Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FOX Report Summary

Project ID: 653631
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FOX (Forever Open infrastructure across (X) all transport modes)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"An efficient and high-quality transport infrastructure is a fundamental requirement for the connectivity of people and goods in Europe and basis for economic growth, competitiveness and territorial cohesion. In general, the transport network in Europe is of a high standard but is still fragmented regarding the geographical distribution and the transport modes. In recent years, first networking activities and exchange of strategic programmes among the stakeholders of the four transport modes – road, rail, water and air – can be noticed but still a mono-modal, monodisciplinary
culture exists. In the light of the future challenges, e.g. increasing transport demand, ageing infrastructure, scarcity of natural resources, changing climatic conditions, it is inevitable to strengthen the collaboration of the single transport modes in order to create an improved future integrated and functioning transport system for Europe, despite of limited financial resources of the owners of the transport network. The FOX project aimed to develop a highly efficient and effective cross-modal R&D environment and culture which meets the demanding requirements of the transport and connectivity. Based on already existing programmes and agendas related to the aspects of co-modal transport research, the FOX project aimed to identify common needs and innovative techniques in the areas of construction, maintenance, inspection, and recycling & reuse of transport infrastructure. This was reached by the involvement of all stakeholders (owners, researchers, and industry) of the four transport modes.

The FOX project (together with a ""sister"" project, USE-IT -Users, Safety, Security and Energy in Transport Infrastructure) has identified 42 research challenges, covering:
- construction, maintenance, inspection, and reuse and recycling (FOX project).
- user information, safety and security, energy and carbon (USE-IT project)
All challenges cover at least two modes and have been mapped against four domains: infrastructure, technology, governance and customers and against four levels of applications: urban mobility, long distance corridors, multi-modal hubs and system level.
The outline research programme for the challenges has been proposed between 2017 and 2030 and beyond and identified according to TRL levels of ≤ 5, 6-8 and 9. For some early-stage applications considerable fundamental research will need to be undertaken, followed by development and testing, with deployment towards 2030, whilst other technologies are more advanced or are more mature in other sectors and deployment could be possible in the early to mid-2020s.

A cross-modal Working Group has been set up to develop a roadmap for the whole transport sector and set the agenda for further improvement of cross-modal research development innovation.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

At the beginning of the FOX (and USE-IT) project, a preliminary investigation into the different technologies and approaches in all transport modes in the various topic areas (for FOX: construction, maintenance, inspection, recycling and reuse; for USE-IT: user information, safety and security, energy and carbon) was performed. A considerable number of these technologies were validated and improved with stakeholder interviews and a stakeholder workshop in January 2016. These technologies were then prioritised by the partners, along with further interviews and a second stakeholder workshop held in September 2016. A prerequisite was that each challenge covers at least two transport mode, resulting in a total of 42 challenges identified across the four topic areas in FOX and the three topic areas in USE-It).
As a means of keeping the project active beyond the funding period, it will be facilitated by the FORx4 (Forever Open Road, Rail, River and Runway) initiative. It was a stated aim in the proposal that FEHRL will use the output roadmap to help build the vision of FORx4 and to develop a comprehensive FORx4 roadmap and it is considered that in the longer term, there will be a benefit from incorporating the FOX and USE-IT roadmaps into a larger scheme that pre-dates the CSAs and which will go on for several years. This will both help in ensuring that the results of the project are implemented and exploited following the end of the projects, whilst also benefiting from being associated with the existing FORx4 and FOR (Forever Open Road) brands.
The various industry partners will use the roadmaps generated by FOX to inform their internal business plans and their own industry sector plans, as many members of FEHRL are also members of other technology platforms. It is anticipated that certain organisations will use the roadmaps to inform research priorities at a national or regional level.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The project has produced a number of specific outputs. They include:
a) Collation of reports in each of the four topic areas (construction, maintenance, inspection, recycling and reuse) on the common challenges and opportunities across the modes and domains.
b) For each topic area, the project has developed a set of common research challenges, which covers at least two transport modes.
c) The project has developed a Roadmap detailing the research strategies and implementation stages to ensure greater co-modal cooperation on customer, safety, security and energy matters.
The final results of the FOX project (Summary results of project including recommendations) will be disseminated to public and private transport infrastructure operators, research funders and providers, construction and technology companies amongst others, as a document produced and endorsed by their peers on the challenges and opportunities facing the transport sector and will help inform their research and investment decisions.
One of the key outputs of the project, the development of multi-modal (at least two modes) research calls, will be used as an investment plan to both research funders and as an investment or strategy document for public and private infrastructure owners and operators and contractors.

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