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Strengthening European Transport Research and Innovation Strategies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SETRIS (Strengthening European Transport Research and Innovation Strategies)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2018-04-30

In “Europe 2020 Flagship Innovation Union” (COM (2010) 546), the European Union (EU) set out a clear vision to achieve the ‘Innovation Union’ depicting 10 critical needs, including the “establishment of better linked up research and innovation systems tackling fragmentation and improving their performance”, and “to get more innovation out of research by means of stronger and closer links between sciences and businesses”. The EU’s White Paper “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” (COM (2011) 144 final) calls for a clear joined up strategy to deliver innovation and deploy research results by involving all relevant stakeholders.

In 2000, the European Council introduced the concept of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) as an instrument to strengthening the European research and innovation area. The four transport sectors plus the logistics industry created their own ETPs respectively from 2000 to 2003 and 2013, to coordinate for each of them their strategic and research and innovation agendas (SRIAs). Specifically, these five ETPs are:
• European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC)
• European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC)
• Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE)
• Waterborne;
• Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe (ALICE);

The SETRIS project began on 1st May 2015 with the aim of delivering a cohesive and coordinated approach to research and innovation strategies for all transport modes in Europe. 18 partners from within the ETPs came together to work collaboratively for the first time with overall objectives to:
1. identify synergies between the transport ETPs strategic and SRIAs and between these and relevant national platforms in Member States and associated countries;
2. review and update the existing SRIAs for each of the transport ETPs within a multi-modal and integrated transport system framework;
3. benchmark past and present research initiatives affecting the achievement of integrated transport SRIAs and market uptake;
4. define comprehensive, credible and realistic implementation plans for each SRIAs in a coordinated framework of running ETPs;
5. support, shape and contribute to future Transport Research Arena (TRA) events leading to a significant increment in the prominence of transport research and innovation activities.
SETRIS delivered its objectives through 5 Work Packages (WPs). There was particular emphasis on urban mobility, cross modal transport infrastructure innovation and long distance passenger and freight as core areas of the synergies approach to updating the transport SRIAs and their implementation plans. To complement this important work, SETRIS also included activities aimed at supporting, shaping and contributing to the future TRA Conference.

WP1 Connecting passengers for seamless travel and sustainable mobility involved all of the ETPs working together, identifying and assessing the level of integration foreseen by the relevant SRIAs when targeting the delivery of a fully connected passenger experience across Europe. With stakeholder and policy maker input, the project has also been developing the definitions of the “truly integrated urban transport system” and “truly integrated long distance passenger transport system”.

Representatives from all transport ETPs have established a ‘cross modal permanent group of stakeholders and experts in long distance freight’ as one of their first results of WP2 End to end logistics. This facilitated consensus on major research and innovation areas that needed to be addressed in order to develop a cross-modal SRIA and Implementation Plan on long distance freight. Also within WP2, the definition of the “truly integrated transport system for logistics” was developed, enabled by the engagement of a wide variety of stakeholders.

WP3 Modal SRIAs and roadmaps provided ACARE, ALICE, ERRAC and Waterborne an opportunity for additional strategy work which is enabled each ETP to consider, individually, issues that remain linked to their specific mode and/or their particular activities. Each ETP’s work is complementing the activity completed under the recent/current respective FP7 CSA’s, leading ultimately to the ETPs jointly addressing further topics with a common level of understanding.

The development, at the beginning of the project, of a Dissemination & Communication Strategy within WP4 brought all of the project partners to the same understanding of the importance for collective action.

TRA is a top transport research event in Europe that complements existing transport research conferences and fora through a strong focus on modal and cross-cutting issues. It gathers representatives of decision makers (both public and private), academia and research implementation bodies to discuss high quality science, relevant policy, industry trends and societal aspects in view to respond to today and tomorrow’s society needs and shape the future of our mobility. SETRIS supported TRA with a dedicated WP5. It has provided the necessary inputs to the preparation of the 2016 (Warsaw) and 2018 (Vienna) conferences by organising the participation of the different ETPs to the different Committees and Conference’s associated exhibition, namely the Organising, Programme and Management Committees.
The potential impact of SETRIS for the transport sector is extremely significant and the successful outcome of SETRIS is essential for Europe’s transport future and supporting economic and societal progression. In identifying synergies between the ETPs SRIAs. SETRIS is defining comprehensive, credible and realistic implementation plans for joint SRIAs in a coordinated framework of running ETPs.

With all ETPs involved, SETRIS is a leap forward in cooperation between the ETPs and is being fully supported by them.

SETRIS activities are following up on previous works undertaken by the ETPs by updating and completing their existing SRIAs, roadmaps and implementation plans using a new coordinated and integrated approach. In this context, it will deliver a full set of European SRIAs and Implementation Plans that will support the cohesive and coordinated approaches to research and innovation strategies in Europe. To this end, the ETPs will develop a framework for long-term cooperation between actors from all transport modes that will support the cohesive and coordinated approaches to research and innovation strategies that will facilitate the delivery of a truly integrated transport system.

A key strategic level pan-transport ETP progression enabled by SETRIS has been the agreement of proposed 6 “topics of common interest”. These are viewed by all as being so ‘generic’ as to relate to all transport ETPs when looking ahead to further ETP joint-working:
1. Competitiveness of a European integrated transport system
2. Decision to decarbonise transport
3. Information technology, new opportunities and threats e.g. cyber security, big data
4. New mobility systems concepts (these fit well with SETRIS WP1 and WP2)
5. Progress towards an integrated transport system being slower than expected
6. Resilience of the transport system.

The EC has agreed that these topics should be considered to inform the next H2020 Work Programme, in terms of their socio-economic impacts.
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