Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

AM4INFRA Report Summary

Project ID: 713793
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AM4INFRA (Common Framework for a European Life Cycle based Asset Management Approach for transport infrastructure networks)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2017-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Achieving a well-integrated, optimal performing transport infrastructure network in Europe is a key element in the White Paper on Transport’s overall ambition for a single European Transport Area in 2050. As such it complements and supports the pillars on efficient and sustainable transport means and operations.

The required integration and enhancement of the European transport infrastructure networks needs a shift towards next levels of governance capabilities that can adequately address the key societal challenges. In the framework of this CSA on a life cycle based asset management approach for transport infrastructure networks, these challenges are related to:
• An unprecedented call for network capacity and performance
• An unprecedented call for transparent, coherent and consistent decision making on cost-performance

The (mostly public) financing of the transport infrastructure system has met with concrete fiscal limits. Already in many countries in the EU, this has led to a backlog in maintenance and replacement. Unless decisive actions are taken on network construction, maintenance and operations, this trend will result in mounting congestion losses in the economic powerhouses on the short term and to prohibitive obstructions in transport flows across the European transport network on the medium term. This calls for cross asset, cross modal and cross border decision making by the appropriate authorities, implying their close coordination and collaboration. The precondition for this is transparency to each other as well as to policy and society. This requires them to share a common vision and objectives, in a common language and from a common information base.
The governance challenge is to provide the key stakeholders in the infrastructure governance with appropriate data, methods and tools in order to enable their decision making on cost-performance to be transparent, coherent and consistent across the assets, across the modes, and across the borders.

The overall objective of this CSA is to launch a life cycle and risk based Asset Management framework approach enabling effective governance of transport infrastructure networks across Europe. The framework approach will be supported by data management tools that ensure transparency and compatibility of optimization and collaboration actions of the infrastructure authorities within the modes, across the modes and across Europe.

The common framework will pave the way towards an integrated agenda such that it allows smooth functioning of the European transport networks, providing outstanding value for stakeholders and customers.

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

Transport infrastructure is one of the main pillars of European society and economy and hence is subject to key national (and European) policies on mobility. The policy directions for the design, management and operation of infrastructure are closely linked to social issues such as availability and affordability of mobility, to environmental aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions and nature protection, or health issues.

This line of sight, across which decisions on policy objectives/KPIs are ultimately translated into decisions on the condition and performance of the individual assets in the network, is the focus of WP1.

In a first action this line of sight has been defined, distinguishing the essential roles and responsibilities carrying its consistent and coherent functioning. Around it, the framework was conceived including the two core elements supporting its functionality: models for risk and whole life cycle costing/management based decision making (WP 2) and data dictionaries, structures/architectures and systems (WP3).

In a second action the guidelines for application of this line of sight were drafted. In combination with the activities and deliverables from WP 2, identifying good practices and demonstrable case examples of practices suitable for adoption by Road Administrators in Europe and from WP3, a design of an IT solution for a common core system for asset management, these form the package of which the common framework approach consists.

The various dissemination and communication tools used in the 1st year of the project which includes the leaflet, newsletter, press release and website have been effective in making the project and its results known to stakeholders. A dissemination and communication plan has been developed to provide the required and timely information about the project to the stakeholders.

In the next period the framework architecture, design and whole life cost and risk based models will be tested through three living labs.

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)

This CSA will support the infrastructure authorities in their decision making and planning as it helps to identify the priorities on basis of (remaining) cost-performance and service levels. In other words: the CSA will innovate the decision making by the authorities to the extent that the hinder on traffic is optimised on the basis of transparent, coherent and consistent considerations that can be better communicated to society.
The roll out of a common European life cycle and risk Asset Management based framework approach brings clear benefits for asset owners, asset managers, and service providers:
• improved overall knowledge of the status and the comprehensive value of the infrastructure assets within and across the modes, as well as the planning of future maintenance needs; this information facilitates management decisions;
• relevant and objective information based on asset value that is accessible to all participants in the decision-making process, which helps improve information flows and relationships with shareholders on the basis of detailed factual information about transport infrastructure;
• improved understanding of the value created by the NIA in the long term, measured in terms of the overall increase/decrease in asset value, including the environmental asset in the immediate vicinity of the infrastructure ;
• improved control of maintenance expenditures, which gives NIAs greater knowledge of a specific section of the transport infrastructure network being maintained and the relevant time-frame. Clear interlinkages with expected Level of Service (LoS) and provision of a goal-driven system;
• increased capability of prioritisation of future expenditures/investments (both initial investment and future maintenance expenditures on e.g. renewal, safety and the environment) on the basis of the defined framework, taking into consideration all the intertwined elements from different management areas; consideration of maintenance options or combinations of optimum options in order to reach expected LoS and management objectives;
• enhanced evaluation of the risks involved in maintenance projects, also using 'what-if' and sensitivity analysis tools and outlining the 'cost of doing nothing' for NIAs and their stakeholders;
• potential for enhanced dialogue and negotiation with shareholders, based on relevant and comprehensive information, risk analysis, prioritisation, and interlinkages with LoS;
• potentially improved 'buy-in' from shareholders and other decision-making bodies, especially in terms of future budget allowances;
• effective benchmarking and best practice dissemination of NIAs' strategies and activities, based on the overall value of the transport infrastructure network.

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