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Setting up a common European research and innovation strategy for the future of road transport


Proposals should take a comprehensive approach ranging from components up to system integration, and include enabling technologies where relevant. Both passenger mobility and freight transport should be addressed and covering urban mobility as well as inter-urban and long-distance transport. They should address all the following aspects:

  • Updating of research agendas and roadmaps developed by the European Technology Platform ERTRAC (European Road Transport Research Advisory Council) and supporting the definition of research priorities of future Horizon Europe Partnerships relevant to road transport, covering all transport research fields.

  • Facilitating cooperation between cities in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Actively support policy and knowledge exchange and establish a peer-to-peer exchange and capacity building programme that takes advantage of the results of a large number of relevant cities. Cooperation between EU and international projects on urban mobility. Develop implementation concepts for sustainable mobility including shared private vehicles (e.g. light-duty vehicles and 2-, and 3-wheelers), logistics (e.g. e-Trucks, cargo bikes), public transport systems (e.g. Bus Rapid Transit Systems, buses, soft modes) and new mobility services.

  • Liaise with international financing institutions to foster the take-up and implementation of the concepts developed, support the European Commission in international discussions and specialised sectorial Fora related to Mobility for All, Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda. Track global progress on urban electric mobility and support UN activities, such as the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI).

The implementation requires close collaboration with the leading European stakeholders in transport research, including vehicles manufacturers, supply industry, and research and engineering organisations, as well as strong links with other relevant European initiatives and associations. In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged with key emerging countries, in particular with Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.8 to 1 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The objective of this topic is to define R&D roadmaps for a sustainable and efficient road transport system in Europe. It calls for a Coordination and Support Action to support ERTRAC (the European Technology Platform for Road Transport), future Partnerships relevant to road transport in Horizon Europe and the European Commission in defining the research needs for their upcoming research and innovation programmes, and by then helping to achieve the targets set at EU and global level (EU Transport White Paper, COP21 for decarbonisation, etc.).

International cooperation with developing and emerging economies should also be developed in order to increase efficient mobility for all, reduce local (air and noise) and CO2 emissions, and tackle health and safety issues, and increase attractiveness and competitiveness in particular in urban areas.

This action will bring together the leading European stakeholders in road transport research to develop roadmaps and support international cooperation. It will contribute to a further harmonisation of research and innovation, and therefore contribute to the European Research Area, in particular also in the view of innovation, as well as to the European strategies for a future transport system.

Proposals are expected to contribute to:

  • The objective of the European Union for climate action and sustainable development.
  • The objectives set by the Paris Agreement (COP21) and the New Urban Agenda.
  • The fulfilment of post 2020 emission targets in road transport (at least 30% by 2030 compared to 2021)
  • The EU's long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (""Vision Zero"")
  • UN's Sustainable Development Goals 11 ""Sustainable cities and communities"" (with particular attention to 11.2) and 13 ""Climate Action""
  • Strengthening the collaboration of the European Union with Asia, Latin America and Africa.