Welcome to the Internet site of the EMBARC project, funded by the European Commission DG TREN (Transport and Energy). The consortium consists of 22 active partners and 5 active subcontractors from 8 European countries and is co-ordinated by NIM, the Netherlands Institute for Maritime Research. The project started in December 2001 and will last for 36 months.

EMBARC intends to meet the scope of work described in task 2.3.1 'Assessment of new concepts for ship and shore traffic management and information systems to improve efficiency in waterborne transport operation', key action 'Sustainable Mobility and intermodality' of the 'Competitive and Sustainable Growth' programme from the EU 5th framework research and development programme. The following key goals were set for this project:

On this Internet site you will find general information about the project and its' participants. Members of the EMBARC consortium have access to the restricted area where for instance work package information, reports and announcements and agendas for meetings can be found.



Vessel Traffic Management and Information Services (VTMIS) is a concept for the provision of maritime information services in response to public and private demand. It aims to minimize risks for safety and the environment while maximizing the efficiency of waterborne transport. The primary objective of this proposal is to identify and demonstrate how safety and efficiency in waterborne transport may be enhanced whilst recognizing the value that certain derived information may present to other transport modes, thereby improving interconnectivity and interoperability between modes.

Recognizing that VTMIS may be seen as a component of Transport Management, the focus will be placed primarily on the optimization of VTMIS. Links to other transport systems will be identified through the identification of the key stakeholders. In the context of this proposal VTMIS may be conducted on a ‘local’ scale (in ports, their approaches and adjacent coastal waters), or on a ‘European’ scale (all waters falling under the jurisdiction of a Member State). Attention will be directed to the needs of both ‘local’ participants and national Maritime Administrations.

The following key goals are set:

The methodology to be adopted considers:

  1. Development of common references for present and future applications based upon or within VTMIS, to include: operational procedures; technologies; education and training; legal, organizational and financial aspects; formal safety assessment; human factors;
  2. Consolidation of ideology concerning VTMIS applications that have been considered/developed for ports, port approaches and coastal use and, where appropriate, to demonstrate the validity of the techniques proposed. Subject areas include validation of VTMIS links; tracking and tracing; enhanced navigation assistance; vessel traffic prediction; search and rescue; and Regional Traffic Images (RTI):
  3. Expansion of VTMIS into the more far-reaching work of Maritime Administrations; a key stakeholder. Namely, the area of responsibility concerning the safety of traffic and the protection of the environment in all waters where a Member State holds jurisdiction. In this respect the Maritime Pollution Responsibility Zones (MPRZ) of the coastal state will be addressed.

This will be achieved following a four-strand approach:

Strand 1: Consolidation and Co-operation: an examination of how enhanced co-operation amongst Maritime Administrations and other key stakeholders can deal with common issues that have a direct bearing on VTMIS;

Strand 2: Technologies and Traffic Management Measures: a review of relevant technologies and traffic management measures and how they may be adapted and applied (individually and collectively) in VTMIS;

Strand 3: Potential Benefits/Applications: assessment of the benefits that may arise from the deployment of these technologies and traffic management measures in selected areas, how these benefits may be attained and the budget costs of their introduction.

Strand 4: The Future of VTMIS: possibilities of enlarging the scope of VTMIS to hitherto unused or underused applications.


Mr. Cees Glansdorp (NIM)

Beelstraat 52

3066 TLRotterdam

the Netherlands

tel: +31 10 2201330

fax: +31 15 2781628

mob: +31 6 53 128120



The following links lead to projects related to the EMBARC project. In the restricted area reports from these and other projects can be downloaded by EMBARC partners.


Link  - press logo to visit Internet site

COMPRIS COMPRIS The main objective of the Consortium Operational Management Platform River Information Services (COMPRIS) is to enhance the existing concept of River Information Services (RIS). This project is the follow-up of INDRIS.
INDRIS Logo Indris.gif (6210 bytes) RTIS (Regional Traffic Information Services) for inland waters and support of waterborne transport management.
IPPA Logo IPPA.gif (8368 bytes) Development of a portable pilot unit to support the maritime pilot on board with strategic information for the conduct of his profession.


The RINAC project aims at improving the safety on these inland rivers, at increasing the commercial benefits of the skipper in an environmental friendly way and at reducing his workload.

Logo Themes.gif (1820 bytes)

Thematic network to establish a common knowledge base and a comprehensive framework of safety assessment/management across the waterborne industry.
THEMIS The definition of the European ITS, and the place of freight transport in this, calls for careful definition of a user driven system architecture, and specifications that will form the backbone upon which the various market oriented applications and systems will be developed, marketed, and applied in practice. This is seen as the main focus of the THEMIS project.
WATERMAN Logo Waterman.jpg (2316 bytes) Thematic network on the improvement of VTMIS (Vessel Traffic Management and Information Services)