Interreg AI Smart Metro-Mare from Bari to Otranto: a new regional maritime transport service

Informative webinars of the Interreg Greece-Italy – AI SMART project 11-15 February (9.30-12.30) – Teams platform

Two training webinars are scheduled for 11th and 15th February (Teams platform 9.30-12.30), organized in the framework of the strategic cooperation project AI SMART, funded by the Interreg VA Greece-Italy Program, to discuss on the maritime transport and tourism economy severely affected by COVID-19 emergency.

Two the topics will be address during the webinars: “Sustainable maritime tourism: defining priorities in COVID-19 emergency” on 11 February and “Green and inclusive ports for sustainable routes” on 15 February. The major maritime transport stakeholders and institutions as well as representative of production word and research, aiming at identifying priorities, drivers and the relevant actors  that be actively involved in the preparatory phase of the cooperation project, will take part in both webinars.

The AI SMART project, in fact, aims to redesign the mobility of the territory, betting on interception of the tourist flow that reach Puglia by the sea, from the countries of the other coastline; from Greece, directly involved in the AI ​​SMART project, but also from Albania and from Montenegro, through a consolidated maritime connection with the major hubs (the ports of Corfù, Igoumenitsa, Patras for Greece, the ports of Durres, Valona and Saranda for Albania and the port of Bar for Montenegro). The project will test the activation of a regional maritime transport service, called Metro-Mare, that will connect Bari with Otranto through several minor tourist ports of the region (Mola, Monopoli, Otranto, etc.), with extension perspectives on both side, toward Ionian side but also northward up to the Gargano, trying to catch this “slice” of the tourist market, potential for the development of the inland areas.

The webinars will be introduced by Anna Grazia Maraschio, Councilor of the Puglia Region for the Environment, Waste and Reclamation, Industrial Risk, Territorial and Urban Planning, Landscape, and by Director of the Department of Mobility, Urban Quality, Public Works, Ecology and Landscape, Barbara Valenzano assisted by the Project Manager of the AI SMART, Matilda Mali.

The speakers are selected from the main stakeholders: Salvatore Lauro for Assarmatori, representing the largest Italian maritime cluster; Francesco Beltrano of Confitarma, as the main associative expression of the Italian shipping industry. Several of their associates who operate in Puglia territory will also take part.

The two main Port System Authorities of Puglia will be present: the President Ugo Patroni Griffi will speak for the Adriatic Sea System Authority and the President Sergio Prete for the Ionian Sea System Authority.  On behalf of the Department of Tourism, Economy of Culture and Territory Valorisation of Puglia Region, will speak Aldo Patruno.

For the world of research, Angela Stefania Bergantino, Full Professor of Economics and President of the Italian Society of Transport Economics, as well as member of the AI SMART Scientific Committee  together with Antonio Leone of the University of Salento and Gianfranco Fancello of the University of Cagliari. Various local port realities will take part: Dario Montanaro for the Marina of Brindisi, the Mayor Giuseppe Colonna for the Port of Mola and the Mayor Pierpaolo Cariddi for the Port of Otranto.

The works will be coordinated by Leonardo Damiani, Full Professor of Maritime Construction and Michele Ottomanelli, Full Professor of Transport at Polytechnic University of Bari.

To participate in the events, click on the following link:

Webinar 1 – 11 February 2021 – 09.30 – 12.30: “Sustainable Maritime Tourism: defining priorities in COVID-19 emergency”

Webinar 2 – 15 February 2021 – 09.30-12.30, topic: “Green and Inclusive Ports for Sustainable Routes