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Paving the way for transnational cooperation to strengthen European transport research

An EU initiative spread international cooperation on transportation, inviting new players to the dialogue.

Industrial Technologies

Its predecessor aimed to coordinate and improve cooperation among Seventh Framework Programme National Contact Points (NCPs) concerned with transportation themes. The EU-funded ETNA PLUS (European transport network alliance) project set out to build on the achievements and expand the former goals to reflect new priorities set by Europe 2020 and the Innovation Union. Overall, the aim was to foster innovation in transnational cooperation in the transportation sector, focusing on promoting participation of new actors and regions in EU projects. Project partners set up a funding map database enabling users to identify suitable funding sources for transport research and innovation (R&I). The searchable web-based tool was regularly updated with new funding initiatives and programmes, and relevant debt and equity funding financing opportunities. The ETNA PLUS team analysed transport R&I strategies that are implemented in industrialised countries, and how they strengthen or inhibit transnational cooperation. This resulted in a guidebook that highlights good practice transport R&I strategies in the EU and beyond, as well as existing barriers. It targets NCPs in Member States that wish to develop their own efforts through transnational cooperation in transport R&I. To help build transnational cooperation, reinforce transport NCPs and boost researcher expertise, a series of training, professional development and networking activities were carried out. In all, 11 brokerage events were organised, 12 factsheets were produced advising on Horizon 2020 (H2020) programmes and activities, and 8 training sessions and 5 webinars were held concerning H2020. A twinning scheme was launched that provided one-to-one support, best practice exchange and on-the-job training particularly for novice NCPs. Project outcomes were widely promoted at EU, national and regional levels. Over 70 presentations were made at relevant events covering a broad range of multidisciplinary transport-related activities. ETNA PLUS should lead to greater innovation in transnational transportation. As new players emerge, they will be able to cooperate on future EU projects in the sector.


Transnational cooperation, transport research, National Contact Points, ETNA PLUS, transport network

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