Europe aims for a 50 % more efficient road transportation system by 2030. One of the automotive sector's many responses to the goal is more sustainable use of materials. The EU-funded 'European synergies and co-operation for sustainable vehicle along the life-cycle' (S_LIFE) project aims to help the industry meet the objective. The means include enhancing European transnational research and fostering collaboration. The project intends to assess the capacity of regional clusters, define common research priorities, and strengthen regional and European knowledge. The seven-member consortium will run through all of 2012 to 2014. Team members began by defining project methodologies. The procedures combined both top-down and bottom-up approaches, translated into a literature analysis and stakeholder interviews. Hence, the project obtained a list of interested parties and research infrastructures, plus a set of key challenges to be addressed. The team compiled a catalogue of existing funding possibilities. The preliminary work yielded a 2030 Vision Document, which presents a clear view of market expectations, plus a list of priority research topics. Combined, the documents constitute a Joint Action Plan (a key deliverable), which defines a list of collective actions for improving collaboration between regional research clusters. Consistently with other 'Region of Knowledge' projects, S_LIFE identified the needs of less-advanced regions, in preparation for a future full mentoring programme. Dissemination activities to date include two press releases and a website, and hosting of the project's first public conference. The project will impact on the seven instruments of European transportation policy, including accelerated development of relevant green technologies. Furthermore, sector research will be more coordinated and linked, and hence efficient, making it better able to deliver the needed innovations.
Sustainable vehicle, automotive industry, collaboration, research priorities, road transportation, research infrastructures, regional research cluster, transportation policy, green technologies