma de Mallorca (17), Santander (12), Sevilla (21), Valencia-Castellón (53) and Vigo (10).


In terms of the main areas addressed, logistics efficiency in the infrastructure, operational or service provision areas accounted for 22% of the projects received, followed by the digitisation of processes and intelligent platforms (21%) and environmental sustainability and energy (20%).


In terms of the technologies used to develop the projects, the following stand out: ICT information and communication technologies (16%), artificial intelligence and machine learning (15%) and process automation (14%).




The Ports Projects Programme 4.0 has been even more successful than the call for the Ideas Programme, whose registration period ended on 28 September, with a total of 154 proposals received. The ideas selected for acceleration and mentoring will have a differentiated fund of 500,000 euros, which will provide unit grants of up to 15,000 euros.


Francisco Toledo emphasised that "in view of the successful response to the call, many valuable projects will be left without funding in the first edition, and so forms will be studied, both public and private, so that this wave of logistics innovation is followed by others and Spain is consolidated as a benchmark in this area."




The programme now begins its process of evaluating and selecting the submitted applications, the results of which are expected to be made public by the end of January 2021. After the closure of this first call, new processes for attracting projects and ideas will be called within the framework of the same programme.


Ports 4.0 is the corporate open innovation model adopted by Puertos del Estado and the Spanish Port Authorities included in the Innovation Plan for Transport and Infrastructures of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA), to attract, support and facilitate the application of talent and entrepreneurship to the Spanish public and private logistics-port sector.


The main objective of this initiative is to promote and actively incorporate disruptive or incremental innovation as an element of competitiveness, efficiency, sustainability, safety and security in the Spanish logistics-port sector to facilitate its transition to the 4.0 economy. For this purpose, the creation and consolidation of a network of startups, spin-offs or new lines of business in the technological field in existing companies will be encouraged.

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