Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - CATER (Coordinating Air transport Time Efficiency Research)

Project Context and Objectives:
Europe, through the High Level Group on Aviation Research, ACARE and the European Commission, has a vision for air transport in meeting societal & market needs over the coming 30 years. Central to this is time efficiency, meaning reduced door-to-door journey times, seamless inter-modal connections and reliability. For this, Europe will engage in large scale, intensive and coordinated research & innovation. In order to plan and manage this process, stakeholders, policy makers and research directors need a full picture of what research is being conducted, of gaps present and of how EU funded R&I meets the ACARE goals.
To this end, CATER (Coordinating Air Transport Time Efficiency Research), a coordination and support action, run by an expert group with deep industry knowledge, access to a network of all relevant organisations and excellent information gathering and knowledge management processes and tools, that predominantly aims at acting as a Research & Innovation observatory and policy centre whereby air transport time efficiency stakeholders can be provided with a panoramic view of what research and innovation is being conducted, of existing gaps and bottlenecks in the research landscape as well as of how EU (an non EU) funded research projects meet the relevant abovementioned ACARE WG1 goals (i.e. meeting societal and market needs). Accordingly, CATER will deliver valuable and insightful reports and recommendations, packaged and disseminated effectively.
In particular, towards the achievement of this goal, CATER shall conduct an annual review of the state of the art of Research and Innovation (R&I), identify gaps in the research landscape and bottlenecks to innovation and consequently formulate strategic recommendations to address these. Explicitly, it shall review the landscape in the context of the six Activities of the Specific Programme and the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of ACARE. Moreover, as a valuable complementary service, CATER will provide a dashboard of all relevant funding programmes, as well as, when appropriate, it shall complement SESAR and other similar EU research coordination initiatives.
From an R&I perspective CATER aims at covering the entire door-to-door set of domains which influence air transport time efficiency thus achieve the desired panoramic view. CATER will develop a web-site, tool-set and knowledge base that centralises and updates information by way of advanced automated web search tools. The CATER policy advisory centre shall act as network hub for time efficiency stakeholders enabling them supply and harvest relevant knowledge. Dissemination of the reports and findings shall be through consultation with stakeholder leaders and through the online platform, workshops, outbound communications and piggy-backing on industry events and organisations. The assets developed by CATER are designed for the long term and shall be assimilated into some permanent organisation when CATER comes to a close.
In terms of specific 2013 Work Programme objectives the CATER project reports, dissemination and advisory approach will directly foster market take-up and deployment of innovative solutions through CATER’s impact on and recommendations for TE R&I planning and coordination, through its support for strategies and roadmaps definition, through the benchmarking data compiled (i.e. the current TE statistics), as well as by its identifying funding/finance opportunities and barriers & bottlenecks to the achievement of EU TE goals.
The CATER communications and networking strategy will form a valuable instrument for those other innovation-related aspects such as mobilising all innovation actors (particularly researchers), disseminating results and creating the shared awareness of a common vision, goal set and roadmap.

Project Results:
During the first 18 months of the project, several activities have started and some of them, as expected, reached some interesting results considered by the consortium as important reference line for the project.
Concerning the R&I state of the art (WP2), the definition of Travel Efficiency (TE) baseline model, current TE statistics and vision has been completed. Also, the definition of the R&I framework and needs/opportunities has been concluded.
The assessment of past FP6 and FP7 report has been done as part of the impact assessment of Travel Efficiency goals (WP3).
Activities of WP4 “Gaps, recommendations, report” have started, then they have stopped due to major change in coordination which have already been amended. The major effort in this activity is expected in the 2nd period of the project.
The development and maintenance of CASK environment has made a good progress during this period: overall functional and technical specifications have been identified as well as the design of the search engine and the website. Tests were also realised in order to be sure that the web portal would be ready for users.
Furthermore, some important dissemination actions (WP6) were realised, the project website and communication material were prepared at the very beginning of the project to be ready to give visibility to the activities in progress. The major effort and results coming from these activities are planned in the next months of the project.

Potential Impact:
Europe’s highly ambitious and holistic vision for Air Transport is explicitly articulated in ACARE’s Flightpath 2050 and SRIA publications. Meeting societal and market needs is one of the key themes of the SRIA goals, and these are highly independent on aviation industry progress in time efficiency. Precisely, Europe’s headline Air Transport time efficiency goals are clear and intuitive:
- By 2050, ninety percent of travelers within Europe shall be able to complete their journey, door to door, within 4 hours;
- Flights shall arrive within one minute of the planned arrival time regardless of weather conditions
Operationally, EU policy makers and research directors will require accurate date and intelligence concerning the EU capacity for R&I, ongoing and recently completed R&I work, the effectiveness of past efforts and the barriers and opportunities for future programmes.
The CATER centre for air transport time efficiency research coordination, is designed to be a vital instrument for Europe’s Air Transport stakeholders, in achieving these Flightpath 2050 goals. CATER has been designed for the operational level to provide the intelligence, data, information, assessment, insight and recommendations, thus it shall be the “navigation instrument panel” of the European time efficiency research and innovation stakeholder community. Namely, CATER is an organization based on a rigorous research and analysis methodology, on smart tools and platforms, on a network of organizations covering the entire aviation industry, and most importantly on the industry acumen and insight of highly experienced air transport research professionals. In this regard, and to bring about the expected impacts, CATER shall create and maintain a high quality R&I observatory and reporting capability and it shall provide exceptionally good R&I intelligence in order to:
1. Enable policy makers make the informed plans and decisions and be confident of receiving future feedback on the effectiveness of those decisions.
2. Foster greater awareness among the wider R&I community of the collective EU goals and efforts to meet the goals.
3. Help create the holistic door-to-door mind-set, which will be vital for transitioning to the smooth, multi-modal, adaptive and high capacity system envisaged for 2050.
In the current state of play, the greatest challenge of all, is a continuing progress in society’s ability to organise itself in a collective manner as a self-governing, self-propelling R&I delivery machine. This assumption applies at all levels and requires bottom-up behaviour based on a shared understanding of common goals as well as top down policy making and steering. CATER understands the role it shall play in this ambitious journey and the project team is sensitive to the needs of all stakeholders at all levels. Project networking, reporting and communications shall be conditioned by this understanding.
CATER is expected to be an effective platform for supporting the European Union in meeting the cross-cutting socio-economic challenges of Market take-up (3) and Other innovation aspects (4) which are described in the Work Programme (2013 Theme 7). Through its networking, reporting and publishing CATER will be one of the front line mechanisms for strengthening, coordinating, evaluating and communicating research and innovation. The CATER partners are acutely aware of the role they shall play in the above domains and in fact several of the partners and Advisory Board members are already leaders in the field.

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