Transportation is central to the European economy, but needs policy regulation. The European network should remain dominated by road, and freight will be regionally patchy. Intermodal transportation is expected to offer solutions and improve performance, yet remains incompletely realised. With this in mind, the EU-funded INTRAREGIO (Towards an intermodal transport network through innovative research-driven clusters in regions of organised and competitive knowledge) project set out to encourage European transportation innovation by fostering cooperation among five European regions and their key players. Work began by analysing the regions' state of play. This included all regional research and technological development (RTD) public and private stakeholders directly involved or potentially interested in innovative transport sector applications, available infrastructures and research facilities, available technologies and technological innovation needs. Project partners identified best practice cases concerning cluster policies and technology transfer dynamics. Using the findings as a basis, the INTRAREGIO team conducted a cross-regional comparative analysis and produced five regional research agendas. In addition, they performed a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis involving the regions' RTD and economic performance, and created a directory of RTD offer and demand. All project outcomes fed into a Joint Action Plan (JAP) and accompanying business plan and implementation strategy. The JAP aims to boost economic growth through RTD and other support activities, enhance transport modalities and make transport modes more efficient, secure and environment friendly. Several knowledge sharing and technology transfer activities were carried out to support the regions and the JAP, including 48 staff exchanges, joint training sessions and five transnational workshops. A policy formulation event and an international dialogue event were also organised. The two events led to the development of an international cooperation strategy with third countries to support thematic networking activities among the global transport community and identify RTD cooperation possibilities. INTRAREGIO helped to boost the capacity of five regions in developing economic policies and research strategies.
Intermodal transportation, INTRAREGIO, intermodal transport network, research-driven clusters, regional research and technological development