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SWP1.1 | Operation of European IWT information services

Introduction
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Convincing data and information on the benefits and potentials of inland navigation are important communication instruments and powerful means to promote the sector. However, the facts that the information targets groups have about inland waterway transport are not always complete, correct or communicated.

Objectives
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One of the objectives within the thematic area "Markets" is to create a European information portal which should be able to efficiently address a wide range of topics dealing with inland waterway transport. PLATINA aims at raising knowledge and indirectly changing behaviour by making information and data on the advantages of inland waterway transport more easily accessible.

Description of work
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PLATINA defines the general concept, structure and appearance of the information portal in cooperation with the European Commission and the Technical Secretariat. The website has the character of a virtual front office capable of offering information relevant for both the general public and a professional audience. The information portal not only functions as the PLATINA project website, but is defined as a first point of entry for information on European inland navigation in general.

The PLATINA consortium collects, structures and presents available information on inland navigation in Europe, not only involving the provision of links to existing information services, but also presenting the results of the work undertaken in PLATINA. The resulting European inland waterway transport information portal provides a first point of entry for interested stakeholders and the public at large.

Achievements January-May 2011
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The European information portal www.naiades.info continues to provide content with the latest news on European inland navigation, announcements of important inland navigation events as well as a download section with the latest results created within PLATINA. These results have also been summarised in the three issues of the PLATINA Newsletter. The newsletters have been distributed as print versions, but are also downloadable from the website (www.naiades.info/downloads).

A regular PLATINA webletter service was introduced in October 2010 to provide additional up-to-date information to the members of the PLATINA Steering Committee and other important stakeholders. The third edition of the “PLATINA news issue” was sent out via mail in May and can also be downloaded from the website (www.naiades.info/useful tools).

Launched in March 2009, the European Funding Database for Inland Waterway Transport allows for targeted online queries regarding funds and subsidies. In April 2011 the database comprised 42 specific funding programmes available across Europe. So far more than 5,200 unique visitors were registered on the website. Contents of the funding database are continuously maintained and updated.



Sub-Work Package leader biography
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Simon Hartl is project manager at via donau. Since 2011 he is work package leader in the PLATINA project. Simon holds a master degree from Vienna University of Technology in spatial planning and has experience in transport economics and infrastructure policy. In the last four years at via donau, he gained expertise in the development and implementation of inland navigation policy at European as well as at national level. Simon coordinated and implemented a project which supports the promotion of business locations along the Austrian Danube to the logistics and forwarding industry. He is a native speaker of German; fluent in English and has a good knowledge of Polish.

 

3 questions to Simon Hartl

  • What do you like most about your work?
    The great thing about our work is that most of our initiatives and plans generally do not end up in a drawer but usually get implemented. It's most rewarding to see that our work actually makes a difference.
  • If you could have one wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    There are number of barriers, which currently prevent inland waterway transport from taking up a more prominent role in the European transport system. I think with NAIADES and the PLATINA we have identified many important issues.
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    In the end it is very rewarding to see that many of the activities set up years ago, have meanwhile materialised and have been taken up by others.