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ERADIATE Report Summary

Project ID: 621386
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Slovakia

Periodic Report Summary 3 - ERADIATE (Enhancing Research and innovAtion dimension of the University of Zilina in intelligent transport systems)

Project Context and Objectives:
The ERA Chair project “Enhancing Innovation and Research dimensions of the University of Zilina in Intelligent Transport Systems” (ERAdiate) has the overarching objective to unlock and strengthen the research potential and promote excellence of the University of Žilina (UNIZA) as well as the Zilina convergence region in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).
The ERAdiate mission has been formulated as follows:
1. To contribute to scientific excellence in ITS and support regional innovation strategies fostering economic and social development.
2. To build an attractive and internationally competitive environment at UNIZA through the development of human resources and maximisation of research infrastructure exploitation.
The main objectives of ERAdiate are to:
- Unlock and strengthen UNIZA research potential in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS);
- Promote excellence of the University of Zilina (UNIZA) as well as the Zilina convergence region in the field of ITS;
- Enhance transnational cooperation in research thus increasing international competitiveness of UNIZA;
- Intensify national and international cooperation with stakeholders;
- Contribute to growth and jobs in line with regional innovation strategies.
The ERAdiate project intends to help UNIZA become an ITS research and innovation leader in Central Europe.
ERAdiate is developing significant ITS topics with international recognition and creates a recognized footprint. The project focuses on societal challenges, political goals, long term strategies, sustainable solutions, technological and societal development to determine future “market demand”.
The relevant fields in research and innovation (R&I) tackled by the project are:
1. Co-operative ITS
2. Decarbonisation of Mobility
3. Urban Mobility / Smart City
4. Intermodal ITS
5. Cross-cutting issues: Mobility indicators, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Travel behavior.
Key fields represent a major issue within ITS, that is yet unsolved, in which technology and innovation play a significant role, and that are in the focus of societal development. As such, they represent the “(future) market demand” which pulls research and innovation, a corresponding funding, and market opportunities, respectively. At the other hand, they bear technological risk that can be mitigated in co-operation with scientific research.
The project addresses major challenges such as creating competitive environment, increasing of critical mass of excellent researchers, significant improvement of the UNIZA performance in competitive research funding, implementation of the ERA culture and contribution to growth and jobs based on the SMART specialization strategies.
Systematic development of human resources (notably attracting highly experienced international experts and increasing the critical mass of excellent researchers in ITS), effective exploitation of research infrastructures and structural changes within UNIZA are the key instruments to reach the ERAdiate objectives.
Project Results:
During the third reporting period activities were performed almost in all WPs, except WP2, which finished during the first period of the project. Activities were also performed in WP3, namely in Tasks T3.2 ERA Chair Team organizational structure setup and T3.3 Internal ERA Chair Team member selection procedure, even though this WP should have been finished by month 24. Dissemination is another important objective covered in the third period within WP7. The main achievements of WP4, WP5 and WP6 have been presented in the Deliverables D4.1 Strategy for Sustainable growth, D5.1 Guide for preparation and implementation of R&I projects and D6.1 Procedural model for the ERAdiate spill-over effect.
In terms of contribution to scientific excellence in ITS and support regional innovation strategies fostering economic and social development, the ERAdiate results are on a high level.
In terms of projects, ERAdiate has acquired:
- H2020-MG-2016-2017 Research and Innovation Action (RIA) MoTiV – Mobility and Time Value as coordinator. It is the only H2020 RIA coordinated by an academic institution in Slovakia.
- SIMMARC (Safety IMprovement using near Miss Analysis on Road Crossings), the project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).
- Decentralised real-time electric vehicle charging: optimality, fairness and resilience, the project funded by Alan Turing Institute - Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
- EC DG MOVE Tender on Technical support related to sustainable urban mobility indicators, to which UNIZA contributes as subcontractor and act as additional “Urban Area Coach”.
ERAdiate has also contributed to the project proposal acquired by UNIZA:
- H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016: SENSIBLE - SENSors and Intelligence in BuiLt Environment, which aims to develop novel information sensing research and innovation approaches for acquiring, communicating and processing a large volume of heterogeneous datasets.
ERAdiate organised two international research conferences:
- International conference "Intelligent Transport Systems: a Tool or a Toy?" - Research and innovation opportunities and challenges for autonomous driving and new transport models, held in Žilina on 22-23 November 2016. The conference was held under the auspices of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
- INTSYS 2017 – “Intelligent Transport Systems – From research and development to the market uptake” held on 29-30 November in Hyvinkää, Finland as a co-located scientific event of the SmartCity 360˚ Summit and was organised in cooperation with the European Alliance for Innovation (EAI).
In cooperation with the Slovak Scientific and Technical Information Centre (CVTI SR), ERAdiate organised the UNIZA Grants Week “Maximise your chances of success in research applications!”, which was s held on 19 – 21 September 2017 at UNIZA. As a part of the Grants Week, a reception with 7 Slovak SMEs was organised to exchange the knowledge on potential joint research topics. In addition, four seminars have been organised covering different areas of ITS.
The Deliverable D5.1 ''Guide for Preparation and Implementation of R&I projects’’, has been made publicly available for a research community at UNIZA and beyond.
The ERAdiate team made a significant effort to promote scientific excellence and to disseminate knowledge to academic and non-academic stakeholders, both in Slovakia and internationally. In total, 24 scientific papers have been published by ERAdiate: 11 publications have been peer-reviewed and 3 papers were published in high-impact journals. The ERAdiate team has been also very active in the ITS community by attending relevant events in the field. A total of 38 talks and presentations have been given by the ERAdiate team members.
To increase awareness on the significance of ITS research and its applications for society and the economy, the ERAdiate team has been active in conveying to the general public the results of its activities through multiple media channels, including social media. Thanks to its achievements, the ERAdiate team has gained visibility in Slovak and international media. This contributed to public awareness on the status and future outlook of ITS research and innovation at UNIZA, in the region of Žilina and in Slovakia.
In terms of building an attractive and internationally competitive environment at UNIZA, ERAdiate delivered two reports addressing different aspects to be considered by UNIZA: D4.1 Strategy for Sustainable growth and D6.1 Procedural model for the ERAdiate spill-over effect.
Potential Impact:
The ERAdiate project is expected to have the following impacts:

Impacts on Research and Innovation
- Unlock and stimulate UNIZA’s research potential in ITS;
- Increase awareness about UNIZA’s ITS research activities in the European Research Area;
- More effective management of research and innovation at UNIZA;
- Enhanced international competitiveness of UNIZA by means of transnational co-operation;
- Increased participation of UNIZA in European research and development programmes;
- More intensive national and international cooperation with stakeholders, especially innovative business partners, research institutions and professional associations.

Institutional and Structural Changes
- Strategy for sustainable development of ITS human resources and research infrastructures at UNIZA;
- Integration of ERA priorities into UNIZA processes, including open recruitment, gender balance, peer review, and doctoral training.

Impacts on Regional Development
- Stronger interaction with regional and national authorities in designing and implementing research and innovation strategies and policies for the SMART specialization;
- Direct contribution to regional and national development plans;
- Effective contribution to the regional economic and social development.
- Active contribution to public awareness on the status and future outlook of ITS research and innovation at UNIZA, in the region of Žilina and in Slovakia.
- Increased awareness on the significance of ITS research and its applications for society and the economy.

The results of the ERAdiate project will be exploited not only within UNIZA but also by other regional stakeholders. The execution of the ERAdiate project will enhance UNIZA and the Zilina region performance in research, innovation as well as education for the benefits of enlarged European Union.
The ERAdiate strategy encompasses activities that create the boundary conditions for UNIZA to obtain excellence in the field of ITS, that contain the gathering and provision of appropriate information and networks as well as the initiation and supporting of institutional and structural changes within the university. These activities can be assigned to one or more of the following strategy areas:
1. R&I field identification
2. Key stakeholder identification
3. Investigate and Take Opportunities
4. Institutional precondition building
5. Communication.
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