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Content archived on 2024-06-18

Enhancing the capacity of EU transport projects to transform research results into innovative products and services

Final Report Summary - TIPS (Enhancing the capacity of EU transport projects to transform research results into innovative products and services)

Executive Summary:
“A publicly funded project is generally not finished at the end of the project itself. Further work, efforts and money are often needed to reach a final ‘product’. This step is easier to implement if good work has been done on results before and during the project, involving all the appropriate actors. The coordinator or the exploitation manager must take care of this task and keep all the partners focused. The TIPS project has opened the eyes of those involved to key issues and has offered them a methodology to learn from.”
A participant of the TIPS project’s pilot activities

The TIPS project, a Seventh Framework Research Programme funded support action aimed to develop and pilot measures and support tools to help other publicly funded transport projects to succeed in reaching their final target group and achieving innovation development. All measures and tools were undertaken to pursue the goal of “opening the eyes” and “guiding” project partners through to a structured process of successful exploitation.

During the TIPS implementation period (October 2012 until September 2014), the economic crisis throughout Europe was – and still is – a major issue in forcing industry to become ever more competitive. In addition, during this period the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission came to an end and the new successor programme “Horizon 2020” was created and came into being under the prefix and pressure of having to really ensure the successful exploitation of funded projects, especially in terms of commercial exploitation outputs.

From a TIPS perspective, the new funding programme H2020 is certainly heading in the right direction with its new funding instruments including the SME instrument and the research and innovation actions. Insisting proposers better address exploitation issues such as measures taken to maximise their impact and installing an innovation management system, is similarly a move in the right direction.

Nevertheless, TIPS is convinced that further steps both in terms of funding programme development and providing support to the consortia of projects currently funded can be taken to further improve exploitation achievements.

In addition, it should be ensured for the future that exploitation is not just understood in a narrow sense – meaning only commercially oriented exploitation. It is still crucial that Europe perceives exploitation as a way of achieving more benefits environmentally, communally, socially, safely, in a standardised way instead of thinking only about marketable products.

At the end of the TIPS project a booklet “Handbook for practitioners from policy and project level” was developed that addresses important stakeholders when it comes to publicly funded transport projects. These include policy makers and publicly funded project partners and consortia and summarises the projects findings.

Project Context and Objectives:
TIPS aims and objectives
The TIPS project was a support action funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It ran from 1 October 2012 until 30 September 2014. The vision of the TIPS project was to produce better innovation in the transport sector. It did so by enhancing the capacity of EU funded FP projects in the field of transport to help them in transforming research results into products and services.
The transport sector faces major challenges. Demand in transport will grow by 50% for passengers and 80% for freight (EU 2000–2030). At the same time the call for energy savings, renewable resources and less CO₂ is adding additional pressure. Transport is a main source for achieving economic sustainability and growth, but the sector needs to be pro-active and take more innovative solutions to the market faster. A lot of funding goes into transport Research and Technology Development (RTD), but results do not ultimately seem to reach the market.

How can this situation be improved? Possible solutions include:
• A successful set of capacity and awareness building measures for transport project partners to help them succeed in innovation development from research projects
• A tool box for detecting the innovation potential of project results that provides ongoing support to transport project partners
• A list of dos and don’ts for transport project partners as well as for policy makers
• Success stories proving that publicly funded transport projects can really result in innovation.

Thus, the project had the following five key objectives:
• Analysing the research framework of finished and ongoing national and EU funded projects;
• Developing best practice guidelines and innovation methodologies;
• Promoting the exploitation of research and development (R&D) results and market uptake of innovative products and services to transport project partners;
• Supporting completed and ongoing EU funded research projects to develop sound action plans for the use and dissemination of results;
• Creating a supportive project environment and tools that are sustainable.

Based on sound fieldwork, TIPS analysed exploitation practices in finished RTD projects, extracting exploitation approaches and good practices. Partners involved in highly innovative transport RTD projects received individual help to improve their capability to exploit the R&D results they had achieved during the projects, in such a way that they could gain competitive advantages and improved market shares. Road, rail, maritime and air as well as intermodal transport were covered.

TIPS methodology and steps
To achieve its objectives, TIPS delivered a methodological approach building on the following steps:
An analysis of the research framework of finished and ongoing R&D projects and the exploitation of their results was carried out, in order to identify obstacles and key issues for successful exploitation and develop best practice guidelines and innovation methodologies for different transport modes.
Based on a thorough field study, TIPS aimed to understand the innovation and exploitation processes of transport R&D projects in the different transportation modes better. Approximately 450 transport RTD projects (at both EU and national level) as well as Support Actions funded within the Seventh Framework Programme were identified and were invited to participate in a survey. One third of those invited participated in the survey. The answers provided form the impact chains and success stories used in the brochure.

A number of “awareness increasing measures” (including workshops and information stands) and “networking activities” (including brokerage events) were organised throughout Europe, targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), public organisations, large companies and research organisations involved in transport-related projects under various FP7 themes (e.g. FP7-Transport, FP7-ICT, FP7-SME, FP7-Energy, etc.). In summary, the following activities were organised:

(a) Seven workshops to support the overall learning process of the transport project partners, showing them how R&D results can be exploited and the market uptake of innovative products and services. The workshops were carried out between July 2013 and September 2014 in Brussels (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Potsdam (Germany), Rome (Italy) and Thessaloniki (Greece).

(b) Two information stands offering comprehensive information on transforming research results into innovative products and services. The information stands were set up during two key international events, namely the ICT 2013 event in Vilnius (Lithuania) and the Transport Research Arena 2014 (TRA2014) conference in Paris (France).

(c) Three brokerage – or matching – events where representatives of companies and universities as well as clusters and research organisations had the opportunity to promote their expertise and/or innovative solutions, investigate new collaborations and search for new technological achievements or make and/or receive technology offers:
a. Logistics-B2Match (6 - 7 June 2013, Munich, Germany) – a brokerage event for logistics, mobility and IT taking place during the international trade fair “Transport Logistic”. In total, 47 participants attended the event, representing 10 EU countries, and participating in 113 bilateral meetings.
Further information: http://www.b2match.eu/logistics2013

b. Infrastructure, Telematics and Navigation – ITN2013 (26 September 2013, Turin, Italy) – the brokerage event was organised in the framework of “ITN – Infrastructures and Technologies for the Smart City”, the expo-conference that presented digital infrastructures for future Smart Cities, Open Government and technologies and solutions for Smart Mobility, from satellite navigation to info mobility. In total, 68 participants representing 8 European countries participated in 221 bilateral meetings.
Further information: http://www.b2match.eu/itn2013

c. Partnering event @ Transport Research Arena 2014 (14 - 17 April 2014, Paris, France) – for the first time, a brokerage event was organised at the Transport Research Arena conference, adding a new dimension to the conference. 140 participants from 31 countries all around the world took the opportunity to promote their profiles on an online platform before the event. 242 bilateral meetings were carried out in a dedicated meeting space at the conference.
Further information: www.b2match.eu/tra2014

In order to provide more in depth support to transport project partners, two Training Academies were carried out, focusing on topics including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) management, business plan development, technology transfer and standardisation. The Training Academies took place in Prague, Czech Republic (November 2013) and in Lyon, France (February 2014). In total, 64 participants representing 54 EU-funded projects received individual support and were engaged in practical exercises on the development of exploitation plans during the two Training Academies.

The TIPS Exploitation Toolbox was developed to better facilitate the detection of exploitation potential of project results. Individual support to just-completed and on-going EU funded research projects to develop sound action plans towards the market uptake of innovative products and services through applying the TIPS Exploitation Toolbox was delivered. More than 50 organisations throughout Europe have received individual support.
Project Results:


The TIPS Exploitation Toolbox was developed to better facilitate the detection of exploitation potential of project results. Individual support to just-completed and on-going EU funded research projects to develop sound action plans towards the market uptake of innovative products and services through applying the TIPS Exploitation Toolbox was delivered. More than 50 organisations throughout Europe have received individual support.

TIPS project developed a booklet “Handbook for practitioners from policy and project level” was developed that addresses important stakeholders when it comes to publicly funded transport projects. These include policy makers and publicly funded project partners and consortia and summarises the projects findings.
Potential Impact:
Valuable results achieved in publicly funded research projects in all domains, including transport, don't always find their way to being translated into market products or services. Indeed, using and disseminating the knowledge generated in a project beyond the lifetime of the project itself can be hindered by a multitude of obstacles – lack of potential not typically being one of them.

Horizon 2020 addresses major societal challenges, including transport, aiming to maximise the competitiveness impact of research and innovation and to raise the level of excellence in the research base. The seven-year programme – the main funding instrument to implement the Europe 2020 Innovation Union flagship initiative – is designed to broaden access for participants through major simplification, new financial instruments and new opportunities for SMEs. It brings together all existing research and innovation funding, providing support in a seamless way from idea to market.

How can the impacts of research and enable new ideas, concepts, production processes, services and products originating from research projects be maximised and make it to the market?

Through a range of specifically designed activities, the TIPS project provided a valuable contribution to addressing this issue from the standpoint of both policy makers and project beneficiaries.

List of Websites:
http://www.transport-tips.eu/