Europe has recognised the economic importance of innovation and the need for a strategic approach towards related goals. Transportation is one of six main sectors where such an approach should make a key difference in meeting the EU's Horizon 2020 goals. The EU-funded METRIC (Mapping European regional transport research and innovation capacities (METRIC)) project worked on mapping capacity for transportation innovation in European regions. The study was also intended to identify respective regional competitive advantages. Based on the comparison, the team planned to prepare regional innovation roadmaps, including support for weak regions. The ultimate goal was to build regional innovation cultures that minimise risks and maximise returns. Work focused on three main areas: mapping regional activities in transportation innovation; assessing the performance of regional frameworks; and typing and analysing the main principles of regional innovation. For each region, the project delivered a set of recommendations regarding innovation roadmaps drawn from best practices. The roadmaps utilised the S3P approach, and the project also planned an S3P strategy for the transportation sector. The strategy is expected to facilitate structural fund investments in research and innovation, and have an impact on the development of a cohesion policy. Investigations showed the transportation sector to be heterogeneous, consisting of several sub-sectors. Transportation service providers generally have different innovation systems. Research on regional innovation systems and environments is predominantly focused on the automotive sector, followed by the aerospace sector. Clusters in such sectors are organised around value chains. Researchers concluded that Europe conducts considerable transportation research, at both country and regional levels. The findings will be used by policymakers to optimise the innovation strategies to be used in each region. The project's suggestions include criteria for funding and benchmarking research and innovation strategies. The METRIC project helped promote innovation in the transportation sector, with implications for policy, research and Europe's regional economies. The recommendations should help bring about more innovative transportation technologies.
Transport, innovation, Smart Specialisation Platform, Horizon 2020, regional transport, transportation innovation