International Pressure Cooker: Sustainable and Smart Port

During the past 150 years, the development of Rotterdam has been inextricably linked with that of the port and industrial complex. And that’s set to continue in the future. The direction the port and industry take will also provide opportunities for boosting the urban economy. The links between the urban economy and port are strong, particularly when it comes to innovations in logistics, sustainable energy and a more sustainable chemical industry. The city and port can and must be mutually reinforcing in other areas too.

At the same time, a variety of external and internal triggers and trends such as the improvement of the labour market, a healthy relationship between the city and port, law and legislation, and port-related stakeholder management are important enablers of a sustainable and smart growth of the port.

Since September 2012, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has been working hard together with a number of the partners to develop Port Vision 2030 and its implementation plan which covers most of the conventional triggers. But there is a number of questions which could be investigated further:

  • What will be the effect on the development of the port of a circular and sharing economy?
  • How could the port of Rotterdam defend itself against cyber-attacks?
  • What will be the effect of new technologies, for example, will we print everything at home with our own 3D printer so that transportation of our new football shoes from China will no longer be required?

Project team


Saulius Buivys, 
Lecture-researcher, Project leader

Martin Ford
Programme leader, Master in Logistics Management

Ricardo Santos Navas
Lecturer, International Project


Sandrine Henneron
Head of the MSc in International Project Development

Anne-Sophie Courtier
Head of the MSc in International Project Development

Logo RDM CoE (2)

Kim van ‘t Sant
Manager- Learners Community Port

To discuss these and other questions from the 29th of March till the 1st of April, the RDM campus of Rotterdam University became a meeting point for 60 international students studying in four master programs at Rotterdam Business School (NL) and NEOMA Business School (France). Within the framework of Sustainable and Smart Port pressure cooker, participants shares knowledge, best practices and different approaches while working together in international groups under time pressure.

It was the second pressure cooker initiated by research lecture Saulius Buivys. The programme was jointly organized by the research group Business Ethics, Responsibility and Innovation of RBS research platform, and the International Project Development programme at NEOMA business school. RDM Centre of Expertise and two research centers: Sustainable Port City and Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation provided valuable support in execution of this event.

The objective of the pressure cooker was to deliver a number of scenarios for the Rotterdam Port in an innovative format, while working in groups and under time constraints. The structure of the programme included lectures delivered by professors of research centers, representatives of the Rotterdam port, and consultants working in the field of knowledge management.

Pressure cooker has started with introduction to the Port 2030 research programme which is conducted by Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences by prof. Christoph Maria Ravesloot and prof. Frank Rieck and was followed by lecture of prof. Ir. Kees Machielse on scenario planning. The second day of the event was dedicated to discuss current affairs of Rotterdam Port (lecture by Jouke Goslinga) and sustainable innovation and education in DeltaCityRotterdam (lecture by Bert Hooijer). The main focus of Thursday guest lectures was on how to study smarter, focus better, and achieve more. Mr Marcel van den Berg gave an advise how to become a Knowledge Ninja.

In parallel to the lectures, students were asked to work in the groups and develop scenarios of Rotterdam Port 2030 which were presented to the panel of judges consisting of prof Ron Ainsbury representing research institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, prof. Ir. Kees Machielse from research institute and Mr Jeroen Hoogeveen from Ministry of Defense. Wining presentation you can see here.


Tuesday, 29th March
10:00– 10:30 Welcome and introduction of the programme
10:30 – 11:30 Introduction of Port 2030 research program
Christoph Maria Ravesloot, professor in Sustainable process innovation and BIM at Research Centre for Sustainable Port Cities
Frank Rieck, professor in Future mobility at research Centre for Sustainable Port Cities
11:30 – 13:00 Scenario planning and Rotterdam Port
Ir. Kees Machielse, professor Transition Management and research Centre for Sustainable Port Cities.
14.00 – 15:00 Introduction of the assignment and creation of the teams
From 15:00 Time available for group work

Wednesday, 30th March
10:00 – 11:30 Development of Rotterdam Port
Joke Goslinga, Port of Rotterdam Authority
11:30 – 12:30 Sustainable Innovation & Education in DeltaCityRotterdam
Bert Hooijer, Dean at RDM campus, Rotterdam University of Applied science
14:00 – 15:00 Group meeting with the coach
From 15:00 Time available for group work

Thursday, 31st March
9:00 – 11:00 Workshop: ‘How to be a Knowledge Ninja’: study smarter, focus better, achieve more
Marcel van den Berg, Consultant at Think productive
11:15 – 12:30 Workshop: PechaKucha: the art of concise presentations
Stephan Schipper, Owner at LEF and lecturer creative economics
14:00 – 15:00 Group meeting with the coach
From 15:00 Time available for group work

Friday, 1st April
10:00 – 13:00 Group presentations

Students needed to combine what they had learned in lectures, do their own research on trends, work together in multicultural teams and produce a convincing presentation – under tight time pressure!

This type of cooperation between international partners and number of institutions within Rotterdam University of Applied Science enhances the student’s learning in ways that cannot be achieved in the classroom alone, and we look forward to opportunities to engage in the is type of cooperation in the future and to make pleasure cooker and annual event.