ESPO Award 2019 shortlisted projects: Union des Ports de France

30 October 2019

The ESPO Award 2019 will go to the port authority that has developed a successful strategy to reach out to the local community and is succeeding in directly communicating with the port citizens. Using social media as a new way of communicating and demonstrating a high level of transparency about operational achievements, future strategies and environmental challenges and performance is becoming increasingly important for European ports who can only function and further develop if they receive the licence to operate from the local citizens. 

The four projects that are shortlisted for this year’s Award are the projects of Port of Dover, Dublin Port Company, Ports of Stockholm, and Union des Ports de France (UPF). 

ESPO is proud to present the shortlisted projects before the winner is announced during the official Award Ceremony at the Albert Hall in Brussels on 13 November 2019.

Union des Ports de France


ESPO: Congratulations! You have been shortlisted for the ESPO Award 2019! Could you briefly describe your project?

@Port is a free application for smartphone and tablet allowing to explore the port world through three different modes: free, thematic, and playful. The app highlights 30 activity areas and more than 150 points of interest to discover, each providing information on a specific aspect of the port.

The app is meant to be educational and fun to use while promoting the actors and activities of the port area by transporting the user to the heart of a commercial or fishing port and allowing him/her to discover their geography, actors, areas of activity, jobs, flows, hinterland, service, actions and environmental commitments. 

(c) Union des Ports de France

ESPO: How does your project contribute to improving your relationship with the port citizens and does it succeed in directly reaching out to the local Community?

Port authorities and Port Centres are already using @Port as a communication tool like for instance Port de la Rochelle and Lorient Port Center.

@Port makes it easy to communicate with the general public at the national and local levels. The French ports and the actors operating in their ecosystem have developed this application in order to better know the harbour domain, its multitude of activities and the many actors who work in the port. The objective is threefold: to educate, to inspire vocations and to place the ports at the heart of our society: the port accessible to all. Citizen/port interaction is key to this objective.

ESPO: Could you describe the original and innovative character of your project?

Our digital and interactive application has been developed with the latest computer technologies: in 2D isometric animation, cross platform and responsive. It is free to download on smartphone and tablet via the App Store or Google Play.

During the design stage, benchmarking did not reveal a similar application at European and national level.

(c) Union des Ports de France

ESPO: Why do you think your project deserves to win the ESPO Award 2019?

Because the primary purpose of the @Port application is to improve the social integration of French ports. This interactive, digital, educational and playful tool makes it possible to make everyone, children and adults, understand what a port is and its importance in the national economy. The application places the visitor in the heart of a port. It communicates simple messages on the trades, activities, and environmental commitments of ports.

(c) Union des Ports de France

ESPO: Do you measure or assess the impact that your project has made on improving the transparency towards the local community and the understanding of port activity and added value? Could you tell us more? 

The application was presented for the first time at the stand of Union des Ports de France, during the "La Mer XXL" exhibition  in Nantes, from 29 June to 10 July 2019. @Port received an enthusiastic welcome from the general public.

@Port, with simple and factual messages, rallies the general public and professionals around the topic of the port.

The added value of @Port is for everyone to understand that ports are a source of jobs, attractiveness, and innovation, and that ports are strong assets for the economy at national and European levels but also at a local level.

Union des Ports de France has the objective in the coming months to optimise the referencing of the application and to promote it with the services of the Ministry of the National Education.

“The primary purpose of @Port is to improve the social integration of the French ports. To achieve this objective, we developed a collaborative project with the whole French maritime and port community. Thanks to the remarkable involvement of each partner, this innovative app was released in due time at the occasion of the “La Mer XXL” event.”

Jean Pierre Chalus, Secretary General of UPF

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