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EIRAC 2008-2010

Periodic Report Summary - EIRAC II (EIRAC 2008-2010)

Launched in 2005, the European Intermodal Research Advisory Council (EIRAC) is a peer group of more than 50 high level industrial players. EIRAC members are intermodal operators, terminal handlers, freight villages, modal transport operators, forwarders, ports, equipment suppliers and authorities. EIRAC brings together authoritative individuals with decision-making capabilities to offer knowledgeable advice and influence the stakeholders in their planning of research and technology programmes. The main objective of the project EIRAC II (CSA) is to provide the required secretarial support to the members of the EIRAC, in order to stimulate investment in research and innovation activities in intermodality and logistics, and its deployment on the market.

The first 18 months of EIRAC II have been dedicated to:

- Reorganisation of secretariat procedures and activities, on the basis of the experience acquired during the EIRAC, including the definition of internal quality procedures and the implementation of clear communication plans both within the secretariat and between the secretariat and EIRAC bodies;
- Establishment and/or reinforcement of links with other European Technology Platforms;
- Identification of best practices in intermodal research, and of main achievements and changes in co-modality, to be regularly presented to EIRAC members;
- Definition of the impact assessment tool, to assess the impact of a project on the main characteristics of transport;
- Implementation of the EIRAC road-show with Member States, to strengthen the relations between EIRAC and relevant national authorities, in order to stimulate the implementation of EIRAC indications into national programmes for research and policy making;
- Cooperation with ERA-NET transport programme;
- Identification of alternatives for the transition of EIRAC into an autonomous entity able to address its purposes independently from the availability of financial support from the EC or other public bodies.

The main results achieved are:

- Definition of quality procedures and communication guidelines;
- Organisation of three plenary meetings;
- Agreement on the new terms of reference of the EIRAC;
- Implementation of cooperation activities with other European TP with particular reference to ERRAC and Waterborne TP and with the European Green Car Initiative (EGCI) to identify common topics for future research;
- Identification of the methodology for impact assessment, which has been implemented in the first release of the dedicated tool;
- Definition of the Member States relation plan and organisation of a road-show in Austria in cooperation with the Austrian Ministry of Transport;
- Presentation to EIRAC members of best practices in intermodal research and of most relevant changes in co-modality;
- Dissemination of EIRAC activities in public events, through a stand at the 12th International Exhibition for Logistics, Telematics and Transport (Munich, May 2009), as co-exhibitor of the European Intermodal Association;
- Definition of the most suitable alternative for EIRAC transition in terms of legal status and structure.

The final results envisaged are the new release of the Intermodal Strategic Research Agenda and of the Implementation Plan, the publication of the 'Intermodal transport handbook' and the release of a software tool to evaluate the impacts of research projects, vis-a-vis the characteristics of Intermodal transport shown in the SIRA circle and their potential for the market up-take. The impact generated by EIRAC activities will be assessed both during and at the end of the project by using the impact evaluation tool made available to EIRAC members, on a free of charge basis, in order to allow them to manage the results of the research activities performed. Furthermore, one of the main results of the project will be represented by the transition of EIRAC into a new organisation, able to organise its activities and implements its objectives without time constraints.