The European Union will co-finance with over €5 million a project to assess and develop River Information Services (RIS) applications within Europe. It will develop and test certain key RIS applications which will render inland navigation faster, safer and more attractive as an alternative means of freight transport.
The “IRIS III” project, which was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Multi-Annual Call, will, once completed, allow for faster and safer transit through the inland waterways of the participating countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
The project builds on and completes projects “IRIS I and II” (also funded via the TEN-T Programme), and aims at extending the range of RIS services available in the region. Specifically, the project will support the testing of key RIS elements such as Notices to Skippers, Electronic Ship Reporting, Vessel Tracking and Tracing and Inland Electronic Chart Display and Information Services.
River Information Services are customised information services defined by a European Framework Directive that make it possible to co-ordinate logistical processes on inland waterways with actual transport situations on a constant basis. RIS play a key role in making cargo transport and passenger services on waterways more efficient and ecologically sound while, at the same time, increasing traffic safety.
The project, which is managed by the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency, is expected to be completed by December 2014.