ESPO Award 2014 Shortlisted Project: W-nose: An E-Sensor Network in Rotterdam Rijnmond

30 October 2014

The final project shortlisted for this year’s ESPO Award is from Rotterdam Rijnmond, takes an innovative approach to ensuring the highest standard of air quality in the port area thorough an inventive use of technology.

The 2014 ESPO Awards celebrate the role that ports can play in maintaining the natural environment and contributing to a sustainable future for all. The five ports shortlisted for this year’s Award, Huelva, Koper, Lisbon, Marseille and Rotterdam all demonstrate innovation in projects that improve environmental standards.

ESPO is proud to present the shortlisted projects, before the winner is announced at a ceremony at the Albert Hall in Brussels on 4 November.

ESPO: Congratulations! You have been shortlisted for the ESPO Award 2014 together with four other port projects! Could you briefly describe your project?

Rotterdam Port Authority: The e-nose is an innovative instrument, enriching and supplementing existing tools, such as the air measurement network. E-noses detect real-time changes in the composition of the air. Human senses cannot detect all gases. The e-nose can, however. Some gas mixtures are dangerous or a nuisance. A network of e-nose sensors in the area provides a good picture of the air composition and how this changes in terms of its nature, place and time. In 2013, the Port Authority purchased the sensors and a basic network became operational in co-operation with the Province of Zuid-Holland, VRR (Safety Region Rotterdam Rijnmond) and the Municipality of Rotterdam. In December 2013, in conjunction with all parties involved (businesses, government and residents), a basic network of 77 e-noses was officially launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. During the festive gathering, the importance of the network for all parties involved was emphasised by naming the network appropriately We-nose.
ESPO: What is the innovative environmental added value of the project?

Rotterdam Port Authority: Both the city and port strive towards a healthy, safe and attractive living environment. The e-nose is an instrument in environmental management and the approach to environmental nuisance and how it is perceived. Its main added value comes from the opportunity to interpret and contextualise incidents and nuisance, for businesses, the authorities and residents.

The We-nose network is unique: this innovative sensor, in co-creation with businesses, the authorities and residents, forms the first system exceeding statutory requirements in the Netherlands on such a scale.
ESPO: Why do you think your project deserves to win the 2014 ESPO Award?

Rotterdam Port Authority:  It is a fact that an e-nose measuring network is useful and necessary, not only because of the social impact on the safety, health and quality of life in the Rijnmond region, but also due to the impact on business operations in industry, supervision and regulations. If we as the Port of Rotterdam want to be at the forefront of this development, we have to take out responsibility and take the initiative in realizing such a network. Participating at an early stage with municipalities, businesses and residents given the delicacy of the topic of hindrance can be a daring experience. In 2014, the Municipality of Maassluis, formerly Municipal District Hoek van Holland, and Vopak have joined and the network has grown to approximately 100 sensors. Considering the sensitivity and restraint this is a real achievement, moreover as the value of the network is now being proven. For each party that joins, the number of sensors can be increased. It is therefore a project that keeps developing and strengthening itself into the future.
ESPO: What are you going to do if you win the Award?

Rotterdam port Authority: We will celebrate with our partners! And move forward. The award will show that this network approach is successful and it will be, we hope, a big stimulus for new partners. Moreover, the more parties, the denser the network and the more accurate and reliable the interpretation of the environmental impact. Co-creation is the key. Winning the Award would be an encouragement to the whole sector to participate in the e-nose network.
ESPO: Besides having the ESPO Award winner statute, what would the Award further mean to you?.

Rotterdam Port Authority: It would mean further recognition and encouragement for people (business, authorities and residents together) working on exploring and investing in environmental solutions, making the port and its surroundings a safe and clean place to work, live and recreate!
ESPO: How would you make your experience in developing the project available to others?

Rotterdam Port Authority: The network and its (financial) architecture have already aroused the interest of other organisations and ports in the Netherlands and even abroad: Moerdijk, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Durban. We are very happy to share our experience and knowledge with other ports and cities!


Further Reading:

ESPO Award 2014 Shortlisted Project: The Port of Marseille: GIREL Research and Development Project

ESPO Award 2014 Shortlisted Project: The Port of Lisbon: Innovative Dredging Project

ESPO Award 2014 Shortlisted Project: The Port of Koper: No Waste, Just Resources!

ESPO Award 2014 Shortlisted Project: Ecological Restoration of Salt Marshes in the Port of Huelva

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