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Advanced Impacts evaluation Methodology for innovative freight transport Solutions

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Identifying problems in freight transport research

Freight transport is an important economic issue that involves the management of various social, environmental and financial aspects. An analysis of several freight transport research projects has helped direct and improve future research efforts in this field.

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Research and innovation has been cited as key to a sustainable and profitable freight transport industry. The field has in the past benefited from generous public funding, but this has not resulted in innovation transfer to industry. 'Advanced impacts evaluation methodology for innovative freight transport solutions' (AIMS) was a project established by the EU to assess and evaluate freight transport research. This initiative bridged the gap between research and industry to improve the usefulness of research. Researchers undertook a broad survey approach to understand the role and impact of recent studies in the field. The aim was to minimise public investment risks while maximising project successes, and to develop guidelines to improve future scientific endeavours. AIMS found that research projects were doing some good, and it identified 'choke points' where studies had failed to translate into innovation. Most stakeholders felt that a closer 'innovation loop' between research and industry was needed to make the projects more useful. The AIMS study was established to identify problems in freight transport research, and to develop ways to improve the field. Project outcomes have highlighted the need for closer communication between research and industry, and should spur improved innovation transfer.

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