Innovation, scientific research, public institutions, and business gather to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions from ferry boats, and to design new routes between Italy and Croatia. The GUTTA (savinG fUel and emissions from mariTime Transport in the Adriatic region) project just started with a public conference, funded by the Italy-Croatia Interreg Cooperation Programme. Coordinated by the CMCC Foundation, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, GUTTA includes among its partners Mare Nostrum – Croatian Shipowners’ Association, the University of Zadar, the Croatian Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, and the Port System Authority of the Southern Adriatic Sea.

Improving and enhancing maritime transport is one of the solutions available to the international community to reduce CO2 emissions in the field of mobility. At the same time, a recent EU Regulation requires large vessels to detail Monitor, Report and Verify (MRV) own CO2 emissions. The research project GUTTA will employ onboard vessel performance data and meteo-marine forecasts for a tailor-made tool that optimizes vessel emissions.

The activities of the project started in Lecce, Italy, where the kickoff meeting took place on March 6-8. The event followed the conference entitled “Towards a sustainable Adriatic transportation” that, with the contributions by international experts from public and private sectors, focused on the interaction of research, innovation and society for a sustainable growth of the economy of the sea and of the marine environment in the Adriatic.

“GUTTA project has the potential to contribute to decarbonization of ferry traffic between Italy and Croatia”, said Gianandrea Mannarini, coordinator of GUTTA. Its partnership is an expression of the triple helix, bringing into the consortium actors from the academia, the industry, and the public sector. GUTTA is committed to communicate its results to the general public and especially to young EU citizens of Italy and Croatia, to the maritime professionals, and to the research community and the academia.”

“Croatian Shipowners’ Association (CSA) Mare Nostrum impacts on national and EU policy and legislation through working groups and its Committees”, Sandro Vidas, Director of Mare Nostrum, said. “In that respect, CSA Mare Nostrum is actively providing expertise to GUTTA for the implementation of the MRV Regulation. In particular, Croatian Register of Shipping, an Associate Member of the Association, is in charge for efficient, flexible, and highly competitive verification services for shipping companies”.

“We are very interested in the results that will come out from the GUTTA project for at least two reasonsMiguel Madeira said as member of the Advisory Board of the project on behalf of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). “Following the activities of the project, we want to invite all the shipowners to report the CO2 emissions of their vessels at the European level on a per-voyage basis. Secondly, it would be very interesting to see how the outcomes of the project could be also used and applied in other maritime regions”.

GUTTA will first of all facilitate the implementation of the MRV Regulation on CO2 emitted by vessels calling at European ports, providing among others the baseline emission scenario upon which the project aims to improve. Secondly, data of actual CO2 emissions by several vessels operating in the Adriatic maritime space will be statistically related to the marine and meteorological conditions experienced during navigation. This information will be part of a pilot-action for planning of eco-routes, given the forecast environmental state. Such a decision support system, based on the open-source model VISIR (, will be made available to all vessels operating in the programme area. Thirdly, GUTTA will make a review of the passenger fluxes cross the Adriatic, between Italy and Croatia. These data will be analyzed for an objective assessment of the needs of the relevant stakeholders, representing a key step for a public expression of interest in new maritime routes between Italy and Croatia.

GUTTA project key data:

funded by 2014-2020 Interreg V-A Italy – Croatia CBC Programme through the ERDF

Duration: from 01/01/2019 to 30/06/2021

Budget: 1,200,000 EUR (of which 85% from ERDF)

Partners Institutions:

  • CMCC Foundation – Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change – Italy (Lead Partner)
  • Croatian Shipowners’ Association “Mare Nostrum” – Croatia
  • University of Zadar – Croatia
  • Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure – Croatia
  • Southern Adriatic Sea Port Authority – Italy

Project is co-financed by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the Croatian Shipowners' Association Mare Nostrum and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.



GUTTA - savinG fUel and emissions from mariTime Transport in the Adriatic region

INTERREG V- A Italy – Croatia CBC Programme

Specific objective of the project is to improve the quality, safety and environmental sustainability of marine and coastal transport services and nodes by promoting multimodality between Italy and Croatia through optimized operations, support to implementation of the EU Regulation 757/15 on MRV (Monitoring/Reporting/Verification) of CO2 emissions and preparing the ground for a new ferry connection between Italy and Croatia. 

GUTTA’s main objective is to support the decarbonization of the existing cross border maritime links and to prepare the ground for new ferry connections between Italy and Croatia, this decarbonization will rely on specific objectives such as facilitation of MRV Directive, DSS for planning of eco-routes and lastly, the new ferry connections will be eased by the public expression of interest. 

Furthermore, GUTTA's communication strategy will involve three target groups: the general public of EU citizens, the maritime sector and related technical and scientific communities.

GUTTA will make easier to apply the MRV Regulation, will develop a computational capacity to plan low-carbon ferry routes in the programme area and will support the creation of a new maritime route between Italy, and Croatia, resulting in a visible change in cross border territorial connectivity and cohesion. 

CMCC is GUTTA scientific coordinator and project manager and is involved in all communication activities including stakeholders' involvement. Moreover, CMCC is responsible for the development of the eco-routes tool based on the development of the VISIR model. 

CSA Mare Nostrum and its members will benefit in developed best practices, enhanced passenger mobility, and harmonized procedures. The most important benefit is the increase in vessels fuel efficiency, decrease of CO2 emissions, the safety of passengers and the use of GUTTA eco-route Decision Support System, which is directly applicable to Association Member’s vessels on existing trade routes between Italy and Croatia.


The novelty of GUTTA’s approach lies in its partnership and ambitious goals where partnership is an expression of the triple helix, bringing into the consortium actors from the Academia (the University of Zadar and CMCC), the industry (Croatian Shipowners Association), and the public sector (HR Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico Meridionale). As envisioned by the triple helix model, the three players will interact synergistically and not hierarchically nor individually for generating the required development. For instance, the public sector data will be employed for assessing what new routes are more appealing for the Region, and the maritime industry data will support the academic development of the tool for eco-optimized routes, that in turn will benefit the sustainability of CB transportation on both existing and new maritime routes.

Through the target groups of the project, GUTTA’s outputs will enhance the awareness of EU co-funded initiatives, will stimulate further innovation and downstream services, and later contribute to the EU social policy (employment). In particular, the operational tool for the optimization of maritime routes based on forecast environmental state and historical vessel performance and consumption data represents an eco-innovation, which is not yet available neither in the academia nor in the industry. Furthermore, the existing knowledge basis of the maritime traffic from the public sector representatives of Italy and Croatia will be merged and analyzed, providing an objective assessment for decision-making and interaction with the private sector (ship operators).

Project activities have also a significant potential for new job creation related to the new maritime links that it will favor: vessel piloting, harbor services, local public transport, and tourism can be envisioned.

Accordingly, GUTTA achievements on decarbonization will contribute to improving the environmental sustainability of CB maritime transportation, the new routes will improve the quality of the maritime transport services, with a potential increase in both the number of passenger and amount of goods transported by maritime mode with respect to the concurrent modalities (train, truck...).

GUTTA will deliver support to Monitoring/Reporting/Verification of GHG emissions and computational capacity to plan low-carbon ferry routes in the programme area. The number of goods (including people) transported can benefit from this result in a scenario where the emissions from concurrent transport modalities are priced and thus become part of the cost/benefit analysis for the transportation business. While clearly beyond the sphere of influence of the project, the pricing of CO2 emission is an envisioned stage in the current European legislation, such as the MRV Directive (EU 757/2015).

The other GUTTA’s result of enabling new maritime routes will also contribute to the same programme result indicator as long as the ship operators will profit from the institutional and technological framework created by GUTTA for expanding their business.  Without preparation phase, GUTTA includes activities such as: start-up activities, day-to-day project management, coordination and internal communication, steering and monitoring of the project implementation, financial management, external communication, direct engagement of stakeholders, input data collection, initial data analysis and planning, emission and routing models, MRV-data collection guidance, preliminaries for new CB maritime routes, eco routes DSS, validation and demonstration.

Also, the benefit comes from the relationship and cohesion with territories, update of knowledge and policies about CO2 emissions in the short sea shipping related to transportation of passengers and goods in inter Adriatic transport. Project outputs will also provide suggestions on how to improve existing legislation as a stable regulatory environment reduces shipowners’ costs and stimulates investments on new maritime links. Lastly, GUTTA will demonstrate that a greener shipping is possible, which should raise the shipowners’ eco-awareness.

GUTTA is coherent with relevant policies and plans such as:

1) Europe 2020: GUTTA through its eco-route tool will contribute to the “Climate change and energy” target of the strategy. In fact, it will enable a reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) from ferry boats operating in the programme area;

2) Smart Specialisation Strategy (Croatia): The “water transport and related capabilities” is one of the Croatian priority capabilities included in the national S3.

3) South-East Europe 2020: GUTTA’s eco-route tool is coherent with this strategy’s focus on energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly transport modes and with the aim of introducing measures to reduce energy consumption and costs per unit of transport service.

4) Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC and Gothenburg Protocol (1999): GUTTA’s reduction of CO2 emissions will have the positive side-effect of a reduction of other pollutants too, in particular of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, that originate from the marine propulsion plants.

The duration of the project is 30 months and the start date is January 1, 2019. During the project, four management meetings and two communication meetings are planned. The total budget of the project is 1.2 mil. € where Association participates with a budget of 200.000€

Activities of the project are: 

  • Project Management and coordination
  • Communication, dissemination and stakeholders/users involvement 
  • Collection of relevant data for vessels emissions, maritime traffic and vessels performance
  • Development of emissions and routing models
  • Development and testing of the tool for eco-routes computation
  • Production of guidance for MRV implementation
  • Analysis and preparatory work for the establishment of a new maritime link between Italy and Croatia







Project is co-financed by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the Croatian Shipowners' Association Mare Nostrum and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

News and events

Happy Easter!


Presentation of the Croatian Shipowners’ Association Mare Nostrum and the GUTTA project at the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka

This year as well, the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka organized EFRI Networking Week - Connect & Act, which took place from March 22-26, 2021. 


Mental Health Programme for Seafarers

The Croatian Shipowners 'Association Mare Nostrum, in cooperation with the Croatian Seafarers' Union (SPH) and the Tesa Psychological Center, signed an Agreement to provide psychological assistance to seafarers.


GUTTA Webinar - the impact of the COVID-19

The Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC) held a webinar related to the COVID-19 pandemic and maritime passenger transport.


Meeting of Supervisory Board and Assembly of the Croatian Shipowners' Mare Nostrum

On February 16, 2021, the 19th session of Supervisiory board was held online. 


GUTTA Webinar

We are happy to announce that the leading project partner, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change Foundation (CMCC) organizes the the upcoming GUTTA webinar. 


Nova novost

On January 27, 2021, in Rijeka, a meeting was held related to the new hydrogen related maritime projects in Croatia. 


Cadet welfare and the issue of seafarers due to the COVID-19 pandemic

On January 26, 2021 in the premises of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, a working meeting was held related to the cadet  welfare and the issue of seafarers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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