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FOSTER-ROAD Report Summary

Project ID: 605339
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: Austria

Final Report Summary - FOSTER-ROAD (Future of Surface Road Transport European Resarch)

Executive Summary:
The FOSTER-ROAD project supported the European Technology Platform ERTRAC (the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council) to create and implement the needed research and innovation strategies for a sustainable and competitive European road transport system. Linking all relevant stakeholders FOSTER-ROAD provided the consensus-based plans and roadmaps addressing the key societal, environmental, economic and technological challenges in areas such as connected and automated driving, road transport safety, urban mobility, long distance freight transport, global competitiveness and all issues related to energy and environment such as the electrification of road transport.
The FOSTER-ROAD activities covered project monitoring, strategic research agendas, impact assessment and innovation plans, coordination of research on European and national level. They included multi-modal issues as well as comprehensive dissemination activities.
Overall it can be stated that FOSTER-ROAD provided excellent opportunities to maintain, strengthen and widen the activities to further develop the multi-stakeholder road transport research area, for the high-quality research of societal and industrial relevance in Europe.

Project Context and Objectives:
The context of the FOSTER-ROAD project was derived from the mission of the European Technology Platform ERTRAC, which is to provide the framework to overcome the challenges facing the sector and:
• Provide a strategic vision for the road transport sector with respect to research and development.
• Define strategies and roadmaps to achieve this vision through the formulation and maintenance of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), roadmaps and implementation plans.
• Stimulate effective public and private investment in road transport research and development.
• Contribute to improving coordination between the European, national, regional public and private R&D activities on road transport.
• Enhance the networking and clustering of Europe's research and development capacities.
• Promote European commitment to research and technological development, ensuring that Europe remains an attractive region for researchers, and enhancing the global competitiveness of the transport industries.
The key objectives were to achieve consensus amongst a broad range on stakeholders represented in ERTRAC and other relevant bodies. These objectives were achieved within the course of the project, communicated to all relevant transport stakeholders, and presented widely at international conferences such as the ERTRAC conferences, the Transport Research Arena conferences, Intelligent Transport Systems conferences etc.
Through this activity, FOSTER-ROAD made a tangible contribution, through the alignment of public and private research activities, towards the step changes / radical technology changes that are urgently needed to address the challenges facing Europe today and in the future.

Key objectives were:
• RTD project monitoring and project outcome analysis
• Presentation of innovations from selected EC-funded RTD projects
• Investigation of success factors and barriers for innovations and the commercialization of RTD results
• Stakeholder input for Horizon 2020 workprogrammes
• Development of RTD roadmaps by ERTRAC working groups and task forces
• Intermodal activities with ETPs ERRAC, WATERBORNE, ALICE, ACARE
• Support of national ERTRAC technology platforms
• Support of networking activities with other stakeholders in the transport sector as well as with the EC, EP and national representatives
• Support various ERTRAC awareness and dissemination activities

Project Results:
FOSTER-ROAD was structured in five workpackages, which reflected the main activities of a European Technology Platform in its implementation phase. Major elements of the work plan were seen in specific activities to support EC’s instrument of “open method of coordination“, to reduce the existing fragmentation in European road transport research.

Monitoring of Projects and Fostering Innovation
This workpackage contributed to some of the most important policies in the European Research Area. It focused on the reduction of the existing fragmentation of European road transport research and better coordination of parallel or complementary initiatives. The aim of Work Package 1 was to monitor road transport research projects from European and national programmes. The activities focused on technological and the societal challenges as well as the project results’ potential for successful innovations.
Main results:
A comprehensive survey addressing success factors and barriers for innovations and the commercialization of RTD results in automotive sector.
The co-organization of several expert workshops focused on the outcomes of EC-funded projects.
An overview of successful innovations from EC-funded RTD projects.

Strategic Road Transport Research Priorities
The aim of this work package was the discussion and definition of the research needs of the road transport system in Europe and to create roadmaps and implementation plans for the challenges already visible or coming ahead. The work was supported by the ERTRAC working groups Energy & Environment, Road Transport Safety, Urban Mobility, Long Distance Freight Transport, Global Competitiveness, Connected and Automated Driving and the Electrification Task Force.
Main results:
ERTRAC Integrated Approach for CO2 Reduction Measures
Various ERTRAC RTD roadmaps
Recommendations for the Horizon 2020 Transport work programmes
Clustering of multi-modal research and innovation issues

Cooperation and Networking
A very important job for the success of ERTRAC and the implementation of its roadmaps and recommendations is wide-ranging networking and comprehensive collaborations with all involved stakeholder groups. This was organized in a separate workpackage. The activities included the exchange of information and planning of joint activities with the complementary transport-related European Technology Platforms ERRAC, WATERBORNE, ALICE, ACARE. It also addressed the exchange with EARPA, EUCAR and CLEPA and other associations which were not partners in the consortium. Further FOSTER-ROAD continued to foster the links to ERTRAC state representatives and the national technology platforms and to facilitate their interaction. Since 2005 ERTRAC has been regularly updating a survey of Member State research programmes in road transport research. This overview is an excellent document to compare national activities with EU activities and ERTRAC’s research priorities and to draw conclusions for reducing fragmentation of research and increasing the harmonisation of funding programmes. The latest edition was published in 2016.

Dissemination activities
This Work package dealt with the communication of the project results and supported ERTRAC dissemination activities in general. This was key to a successful implementation of ERTRAC’s road transport research priorities and implementation plans. The tasks covered a dissemination strategy and creation of a graphic identity for ERTRAC, dedicated webtools, publications, press, media, and presence at events as well as event organization.

Potential Impact:
FOSTER-ROAD supported ERTRAC’s holistic approach for achieving a 50% more efficient road transport system until 2050. FOSTER-ROAD contributed in many ways to this. The successful dissemination of deliverables to the relevant stakeholders will strengthen the European Research Area for transport research and consequently deliver innovations for a globally competitive European transport industry. Technological leadership remains the key competitive factor of the European industry on the global scale.
In order to achieve the expected impact it is obvious that the successful implementation of results requires a European and a joint national approach. It must continue bringing together the leading European stakeholders in transport research to monitor projects, develop roadmaps, and support their implementation. They will then contribute to an optimisation of research and innovation strategies, to the improvement of communication, dissemination and use of results as well as to the definition of relevant transport policies. A key instrument for the implementation is Horizon2020 and the next European Framework Programme, but also ERA-NET calls, joint programming initiatives, EUREKA and national and regional actions will benefit. Implementing the results in programme calls which lead to RTD projects and successful technology innovations will have significant positive impact on the road transport system’s challenges.
Main dissemination activities:

FOSTER-ROAD has provided significant support to ERTRAC’s communication activities: A refreshed design has been developed and also been applied all across ERTRAC’s dissemination activities.
ERTRAC’s new website has become a valuable tool not only as a platform collecting information about ERTRAC but also as a tool to engage with people interested in ERTRAC and its roadmaps and research agendas. This is proven by the number of people proactively subscribing for ERTRAC news mailings and those using the website to register for ERTRAC events. ERTRAC’s social media presence has shown to be relevant and is ready to be taken to its next level.
ERTRAC’s partnership with Euractiv has shown to be a key component to increase visibility across European road transport stakeholders. Euractiv is a news platform specialized on European affairs. FOSTER-ROAD facilitated the publication of a significant number ERTRAC research roadmaps. The following roadmaps have been finalized during FOSTER-ROAD and been professionally laid out, printed and disseminated:
• Energy Carriers for Powertrains: Feb 2014
• Urban Freight Roadmap: Jan 2015
• Automated Driving Roadmap: July 2015
• Future Light and Heavy Duty ICE Powertrain Technologies: June 2016
• Urban Mobility Roadmap: January 2017
ERTRAC has been visibly present at many more than the targeted minimum 25 events during FOSTER-ROAD. The target to publish at least 6 articles or interviews in European magazines, newspaper or national print or online media has also been exceeded.
ERTRAC has benefited from the support to disseminate roadmaps, success stories, infographics and the further development of social media presence.
FOSTER-ROAD supported the ERTRAC in the organization of the TRA 2014 and 2016 conferences as well as in organising the ERTRAC conference 2015.
Furthermore the project results were disseminated vie key note speeches, presentations, podium discussions at many events.

FOSTER-ROAD support has made ERTRAC stand out on communication in the range of European Technology Platforms. The tools and knowledge are now available to further enhance ERTRAC’s reach with the help of FUTURE-RADAR, and to extend support activities to include the European Green Vehicles Initiative EGVI.

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