GRENDEL - GRENDEL: the final event of a fruitful transnational cooperation




Fleet modernisation and technological innovation were key elements that defined the last 30 months of fruitful collaboration in the framework of the GRENDEL project. GRENDEL's final online event was attended by more than 80 European experts, ranging from European River Commissions, UNECE, branch organisations and engine manufacturers, to representatives of three DGs holding keynote speeches and EUSDR PA1a coordinators.

By establishing a solid partnership under the lead of Pro Danube International, with members ranging from international organisations, national authorities and decision makers to stakeholders operating on the Danube and its navigable tributaries, GRENDEL resulted in achievements that were welcomed by both public and private entities. The project consortium came together, for one last time before the lifespan of the project ends, to present and discuss aspects related to fleet modernisation in terms of greening, efficiency and the innovative technological solutions that support this endeavor. 

It was unanimously agreed that GRENDEL was a vital step forward in providing a fruitful ground for the establishment of dedicated financial instruments that trigger investments in the fleet. In this sense, a number of Danube riparian countries already started to have discussions with regard to the implementation of a state aid scheme that would provide adequate financial incentives for the modernisation of their fleet. Particularly important in this regard is the constant support provided by the European Commission, strongly encouraging Member States to implement state aid scheme measures. This should be viewed as an encouragement for the Danube riparian countries to use the GRENDEL Model State Aid Scheme as a basis to develop investment incentives that could be financed via various types of financial resources - both national and European.

Covering the 5 most important aspects of fleet modernisation - (1) Environmental Performance, (2) Integration into Logistics Chains, (3) Increasing the Safety of IWT, (4) Renewal of Actors in the Sector and (5) Innovative Solutions - the Model State Aid Scheme was developed to serve as a guideline for Danube riparian countries to develop national state aid schemes for fleet modernisation according to their individual needs, requirements and administrative prerequisites. 

In spite of the low intake of technologies in IWT, GRENDEL provided a series of technological factsheets that propose concrete solutions to adapt the fleet to the strict environmental requirements set by the Legislator. Moreover, the active involvement of various private vessel operators and businesses operating on the Danube gave the possibility to shape the solutions proposed in the framework of the project according to their needs and requirements. The in-depth analysis of the challenges IWT is currently facing, as well as recommendations to overcome them in a well-defined and coordinated manner, will be proposed in the framework of the IWT Fleet Modernisation Strategy & Recommendations.

The final versions of both the Model State Aid Scheme for Danube IWT Fleet Modernisation and the Danube IWT Fleet Modernisation Strategy & Recommendations will be available on the project's website by the end of November 2020. In general, all the final results of the project will be published on the GRENDEL website.


The agenda of the event is available for download here and the presentations are available for download below.


Setting the framework – Keynote speeches

·      Preparation of Transnational Cooperation (Interreg) post 2020 (Kirill Dimanopoulos, DG REGIO/EC)

·      EU Strategy for the Danube Region (Vera Hofbauer, EUSDR Priority Area 1a Coordinator – Waterways)


Overview of the GRENDEL Project – Results & lessons learned in general

·      Overview of the GRENDEL Project (Charlotte Siot, Pro Danube International)


Greening technologies and related education & training requirements

·      Greening technologies (Benjamin Friedhoff, DST)

·      Education and training requirements (Doina Munteanu, CERONAV)


Development of innovative and greening inland vessel concepts

·      Development of innovative and greening inland vessel concepts (introduction) (Silviu Meterna, Pro Danube Romania)

·      Development of innovative and greening inland vessel concepts by Ship Design Group & NAVROM (Cristi Angheluta, Ionel Chirica, Ship Design Group & Ionut Danaila, NAVROM)

·      Development of innovative and greening inland vessel concepts by FLUVIUS (Andras Kiss, FLUVIUS)

·      Development of innovative and greening inland vessel concepts by DANUBIA (Radu Comanici, DANUBIA)


Model state aid scheme and concrete measures for Danube IWT fleet modernisation

·      State aid model for modernisation of Danube fleet (Charlotte Siot, Pro Danube International)

·      Draft state aid scheme for Bulgaria (Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry)


Strategy and recommendations for Danube IWT fleet modernisation

·      Strategy and recommendations for Danube IWT fleet modernisation (Charlotte Siot, Pro Danube International)

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)