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Research and innovation programme has 6.3 billion euro

Torsdag 12. december 2013 kl: 08:40

Af: Editorial

EU transport to benefit from the new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the innovation union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness

With an investment of 6.3 billion euro in Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), the "Smart, green and integrated transport" programme is the world's largest investment programme in transport research and innovation. The aim is to transform Europe's transport system into a competitive (creating jobs) and resource-efficient transport system.

Transport accounts for about 63 percent of oil consumption and 29 percent of all CO2 emissions. Congestion makes cities less attractive for citizens and businesses, and costs the EU about €80 billion every year.

The Mobility and Transport Directorate-General (DG MOVE) expects that the results of this investment programme will contribute to reach the crucial objective of cutting carbon emissions in transport by 60 percent by 2050 (as set out in the 2011 European white paper on transport). Therefore, Horizon 2020's activities in transport will focus on stepping up research efforts to speed up deployment of the most promising innovations.

The Mobility and Transport DG is one of the directorates-general in the European Commission that implements the Horizon 2020 programme. DG MOVE will dedicate its financial share to an amount of approximately 1.9 billion euro over the period 2014-2020.

Reflecting the need for close strategic involvement in these investments, this amount will be invested in the following areas: transport infrastructure, urban mobility (CIVITAS 2020), logistics and intelligent transport systems and applications. It will cover upstream research, technology development, technology integration, and demonstration and innovation activities, mostly through collaborative activities.

In addition, 600 million euro is dedicated to the continuation of air traffic management research activities, to be implemented by the SESAR Joint Undertaking, which will be supervised by DG MOVE. In 2014, the Commission also intends to establish the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking.
To create speed and scale for deployment, DG MOVE will also develop policy actions and it will invest Horizon 2020 funds to generate synergies with other international, national and regional programmes, including the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

Specific areas in the Horizon 2020 work programme 2014-2015 for which DG MOVE is in charge of implementation:

Efficient, high-quality transport infrastructure is a prerequisite for the mobility of people and goods and for Europe's economic growth, competitiveness and territorial cohesion. Transport policy action aims at an efficient, interoperable and interconnected transport infrastructure network which can offer adequate availability and high capacity, optimal interconnectivity between modes, traffic management based on shared data/information across modes, increased safety and security, reduced impact on the environment and spatial quality, and economic affordability in terms of total cost of ownership. Because major failures are rare, transport infrastructure is easily overlooked. But infrastructure components require regular monitoring and management; continuing, fact-driven reinvestment to maintain condition and assure performance, safety, and security; development and application of effective and efficient materials, technologies and tools to meet cost-effectiveness and sustainability goals; and targeted capacity expansion. In light of the above, research and innovation efforts under Horizon 2020 will focus on key areas to leverage infrastructure performance, by encouraging well informed decisions and a streamlined delivery of infrastructure projects. Research and innovation actions will be promoted to achieve smarter design, construction and maintenance as well as to develop resource-efficient, smarter and safer transport infrastructure. The aim is to achieve greener, climate-resilient and smarter transport infrastructure, contributing to the achievement of the transport white paper goal of an efficient and modern European transport infrastructure.

Urban Mobility
Urban mobility and transport is an integral part of European transport policy, which confirms that urban mobility is at the core of the debate on resource efficiency and plays a key role in defining a well-balanced approach between the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainable mobility. What makes urban mobility different and justifies a dedicated R&I action is that authorities have little control of technological development and innovation, and depend on the initiatives taken by industry. The most important challenge is to bring the results of the research to the market and to turn innovation into business opportunities, thereby fostering growth and employment. The start of Horizon 2020 means the launch of CIVITAS 2020: innovation in resource-efficient and competitive urban mobility and transport. R&I action in this area will improve transport and mobility in urban areas, which will benefit a large and increasing share of the population which lives and works in cities or uses them for services and leisure. New mobility concepts, transport organisation, logistics and planning solutions will be developed and tested, contributing to the reduction of air pollution and noise and improving efficiency. Public and non-motorised transport as well as other resource-efficient transport options should be developed as a real alternative to the use of private motor vehicles, supported by greater use of intelligent transport systems as well as by innovative demand management.

Logistics is a cross-sectorial activity impacting the entire supply chain from the producers and manufacturers to the end-customers, making it a key sector for business success and for EU competitiveness. For this reason, logistics needs to be seen not only in the limited sense of goods transport and warehousing, but also in the wider context of the complex macro-economic role it plays in helping deliver a competitive European industrial base. Eurostat surveys estimate that 24 percent of goods vehicles in the EU are running empty and the average loading of the rest is 57 percent - giving an overall efficiency of 43 percent. One of the consequences is that freight transport accounts for about 6 percent of all CO2 emissions and, worryingly, the freight transport industry is the only sector whose carbon footprint continues to rise year on year. R&I action in this area will aim at increasing efficiency and hence sustainability in the logistics supply chain, removing the communication bottlenecks in the interaction between the different stakeholders and thereby improving the potential for collaboration and the effective utilisation of equipment and seamless connectivity across the transport modes. The objective is to achieve a connected green supply chain, which is responsive and resilient and that contributes to the targets of transport policy, especially in terms of CO2 reductions.

Intelligent Transport Systems
Intelligent transport systems (or ITS) play a key role to help deliver safe, efficient, sustainable and seamless transport of goods and people on the European road network, and its interfaces with the other means of transport. This is the reason why ITS are one of the leading themes in the transport white paper. However, though a significant effort has been put in this domain, there are still significant challenges and barriers - technological and non-technological - for successful ITS deployment. R&I action on ITS will contribute to bridge the gap by focusing on the optimal use of traffic and travel data to improve mobility and on the continuity of traffic and freight management ITS services. ITS safety and security applications will be one priority for this domain, as will linking the vehicle with the transport infrastructure. The application of smart ICT services for people and freight can transform how transport is used, its quality of delivery to the customer and its efficiency and provision, contributing to the innovation and deployment strategy set out by the transport white paper.

SESAR Joint Undertaking
The Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking, a public-private partnership established to cover a period from 2007 until 2016, is the implementation instrument for the technological pillar of the Single European Sky (SES). However, it is necessary to continue research and innovation on air traffic management beyond 2016, and in particular, the coordinated approach in ATM research and innovation in the context of the SES to achieve the performance targets defined there. DG MOVE proposed to extend the duration of the SESAR Joint Undertaking until 2024 and will be responsible for its supervision.

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, which the Commission intends to establish in 2014, will contribute to boosting the competitiveness of the European rail industry and to meeting changing EU transport needs, thanks to more focused research and innovation aimed at accelerating the integration of advanced new market-driven technologies and solutions into the rail system.  Through the research and innovation activities conducted within this Horizon 2020 initiative, the necessary technology will be created to help complete the single European railway area, thereby increasing the attractiveness and the long-term sustainability of the rail sector.

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