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Smart governance, network resilience and streamlined delivery of infrastructure innovation

Specific challenge: Infrastructure owners and operators need to ensure the best possible return from increasingly limited transport infrastructure investment funds. The main challenge is to overcome the lack of a common framework for governance, management and finance of transport infrastructure projects (including methodologies and modelling) with the aim to enable transparent, risk-based optimisation of investments within and across the modes. This includes issues such as resilience against climate change and other disturbances. Additionally, it is necessary to enhance the industry's practices and capacities in order to raise the productivity, quality and timeliness of infrastructure projects.

Scope: Proposals should address one or several of the following aspects:

      Development of whole system planning environments (based e.g. on virtual design concepts such as BIM - Building Information Modelling) to support the streamlined delivery of infrastructure projects from concept to deployment. In this respect, the rail sector deserves particular attention.

      Innovative, harmonised and lean procurement processes, accompanied by adequate monitoring systems, contracting and tendering methods; management tools to provide help in innovation delivery.

      Solutions for advanced infrastructure capacity planning and modelling for all transport modes.

      Solutions for optimal cost-effectiveness, including network resilience, mapping of climate risk hot-spots, reducing environmental impacts, including under climate change, together with appropriate adaptation measures and cross-modal implementation strategies.

      Solutions for advanced asset management, advanced investment strategies and innovation governance, including smart monitoring systems (such as Structural Health Monitoring) and adequate indicators for cost and quality.

SME active participation is strongly encouraged.

The work will focus either on further advancements in knowledge where technological progress is still needed (Research and Innovation Actions), or on implementing innovative technologies in real life conditions via large scale demonstration actions (Innovation Actions). The need for strengthening the network between infrastructure owners and operators in view of enhancing the effectiveness of the sector could be approached through appropriate coordination schemes (Coordination and Support Actions).

Expected impact:

      Accelerated delivery of transport infrastructure through improved, transparent and harmonised investment decision making at a European level, balancing performance with cost (in terms of Total Cost of Ownership) and risk.

      Improved predictive capacity and maintenance planning of the European transport infrastructure network, including determination of the optimal balance between long-term renewal and short-term maintenance.

      Improved assessment of risks related to impacts of climate change and evaluation of possible measures of adaption.

      Faster adoption of innovation as a result of reinforced coordinated public-private partnerships, for example through (pre-competitive) innovation procurement procedures.

      Competence building in the area of transport infrastructure management, resulting in strong (public-sector) capabilities across the value chain of planning, delivery and operations.

Type of action: 1) Research and Innovation Actions; 2) Innovation Actions; 3) Coordination and Support Actions.