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“Enhancing Safety and security aspects in Transport rEsearch in the EuroMediterranean region”

Final Report Summary - ESTEEM (Enhancing Safety and security aspects in transport research in the EuroMediterranean region)

ESTEEM objective was to enhance and strengthen the links between Maghreb transport related research system and three Mediterranean EU countries (Italy, France and Spain), focusing on the theme of safety and security of transport systems and infrastructures. The Mediterranean Partners Countries (MPCs) involved were Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

The specific project objective was to bring the partners to share the identification of priority common research themes to be investigated in future research actions.
ESTEEM consortium consisted of:
- a non-profit organization: IMED, Italy;
- two research institutes: CTL, Centre for Transport and Logistics - project coordinator & INRIA, France;
- a consulting company: Trakteplan, Spain;
- two universities: University of Batna, Algeria & Ecole Mohammadia d'Ingénieurs, Morocco.
During WP1 four sub-areas to be surveyed were defined: Road safety management aspects, Human factors in road safety, ITS to improve transport safety and security, Safety aspects of infrastructure design.

Survey action analysed the four sub-areas to identify the strategic priorities for the research on transport safety and security. The survey aimed at collecting information on best practices, data, tools and existing strategies within each country in order to identify related specific needs, viable technical solutions and priority research actions.

A systematic comparison between the different countries and groups produced a clear picture of the relative positions of each country and the same approach between EU and MPCs. It was the basic tool to configure the recommendations for future research.

Two workshops on the four sub-areas were organised to foster the coordination of research activities in the MPCs bringing technical experts, researchers, institutions and companies in contact. The events were organised in Batna and in Rabat, to present the survey results and to discuss about specific topics for future research.

Then a strategic plan for future research to be realised in the MPCs was developed. Among the analysed transport modes, road has been recognised as that requiring more attention. Road safety issues have been clearly indicated as the most urgent aspect on which to concentrate the attention. The most urgent aspect is related with cultural and societal aspects. Also the improvement of safety related with infrastructures is considered of topical interest, especially in urban areas. The development of innovative technologies is considered a less urgent topic.

Some of the topics to be developed in the future research are:
- Definition of plans and tools for improving the quality and accessibility of data on road accidents.
- Implementation of a regional Road Safety Observatory.
- Definition of guidelines and tools for improving the mobility in the urban areas.
- Development of plans for effective and periodic awareness campaigns on road safety.
- Development of guidelines and tools for road safety verification.
- Development of measures for standardising the infrastructure maintenance.
- Analysis of road accident causes and definition of countermeasures.
- Increasing knowledge about ITS and their benefits.
- Development of an ITS architecture.

To ensure the sustainability of the action and a long term impact a project network was created. The dissemination tasks included all sort of actions to spread the project results outside the consortium. A project web site (www.esteemproject.eu) was also set up, including a web based technological platform for supporting the network activities.

Being a coordination action, ESTEEM does not have the ambition to directly impact road safety situation. Nevertheless, it contributed in progressing toward these objectives by means of identification of specific needs of the Maghreb Countries, definition of priority research themes and roadmaps for future EC actions, as well as the creation of a network involving EU and South Mediterranean stakeholders.