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Final Report Summary - ENR2 (ERA-NET ROAD II)

Executive summary:

ERA-NET ROAD II (ENR2) is a Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) funded project that aimed to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in road research by coordinating national and regional road research programmes and policies. ENR2 ran from 1 May 2009 to 31 December 2011. The common willingness, trust, understanding, and commitment of the participating countries in ENR1 brought extra value to transnational cooperation for partners of ENR2. Its ambition was to step up the level of cooperation among the participating national road research administrations by means of joint transnational calls.

The main objectives of ENR2 were to embed the culture of and further broaden collaborative road research, establish a permanent structure that would take forward the ERA for road research after completion of the project, pave the way towards achieving an expenditure of 10 % of the research budget of the national road administrations on transnational funded collaborative research by 2013.

These goals were successfully achieved. Priorities for transnational research were identified, and cooperation across Europe enhanced and dissemination of research results strongly promoted. Two transnational research calls were successfully organised in 2010 (EUR 2.6 million budget) and 2011 (EUR 5.1 million budget). As a result of several dissemination initiatives and strong networking, altogether twenty-one countries ended in collaborating in the project and, in addition, non ENR2 countries participated in the different calls initiated by ENR2. A publicly accessible database called Road research access facility (RRAF), incorporating completed, on-going and planned activities, was created and linked to other existing databases. The aim is to reduce duplication of research efforts thus reducing costs at a European level. ENR2 partners also were very active in liaising with other public and private stakeholders, through the European technology platforms in transport research among others.

In order to ensure the continuity of this European collaborative research, a permanent structure was founded under CEDR, which has formally expressed support for the ENR initiative and transnational research: the CEDR TGR TPM, or Transnational programme meeting (TPM), which operates in the form of a subgroup within CEDR's technical research group. Several joint transnational research calls were organised, using a well-thought toolkit setting procedures for transnational procurement of research and transnational funding. The call 2012 was developed by CEDR TGR TPM with the support of ENR2 partners and a call 2013 is further envisaged.

Project context and objectives:

Embed the culture of transnational collaborative road research in the participant organisations

To increase the necessary support from national road administrations, a Network steering group (NSG), made up of senior national road administration representatives, liaised with their road administrations at national level so as to identify priorities for transnational research, enhance research programme cooperation across Europe and promote dissemination of research results so that they could be used and put into practice. The NSG also ensured the sound financial and policy management of the project. ENR 2 partners ensured that coordination between the owners of the national and regional road research programmes from both within and outside the consortium was broadened and deepened. To that effect they promoted the ENR concept through the Conference of European directors of roads (CEDR), at its executive level and within its Technical group on research (TGR). This effort was successful and CEDR agreed in 2010 to promote and pursue the transnational programming initiative as its own.

One of ENR2's legacy deliverables is the toolkit which was handed over to CEDR. It encapsulates the procedures, templates and to-do lists that have been tried and tested in ENR2, and that CEDR now uses to develop further transnational research programmes when CEDR members agree that pursuing a new call would be worthwhile.

In order to achieve the objective and further develop the knowledge base, ENR2 built up the RRAF as a publicly accessible web-based portal. The aim of the RRAF is to link to fact sheets about completed, ongoing and planned activities in road research at a national and European level. The main objectives of this RRAF are to identify commonalities between needs and projects, reduce duplication of the research effort and facilitate the definition of common topics in order to develop future transnational collaboration beyond the current partners in the future. It is therefore envisaged that it will also provide an important source of information to industry and other stakeholders, thus assisting with possible collaboration and avoidance of duplication of research. During the extended period of the project, the RRAF was improved with the development of additional features, thus providing high quality information. The RRAF was presented at different dissemination events and has known an increase of users over the past few months. At the end of the ENR2 projects the RRAF linked to more than 4 932 projects.

Further broaden joint research procurement for transnational collaborative road research beyond the current fifteen countries and two regions

In the first phase of the first ENR the fundamental principal of openness to new partners had already been applied. Throughout the ENR2 project several new initiatives were launched to introduce more countries to the concept and opportunities offered by an ENR2 partnership or associated membership. The associated countries and organisations mainly targeted were from central and eastern Europe.

These initiatives included the annual plenary group (a new development in ENR2), targeted seminars in European Union (EU) countries, strong networking activities with external thematic networks and presentations at national and international conferences. Representatives of several countries such as Iceland, South Africa, America took part in the September 2010 ENR plenary group meeting. The second plenary group meeting, or final dissemination conference, took place in Paris on 17 November 2011. It brought together the organisations involved in road related transport research in Europe such as FEHRL, EARPA. The aim of this second plenary group was to provide networking, dissemination and information exchange regarding transnational cooperation experiences, projects and priorities. The ENR2 partners had the opportunity to present their results on ENR activities to the stakeholders, as well as presenting their plans on how to best use the results of the project.

Three national / regional roadshows were organised in 2011: Slovenia, Germany and Norway. They proved quite fruitful as they publicised the achievements of ENR2 and made the concept of transnational research more widely known.

Several countries showed a deep interest in joining the consortium, however the project ended with 21 partners, with, in addition, CEDR being an associate partner. It is essential to note that many research organisations from non-ENR2 countries participated in the different calls initiated by ENR2 as well, thus broadening the scope further.

Establish a permanent structure that will take forward the ERA for road research after completion of the project

A great amount of work was done to ensure a future of the network and to propose a new structure. ENR2 was a two year project and was initially planned to end on 30 April 2011. During the second period of the project, the consortium deepened the reflexion about options for continuation of the activities after the end of the contract with the European Commission. As a result, the project was extended to 31 December 2011. The preferred option was to have the CEDR take over the structures developed by ENR2. This was formally agreed by CEDR, i.e. the Conference of European Directors of Roads, who agreed to promote and pursue the transnational programming initiative as its own.

A TPM structure was set up which now supports smarter collaborative working in Europe. The TPM operates in the form of a subgroup within CEDR's TGR providing the higher level strategic steer.

In order to facilitate the transition to the CEDR through a number of developments and activities, ENR2 partners gave full support to the new structure and its permanent secretariat, through the provision of advice, guidance, and assistance in coordinating its activities. By the end of ENR2 the new organisational structure had become self-sustaining and is working towards increasing expenditure of the national road administration research procurement budgets on transnationally funded collaborative research.

This permanent structure made it possible for ENR2 to initiate a further transnational research call 2012 which was then pursued within CEDR. The TPM secretariat was heavily involved in the organisation of the experts' workshops which took place in London at the end of November 2011 to select the themes for the call.

A new call 2013 is further envisaged by CEDR.

Pave the way towards achieving a greater research budget of the national road administrations on transnationally funded collaborative research

As owners of road research programmes, the partners in ENR2ensured that coordination between the owners of the national and regional road research programmes from both within and outside the consortium was broadened and deepened. This will pave the way towards achieving an expenditure of 10 % of the national road administrations research budgets on transnationally funded collaborative research by 2013. The key objective of ENR2 cooperation was to design and organise joint transnational research calls with a real common pot funding mechanism. In order to achieve this objective a toolkit of procedures for transnational procurement of research including a model for transnational funding of research has been developed. This toolkit has been trialled and proved to work. A transnational call was launched each year throughout the ENR2 project, with significant and increasing budgets.

Two programme calls had been published within the first ENR: in 2008 for a total budget of EUR 1.5 million on road owners getting to grips with climate change and in 2009 for a total budget of EUR 1.5 million on safety at the heart of road design. These programmes are now closed and all research reports are available.

ENR2 successfully organised further transnational road research calls, thus demonstrating the commitment of funding road administrations and their confidence that the initiative was delivering significant leverage, added value and trust.

- A call was published in 2010 for a total budget of EUR 2.85 million on effective asset management meeting future challenges. This programme is ongoing, interim reports and information are available and final research reports should be available at the beginning of 2013.
- A call was published in 2011 for a total budget of EUR 5.1 million on several topics on mobility, design, energy. This programme is ongoing, interim reports and information are available and final research reports should be available at the beginning of 2014.
- A new transnational road research call was developed in late 2011 to be pursued in 2012 under CEDR governance. To that effect, three Thematic Workshops were organised in London (UK) at the end of 2011. This Call 2012 is being implemented within CEDR and was published in spring 2012. It covers three research themes: road safety, environment, maximising accessibility of road systems, with 15 sub-themes. The tentative budget is estimated at 4.35 MEUR.
- A new call 2013 is now being envisaged within CEDR, which shows that the enthusiasm initiated in ENR is still going strongly.

Liaise with other public and private stakeholders in transport research programming in Europe

ENR2 actively supported the future development of a coherent European road research area. ENR2 built up and expanded the general networking activities with other strategic and thematic networks, public and private stakeholder groups in road research policy in Europe and in third countries. To that end ENR2 linked extensively with a number of research stakeholders, such as ERTRAC, FEHRL, ERA network (ERA-NET) transport. From the start there has been close contact and solid cooperation with ERA-NET transport and, in that respect, ENR2 coordinated its calls with them so as to avoid any overlaps.

It is worth mentioning that ENR2 has also been able to develop good working contacts with partners in the United States, and analysed a possible collaboration with the national cooperative highway research programme. Joint definition of topics and joint programming endeavours were discussed as definite possibilities and might come to fruition in the future under the aegis of CEDR.

Any other information concerning ENR2 can be found on the website

Project results:

The diversity in the size of the research budgets within European countries means that collaborative research enables those countries with smaller budgets to benefit from research procured by the countries with the larger budgets. It also encourages them to develop their own research programmes that complement those developed by countries with larger research budgets. Therefore, collaborative research and in particular transnationally funded collaborative research, including money crossing borders, is beneficial to all the national road administrations across Europe. By working together in this way, national road administrations develop common approaches to tackling common problems concerned with the operation and management of their road networks. Implementation of shared knowledge will lead to the development of common methods of working which will result in increased standardisation across Europe.

During the ENR2 project, joint activities and funding of joint transnational collaborative research were further implemented through joint calls and common programmes. The procedures for identifying areas of common interest for collaboration were further developed through joint programming and the culture of transnational collaborative research by joint research procurement was embedded in the national road administrations to adopt these as business as usual.

The project ENR2 addressed in full the aims listed in the work programme text of the sustainable surface transport call:

1. Broadening the geographical scope of the ENR by the inclusion of new member countries in the network.
2. Intensifying cooperation by launching new joint activities: joint calls and ERANET+
3. Strengthening the dissemination of road research results at the national and European level.
4. Structuring public support activities for road research in Europe to increase complementarities; with a focus on joint priority setting and a better coordinated research support portfolio.
5. Implementation of joint actions in particular in the field of road network operation research in attendance of the research themes and management procedures defined in ENR1.
6. Liaising with the relevant European technology platforms (ERTRAC, ECTP and EIRAC) to increase coordination with respect to the implementation of the Strategic research agenda (SRA)s in this area.
7. Liaising with the ongoing ERA-NET Transport to come to an integrated policy approach and a common platform to coordinate research programmes and funding activities.

These aims were addressed through five WPs as described below:

3.1 WP1: Organisation of joint calls

WP1 built on the achievements of ENR1 and increased the number and size of joint calls for collaborative research. It also increased the number of countries involved. Initially it developed the research areas identified in ENR1 taking account of changes in priorities that have occurred during the period between ENR1 and ENR2 and the views of the new partners in the consortium. As the project progressed, account was taken of developments in identifying new work programmes. The Commission was advised if an opportunity arose that would be suitable for an ERA-NET plus project.

The main objectives of this WP were to:

- identify, implement and monitor joint actions on road research through two calls of three and six million euros, respectively, with transnational funding;
- encourage wider participation in collaborative research by joint research procurement;
- demonstrate the benefits of cross-border collaborative research and joint research procurement;
-investigate contributions and benefits from best practice of other ERA-NETs through the ERA-NET Learning Platform.

3.1.1 Collaborative road research and joint calls

The outcome of transnational road research is the result of the selected projects within the road research programme. As not all research programmes initiated in ENR are finished the impact of these road research programmes is not fully known. Nevertheless, we can now state that joint research programmes initiated by national road organisations brings more benefits to the national road organisations than procuring research projects alone. The benefits of the ENR and ENR2 initiated joint calls are:

- Bigger research budgets and better value for money: transnational research collaboration with cross-border funding represents investment in good value for money.
- Reduced duplication of research: transnational research collaboration enables to compare the national road organisations national programmes and avoid duplication of research, by using the coordination procedure new model structure - see deliverables D3.2 'Effectiveness of implementation and embedment of model structure' and D2.3 'Evaluation of the road research access facility'.
- Exchange of knowledge, information and best international practice: ENR encourages national road administrations to approach research collaboratively, referring to national research programmes for issues unique to that country. As the problems and challenges are not unique to any nation, neither are the solutions. Therefore the participating countries have the opportunity to shape the objectives of the joint research to meet their own strategic needs and as a result national road organisations also benefit from the objectives of other participants.
- Improved quality of research: transnational consortium has more access to international information and knowledge than national consortia.
- Wider choice of suppliers and research providers: the number of the different participants has grown with every call. The research providers can exchange knowledge and see different views in Europe. National road organisations and research providers will be more aware of transnational road research in Europe.
- Dissemination and implementation of results: it is essential to disseminate the progress of the co-funded projects and to make information available for national road organisations, CEDR and other interested stakeholders. Sharing of the acquired research and implementation of knowledge are the end results and one of the main objectives of collaborative work.

WP1 has achieved its key objectives to initiate and perform two joint calls (management procedure) with a quite high research budget, in cooperation with WP3 which was responsible for the identification of common research areas and interest (coordination procedure).

3.1.2 call 2010

The first ENR2 joint call was dedicated to asset management. 13 national road administrations committed to participate in this European transnational joint research programme over its planned 3-year duration (May 2010 to June 2013). A commitment from each NRA comprised a statement that budgeted funds were available amounting on the financial contribution model. The topic was developed at a collaborative research planning expert workshop, held in Vienna on 28-29 September 2009, involving not only the participants of ENR2 but also the partners of CEDR. A task force was then set up to define a joint research programme and quickly reported the description of research needs.

This research programme became the call 2010 entitled 'Effective asset management meeting future challenges', with a total budget of EUR 5.004 million. A PEB member and deputy were appointed. The PEB was formally set up at the PEB kick-off meeting in Denmark in December 2009. The PEB was to agree upon and sign a collaboration agreement. This document is the firm contract between participating national road organisations. The Description of research needs is appended to the collaboration agreement. Once set up, the PEB took over the responsibility from ENR2 for the programme management. The call was launched on 29 January 2010 through the Supplement to the Official Journal of EU. The programme leadership was taken by Denmark, Danish Road Directorate, which agreed not to participate in the calls as a supplier (in accordance with ENR agreed principles). Twenty proposals were submitted resulting in seven projects being selected.

Further details on the call 2010 can be found in the deliverables D1.1 - 2010 joint call and D1.2 report on joint call 2010.

3.1.3 CALL 2011

The decision process on common research topics for the ENR2 call 2011 needed a close liaison with ENR2 WP3, which was working on the model structure continuing after ENR2. Therefore to initiate these three transnational joint calls within this call, the three common research topics were identified by the TPM with CEDR Technical research group (CEDR TGR) and approved by the ENR2 NSG and CEDR Executive Board (CEDR EB) and CEDR Governing board (CEDR GB). The call 2011 was organised from April to December 2010 and launched on 31 January 2011 through the Supplement to the official journal of EU (OJ S series). Common road research topics were collected and compiled among more than 1 100 projects / programmes of national road administrations. After three thematic workshops on 21-24 September 2010 in Vienna, three descriptions of research needs were proposed into three major topics:

- Mobility - getting the most out of intelligent infrastructure: The overall aim of this joint research programme is to improve the management of the European road network. The research focusses on identifying the challenges faced by national road administrations in embracing new techniques to get the most out of the existing network and assist road authorities in identifying feasible, valid and cost-effective solutions for key European roads. The programme is based on four objectives:

A. Impact assessment of Intelligent transport systems (ITS)
B. Effective distribution of road authority data
C. High quality traffic management / information data and incident detection
D. Implementation of short-term prediction

- Design rapid and durable maintenance methods and techniques: The overall aim of this research is to improve road conditions for the short and long term. The solutions have to be feasible, valid and cost-effective. The programme is based on three objectives developed with the concepts of:

A. Safely optimising road network availability during maintenance
B. Durable construction and maintenance methods
C. Strategies for reducing maintenance costs

- Energy - Sustainability and energy efficient management of roads: The overall aim of this research programme is to improve the common understanding and performance of sustainable development in the context of the road authorities:
a) to develop whole life consideration of sustainability and energy efficiency, decision making tools with practical application to all stages of road planning, design, construction and maintenance;
b) to address the need to assess the effects of operation, safety and durability, which will deliver improvements in the energy efficiency performance of the road asset. This programme is based on three objectives developed with the concepts of:

A. Sustainability: Develop a common understanding of sustainability and development of a rating system
B. Provide an energy efficient road infrastructure (construction, maintenance and operation)
C. Determine the most important road infrastructure characteristics which influence vehicle energy consumption

12 national road organisations committed to participate in one or more of the transnational joint research programmes over its planned three-year duration (January 2011 to December 2013), providing a total budget for the joint calls of EUR 5.13 million. Three different PEBs on each call were formally established by the PEBs kick-off meeting in Austria in December 2010. The programme management was taken by Austria, Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). The call was closed on 31 March 2011. In total 53 project proposals were submitted in the different programmes:

- Mobility: 22 proposals with 73 partners from 11 different countries
- Design: 20 proposals with 84 partners from 17 different countries
- Energy: 12 proposals with 42 partners from 13 different countries

Seven of those countries were not members of ENR. This proves openness of this cross-border funded joint research programme. Comparing with the joint call 2010, the interest of the national road administrations to road research topics has increased and will increase with CEDR in the future as well.

Each PEB on mobility, design and energy were jointly evaluated at the PEB selection meeting from 24 to 26 May 2011. The results were communicated to the project consortia in June 2011. The projects started once the negotiations were completed successfully. The call 2011 for proposals was based on the ENR toolkit, developed in ENR and was the success factor for the calls 2011, as it operates as a model for a successful collaborative road research. Full details of the call 2011 can be found in D.1.3 joint call 2011 and D1.4 report on joint call 2011, as well as on

3.1.4 Call 2012

A new transnational road research call was developed in late 2011 to be pursued in 2012 under CEDR governance, to demonstrate how successful embedment of the proposed transnational research procedures was within CEDR. ENR2 partners continued to give full support during this transition period as to assimilate the procedures set in place. WP1 and WP3 facilitated identification for this call. To that effect, three thematic workshops were organised in London (UK) in early December 2011. This call 2012 is being implemented within CEDR and was published in spring 2012. It covers three research themes: road safety, environment, maximising accessibility of road systems, with 15 sub-themes. The tentative budget is estimated at EUR 4.35 million.

3.1.5 Call 2013

A new call 2013 is now being envisaged within CEDR, which shows that the enthusiasm initiated in ENR is still going strongly.

3.1.6 Toolkit

The toolkit has been reviewed and now contains recommendations and suggestions on how to coordinate the identification of research topics of common interest, how to manage cross-border funded joint activities and how to disseminate the results. Full details of the upgraded toolkit and detailed procedures can be found in D1.6. In addition to the written toolkit several documents that were used in the past are provided for upcoming programme managers and the CEDR TGR. They are available on the CEDR website. More precisely, this upgraded toolkit covers the three procedures to be followed in order to collect ideas for topics, define the real needs before preparing and opening a call, and ensure a successful collaboration on conducting transnational research projects and its results:

- The coordination procedure identifies transnational research needs of common interest and topics.

- The management procedure introduces models of collaboration in seven steps: objectives, budget, call, selection, contracting, evaluation, and payment. When a topic of transnational interest is identified, the funding national road administrations establish a PEB which owns the programme. It consists of one representative of each participating national road administration. PEB members are experts in the topic of the programme. The programme manager, in charge of the administration of the programme, conducts an open call for proposals. The PEB selects the most appropriate proposed projects according to commonly predefined selection criteria. The programme manager awards the contracts to the jointly selected projects. The PEB evaluates the reports and results of the selected projects. At the end of a project and at certain project phases the programme manager pays the contractor and then the PEB members pay their share to the programme manager. Finally the involved national road administrations have equal ownership of the results.

The dissemination procedure is the most important procedure as it shows the results and makes them ready for implementation, hence enabling the identification of transnational research topics of common interest and other needs. It is therefore important to present the benefits of a project during the final conference, the programme report, the communication plan. There are three levels:
A. Expert-level: CEDR experts disseminate project results
B. Strategic-level: CEDR TGR / TPM decide on further research needs
C. High-level: CEDR EB / GB decide on implementation

The ENR toolkit has been used for four cross-border funded joint programmes since 2008 and, in particular, the ENR calls 2011 on mobility, design and energy have been identified and implemented using the new structure. The Toolkit is an instrument, not a goal in itself, to further stimulate that working in a European project should be as normal as working in a national project. It can help improve the quality of research, exchange of knowledge, reduce duplication of research and thus benefit from international best practices. Hence cooperation, but uppermost trust, understanding and commitment between national road administrations are a key to success. This toolkit being just an instrument, regular common meetings with focus on technical and strategic matters in a good social atmosphere are recommended as they are crucial for establishing confidence and trust. The other recommendation is the need of a strategic research road map in order to avoid overlapping of topics of a call. In the future the CEDR TGR TPM will keep the procedures going and carry on implementing the future model structure, i.e. to analyse, identify finished, ongoing and future road research topics to define common research topics for future joint calls regularly.

3.1.7 Conclusion

The details of the benefits of transnational collaborative research can be found in the deliverable D1.5 'Analyse measures for facilitating and assessing the benefits of trans-national collaborative research'. The way to narrow down the widen topics into a road research programme within the thematic workshops and setting up neutral task force is working and should be used. The time frame was very short and for future collaboration should be given more time, as well as accepting the internal decision processes of national road administrations. It should also be taken into consideration the time span of the calls and it is not compulsory to initiate a transnational call on road research every year. The collaboration agreement should be the legal binding document of every transnational research programme, signed by the funding parties. The performing and managing of the joint call is based on the monitoring procedure, which was adapted and working in all nine calls. The Monitoring Procedure is working very well at PEB and all road research programme objectives could be achieved by the project results. The dissemination and implementation of the project results is done with the first finished projects, nevertheless, the budgets could be higher.

3.2 WP2: Dissemination: access facility for road research

A review has been undertaken of existing mechanisms for disseminating road research and the findings used to define the requirements for a RRAF that meets the needs of programme owners and programme managers, as well as research organisations interested in submitting proposals and bids for tenders and all other organisations interested in the results of road research. To that effect, WP2 developed the RRAF for accessing information on road research results. This tool has been and will be used to assist programme managers in developing their research programmes and for identifying opportunities for collaborative research.

The main objectives of this WP were to:

- strengthen the dissemination of completed, on-going and planned activities in road research at the national and European level;
- develop and embed a road research access facility.

3.2.1 RRAF

The first task was to define the requirements which the RRAF should fulfil and to analyse the existing databases and knowledge centres. To that effect a first workshop with CEDR was held on 17 September 2009 in Paris. The results of this desk research can be found in the deliverable D2.1 'Definition of requirements for a road research access facility'. A users' reference group was subsequently created, involving potential users of the system and people very experienced in the use of databases, such as librarians of national road administrations. This group gave his support in the early stage of development and the requirements of the RRAF, then on the developed platform and the testing of the different features. D2.2 - RRAF implementation outlines the features of the RRAF which went on line on 17 May 2010

The RRAF provides access to information on completed, on-going and planned activities in road research at the regional, national, European and international levels, in order to help in developing, funding and managing research programmes and implementing their results. Information on research activities was collected in order to prepare the 2011 ENR2 call, being the first set of research data. The national research organisations have then been encouraged to update their information in the RRAF system. However, many of them do not feed their research information into external databases and have chosen to input their information manually. D2.3 'Evaluation of the road research access facility' gives more information on the embedment efforts and successes. The CEDR members have also been encouraged to enter their planned research into the RRAF in order to prepare for the call 2012.

The main tool of the RRAF is therefore the research projects module, which enables users to browse through available road research information. The facility is to provide assistance in following the four step approach of the toolkit for collaboration: easy and effective searching for research topics, a list of planned projects, the possibility to verify if appropriate research is planned, a facility that can determine whether a specific problem has been addressed before and by whom. Research projects can be filtered using different criteria. It also displays comments from users regarding the project and a form where registered users can post new comments. To enable communication among interested users, a news module has been developed. A special page with hyperlinks and a customised Google search to selected resources pages on the internet has been created within the RRAF.

The RRAF is a web-based application developed in PHP programming language that uses an MySQL database to store data. The application has been entirely developed by ZAG Ljubljana information technology department (Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute). The RRAF was furthermore updated with additional features: an automatic detection of the same or similar RRAF entries, export of data to an external website, additional connections to external websites and export of RRAF to a CVS file for analysis in Excel or a similar application. The RRAF database is now linked to the FEHRL Knowledge Centre, to ARAMIS, a Swiss transport research database, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ITRD and the research in progress which is part of the Transportation research board (TRB)'s Transport research international documentation (TRID). Efforts are also being made to link the RRAF to further national internal databases, such as those of the Highways agency (HA) (England, UK) and the German BASt. The RRAF is still being hosted on the ZAG web servers and the ZAG information technology department is overseeing maintenance and upgrades. However, the database will be shortly transferred on to the CEDR website. Further details can be found in deliverable D2.6 report on the availability of the RRAF and its uptake by national road administrations.

Lots of time and effort were made into publicising the RRAF. The concept was first presented at the Transport research arena (TRA) in June 2010, as part of the general ENR2 presentation in several workshops in addition to being demonstrated at an exhibition stand. It was publicly launched for the first time at the annual meeting of the TRB in January 2011, at a poster session called 'Search, discovery and current awareness: new and innovative uses of online research tools in transportation research and implementation', where several databases and informational systems were presented to the research community. This proposal received a great amount of interest and positive feedback from attendees regarding the RRAF presentation, in particular its layout and its content scope. The presentation was needless to say a success. The team has also developed promotional material including an informational flyer, business cards. Furthermore, banners were provided with the RRAF logo to be used on national road administration websites, hence advertising the RRAF with the possibility to be linked to it. Some countries already use the RRAF quite extensively and its use has been increasing continuously. WP3 has also actively promoted the use of the RRAF to stakeholders within the national road administrations.

The following strategy has been developed to disseminate the findings and recommendations from the project as a whole:

- the web site developed in ENR1 was further used in NER2;
- newsletters / leaflets for circulation to stakeholders and many other interest groups, quarterly newsletters were produced;
- production of posters for display at key conferences and workshops;
- articles for professional journals;
- involvement in the Learning Platform for ERA-NETs and liaison with NETWATCH;
- promotion at existing national conferences as well as European and international events (e.g. TRA, TRB).

3.2.2 Roadshows

In order to foster transnational research and encourage a dialogue between partners and progress towards setting up transnational research agendas, promotional and dissemination roadshows were organised on a national or regional basis, targeting the road administrations, the research community, as well as industry stakeholders. To remedy to the obstacle of possible insufficient knowledge of English of the end users, preventing them from taking on an active role during international events, the workshops were organised in the target audiences mother tongues with a focus on local and regional research needs. Moreover, countries with high interest in transnational cooperation in road research were selected.

Three ENR2 roadshows were organised: Slovenia (Ljubljana on 22 March 2011), Germany (Bergisch Gladbach on 13-14 December 2011), Scandinavia (Oslo / Norway on 14 December 2011). The aims of the roadshows were (a) to deliver information about results of the ENR2 project (transnational projects, the Road Research Access Facility, etc.), (b) to present experiences and specifics of road research and existing transnational cooperation in individual countries, (c) to inform and extend the discussion on project achievements and experiences of implementation of the first results (the selection of call topics, the procedure of tendering, different contracts, the first results of the projects, etc.), (d) to discuss future research plans and possibilities for transnational cooperation with a wider expert audience and through this make it an even bigger success.

They were shown to be a successful tool in order to exchange current information about national and regional programmes and policies of road research all over Europe. All attendants seemed very interested in learning about what ENR had developed and how they could get involved in the future, be it through funding research or performing research. The details of these events are presented in the D2.7 three national roadshows. In the future, this kind of event should continue to be encouraged by all national road administrations as they seem to be crucial in order to further increase trust, understanding and commitment between not only ENR2 consortium members but the wider road research community.

3.2.3 Final conference

Two plenary group meetings were organised during the project, the first one being in Brussels (Belgium) on 8 September 2010. The final ENR2 dissemination event took place on Thursday, 17 November 2011 in Paris (France).

The aim of this final conference was to provide networking, dissemination and information exchange regarding transnational cooperation experiences, projects and priorities. The plenary group brought together the organisations involved in road related transport research in Europe. It provided a forum for an exchange of information between the ENR partners and the other European road research key stakeholders, such as representatives from national and European road research programmes, technology platforms, and other relevant networks and associations in the European road research area.

This event was an opportunity for ENR2 partners to present their results on ENR activities and their plans on how to best use the results of the project. The partners demonstrated the tools developed by ENR that are to facilitate transnational programming. They discussed priorities with stakeholders and plans for the future, as to how the research results could be implemented in order to engage strategies with stakeholders and further encourage a better international cooperation in the field, hence creating a greater understanding and better synergy. The audience was very interested in the results of the ENR project; the ENR2 partners were congratulated on the work which had been carried out and encouraged on further development of European collaboration. The strong emphasis was on the dissemination and use of the results of ENR for any future calls. This last plenary group was very fruitful and positive. It paved the way for a successful transfer of ENR to CEDR, which was the objective of WP 3. CEDR is now committed to ensuring that the outcomes of this project are put into use for its future. Further details can be found in the D2.5 final dissemination conference.

3.3 WP3: Structuring public road research procurement

WP3 produced a structural change that moved from national to European wide programming and research procurement of road research and provided a focus for joint priority setting and better coordinated research programmes. A permanent structure has now been established that is promoting and initiating transnational collaborative research by joint research procurement after the completion of ENR2. CEDR is providing the overarching framework to continue as normal now that the project has been completed.

The main objectives of this WP were to:

- establish a permanent structure that will foster transnational collaborative road research by joint research procurement to continue after completion of ENR2;
- facilitate joint programming by the national road administrations with a focus on joint priority setting;
- embed the culture of joint research procurement within national road administrations.

3.3.1 Permanent structure: CEDR

Requirements were firstly defined for structuring publicly funded road research, relating to the establishment of the transnational road research programme. Thus, the question came of finding a structure to promote and oversee the initiation, procurement, management and implementation of transnational collaborative road research promoted by joint research procurement in the future. Successful steps were taken towards establishing this operational structure.

Since the conference of CEDR secretary general regularly expressed support for the ENR initiative and transnational research during CEDR EB and CEDR GB meetings, this supported the assumption that CEDR was the most suitable body to take on the structure after ENR2. It was agreed to pursue the option of CEDR TGR leading on transnational research, after the end of the ENR2 project. CEDR is the association of all European Road Directors, and comprises 26 national road administrations from EC and EEA countries and is a well- structured organisation. CEDR agreed to continue transnational research. It was important that ENR2 interacted closely with CEDR Technical Group Research to ensure that CEDR views were incorporated into the practices and procedures being developed within ENR2. This ensured a smooth transition of responsibilities once the ENR2 project was completed and TGR took full responsibility for transnational programming and future research calls.


A sub-group of the CEDR TGR was then established in February 2010 called CEDR TGR TPM and is presently chaired by Martin Steward (Highways Agency, UK). The TPM operates in the form of a delegated body with TGR providing the higher level strategic steer. Research programme managers from the national road administrations participating in the ENR2 project and other CEDR members have joined the TPM, to jointly review their research priorities and programmes every four months. The TPM benefits and supports national road administrations in their management of their individual road research programmes, identifies commonalities, duplications and opportunities for co-funded joint research activities, using the RRAF facility, and thus achieving cost savings. The TPM supports smarter collaborative working in Europe and has already been effectively involved in the preparation of the calls 2011 and 2012 which were ran in parallel with the ENR2 project. To that effect, workshops with end users were organised where topics for new calls were identified and could be selected. Further details of this structure can be read in the D3.1 'Structuring public road research in future: organisation and resource requirements' and D3.2 'Effectiveness of implementation and embedment of model structure'.

3.3.3 TPM secretariat

The TPM is supported by a permanent secretariat; this service was firstly provided and funded by the ENR2 project and has been used as a model for estimating future running costs. WP 3 has provided and updated the terms of reference for the TPM and specifications for its secretariat. To start with, WP3 through ZAG took over activities that were initiated and temporarily managed the TPM secretariat, which has been heavily involved in all tasks concerning transnational programming. WP3 has been also following the financial issues related to organisation of transnational research, in order to provide realistic cost demands for the future. Different options were explored as to the provision of future funding for the secretariat once the ENR2 project has finished.

CEDR members requested that this TPM secretariat should be funded through a separate mechanism and it was eventually agreed that the funding for the TPM secretariat would be levied on the budgets that are mobilised by national road administrations for the transnational calls. Following the project work plan and mandate of the CEDR TGR, the WP3 selected the TPM secretariat. The well-defined selection procedure which included a number of eligibility criteria was performed during April and June 2011. The contract with the selected bidder was signed in early July 2011.

Since the TPM was mandated to prepare the 2012 call, to adapt to the procedures set in place in ENR and ENR2 projects and absorb the experience of more than five years of transnational work, the newly selected TPM secretariat needed full assistance during this six-month transition period. WP3 gave its full support to this new structure TPMS through the provision of advice, guidance, and assistance in coordinating its activities. This activity did not include any financial support which was paid from the contract with CEDR. The preparation of call 2012 followed the upgraded toolkit prepared by WP1. As a part of this process the WP3 facilitated identification of themes for the call 2012, taking into account the areas of common interest by national road administrations, and selected appropriate themes and oversaw the preparation of the descriptions of research needs. The national road administrations were approached to obtain their agreement on the 2012 call and to gain their commitment to provide resources for the research procurement.

3.3.4 Conclusion

The clearly significant results are that, by the end of ENR2, the new organisational structure has been successfully implemented and embedded, has become well in charge of the transnational research activities and has become self-sustaining. It is now working towards increasing expenditure of the national road administrations research procurement budgets on transnationally funded collaborative research and will carry out the promotion of transnational research activities and initiate future transnational calls (if necessary) as mandated by CEDR's GB. The rules and procedures for selecting the TPM secretariat have proven successful through smooth selection of the first secretariat. The call 2012 was successfully initiated by selecting the potential topics and selected PEBs successfully selected to take over finalisation of the call.

Full descriptions can be found in the deliverable D3.3 'Effectiveness of Model structure and recommendations for improvements'. To avoid any danger of overlapping, the originally planned D3.4 'Report on the preparation of call 2012 and prospects of continuation of ENR2' was included into D3.3.

3.4 WP4: Alignment of transport research policy agendas

WP4 cooperated with the relevant European technology platforms to increase coordination with respect to the definition and implementation of their SRAs. It liaised with ERA-NET transport to develop an integrated policy approach for publicly funded road research. It worked closely with the European technology platforms to move towards an improved alignment of the respective research agendas and strategies.

The main objectives of this WP were to:

- contribute to an integrated policy approach for road research, and for co-modal transport research funding;
- investigate the development of a common platform to coordinate publicly funded road research, in terms of joint programming and joint research procurement and funding;
- contribute towards aligning the publicly funded research programmes with the SRAs of the industry driven European technology platforms active in transport.

3.4.1 Integrated policy approach

WP4 has been in close contact with the European Commission through attending the Dutch transport advisory group, the national transport programme committee and the ERA-NET learning platform. Furthermore WP4 attended various plenary meetings to witness several EC discussions and presentations on FP programmes, strategic agendas, FP7 evaluations and Horizon 2020 brainstorming sessions. This allowed WP4 to keep track of future themes for calls and to adjust the ENR calls to NRA needs without duplication of calls within the ERA.

WP4 has been in continuous contact with other ERA-NETs and particularly close contact and solid cooperation with ERA-NET transport, getting more active during the ENT plenary meetings by taking part in working groups and by making presentations with focus on mutual interests, sharing information on project progress and especially calls. This is all being done to avoid as much duplication of work as possible. After an introduction from the European Commission in the summer of 2009, ENR investigated a joint call together with ENT. During the ENT plenary in December 2009 in Cologne, ENR was asked by ENT and the EN+ project leader to join a special session on electromobility. After that WP4 contributed to the description of research needs of WP1 in order to prevent duplication of research in the ENR 2011 call on mobility, design and energy. Since then, ENT has kept ENR actively informed on the ENT plus call on electromobility. Furthermore, ERTRAC officially considers both ERA-NETS as fruitful examples of transnational collaboration as such.

3.4.2 Alignment

Alignment of public and private transport research agendas was one of the key actions for ENR2 and will take years to be achieved although a lot of new alignment initiatives are slowly taking place to shape the future of European transport research. The green paper on a strategic framework for future EU research and the 2020 strategy towards the Innovation Union being most relevant. The ENR project has set up some guidelines, conveyed lessons learnt and suggested models and procedures to speed up this process.

WP4 contributed towards alignment of public and private SRAs of the industry driven technology platforms active in transport, and as such focused on the three most relevant European technology platforms for ENR, being European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC), European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) and European Inter-modal Research Advisory Council (EIRAC). Other ETP SRAs were also analysed so as to make a full comparison in order to outline similarities and differences, to see how they were set and implemented, and to give suggestions to further the cooperation in the coming years. D4.1 'Analysis of SRAs of technology platforms' provides full details.

Networking was achieved by liaising with a number of key players within the ETPs, mostly by attending plenary meetings, conferences and workshops, which helped in defining and describing the various ETPs and their aims and purposes. WP4 took part in the ERTRAC plenary twice a year, which allowed close work and coordination with industry driven road research. Furthermore, ENR officially commented the ERTRAC SRA during their public consultation period and presented ENR results twice. The last ENR presentation was held during the ERTRAC plenary and conference in March 2011 in a special session on transnational collaboration. WP4 also became a member of the EIRAC SRA team and attended the ECTP conference in November 2009. ECTP and ENR share concerns and interests and can benefit greatly from cooperating with one another. It was concluded from the ECTP SRA that both ECTP and ENR have a strong mind to put innovation to practice and favour energy efficiency. Presenting the ENR project on various occasions gave an opportunity to show both public and private stakeholders that their respective research programmes share strategic interests. This means there is a huge potential in cooperation between public and private stakeholders in the European road and transport community. The key to true innovation is collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and information. D4.2 'Integrated policy approach for publicly funded road related transport research' focuses on public stakeholders in the field of road related transport research and describes their attempts to coordinate road and co-modal transport research.

Both the European Commission and the automotive industry strongly favour the joining of forces in setting the policy research agenda. The European Commission is aware of the fact that the existing possibilities and limitations call for new models of governance and financing. Political leadership has to be developed to tackle these challenges. Research and innovation can support this transition path by:

- forecasting the development of transport demand;
- assessing the networks reliability risks;
- providing technical solutions based on state-of-the art technologies;
- assessing the feasibility and supporting the deployment of new concepts;
- developing new financial and governance instruments.

3.4.3 Common platform

Instead of aligning existing initiatives, new ideas or platforms are being created again and again, overlapping the already existing ideas or platforms. For example, in some way the ENR WP4 objectives are quite similar to the Developing the European Transport Research Alliance (DETRA) objectives and ENT tries to program nationally just like DETRA seems to aim for. Therefore investigating the development of a common platform to coordinate road and transport research has led to the conclusion that this is not what stakeholders want and not what Europe needs at this stage. There are already too many platforms which, moreover, are competitive. If one were to create new platforms then it would be wise to put a hold to others. Luckily there is a trend where both public and private stakeholders realise that joint efforts are prosperous for both sides. This is an important fact because transport research is heavily industrialised, comprising of sectors that share interest in infrastructure, systems and vehicles. Research & Development is increasingly led by industry with dynamics led by production and competitiveness. One of the most crucial elements for coordinating research is the exchange of existing knowledge.

3.4.4 Conclusion

However, dissemination is not just about communicating research efforts or results, or building yet another database or portal. It is more about providing the right knowledge at the right place and time. Connecting knowledge will always mean connecting people. ENR has shown its capacity to create synergies and coordinate research and organise their procurement. Another future key element for all public and private stakeholders and platforms is to meet real needs and not just to do research for the sake of doing research. This ensures a lasting impact that will reach beyond research results. The giant leap towards true alignment, however, is not agreeing on common SRAs or swapping ideas or even joining forces in common calls for research or an entirely new research platform. The true achievement would be common demonstration projects and implementation of results in a common spirit and in cooperation with all concerned parties, all modes, including the manufacturers, the advisors, the national road associations and the end users.

D4.3 'Improved alignment of public and private transport research agendas' report on this in more detail.

Much has happened in the terms of alignment 'not only between the ENR and the European and international road research community, but also internally between WPs, especially the WPs 1, 4 and 5 (joint calls, alignment, broadening).

3.5 WP5: Broadening the network

WP5 broadened the geographical scope of ENR2 by involving countries from outside the consortium in the development and implementation of joint research procurement. It broadened staff involvement in national road administrations, made contact and liaised with international road administrations.

The main objectives of this WP were to:

- add at least two new eligible national road administrations from European countries including at least one New Member State to the consortium during the project;
- broaden the geographical scope of ENR2 by the involvement of at least three European countries from outside the consortium in joint research procurement of collaborative road research;
- involve road administrations from outside of Europe in joint research procurement for collaborative research.

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