“Horizon 2020” provides EUR 6.3 Billion to research and innovation

untitledWith an investment in transport research and innovation of EUR 6.3 Billion, the EU transport sector will significantly benefit from “Horizon 2020”. This is an increase of 50% compared with the previous funding period. The aim is to transform Europe’s transport system into a resource efficient and competitive transport system.

Partnerships with the transport industry will be stepped up in “Horizon 2020” in order to overcome fragmentation and, hence, accelerate the market take up of innovative solutions. Next to the SHIFT2RAIL Technological Initiative, launched through the Horizon 2020 Programme, a series of three financing demands was launched aimed to increase and to consolidate the competitiveness of European industries in the sphere of transports and to create a resource-efficient transport system that is individual, seamless, environmentally friendly and user-oriented.
The work programme for 2014-2015 was launched and includes three calls for project financing as follows: Mobility for Growth, Green Vehicles and Small Business and Fast Track Innovation for Transport.
The results of this investment in “Smart, green and integrated transport” will, among others, contribute to reaching the crucial objective of cutting carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050, as set out in the 2011 White Paper on Transport. Horizon 2020 activities in transport will also focus on speeding up the deployment of the most promising innovations.
The budget for transport for 2014-2015 within “Horizon 2020” is close to EUR 1.5 Billion.

Innovative management of transport demand

The start of Horizon 2020 means the launch of CIVITAS 2020: innovation in resource-efficient and competitive urban mobility and transport. Research & Innovation 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.
Urban mobility and transport are 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. 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 amount earmarked for urban mobility for 2014 and 2015 is EUR106.5 Million. In addition, there will be a contribution to the Call ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ for an amount of EUR 40 Million for 2014-2015.

Efficient and quality infrastructure

Transport policy needs 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 base across modes, increased safety and security, reduced impact on environment and spatial quality, economic affordability in terms of total cost of ownership.
Research and innovation efforts under Horizon 2020 will focus on key areas to leverage infrastructure performance and a streamlined delivery of infrastructure projects. Research and Innovation actions will be promoted to achieve a smarter design, construction and maintenance as well as to develop resource efficient, smarter and safer transport infrastructures. The aim is to achieve greener, cost-efficient and smarter transport infrastructure, contributing to the achievement of the Transport White Paper goal of an efficient and modern European transport infrastructure.
The amount earmarked for infrastructure for 2014 and 2015 is EUR 36.5 Million.

ITS projects benefit from EUR 31 Million

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) play a key role to help deliver safe, efficient, sustainable and seamless transport of goods and people on the European transport network as well as to safeguard the competitiveness of European industry. This is the reason why ITS is one of the leitmotiv themes in the Transport White Paper. However, though a big effort has been made in this domain, there are still significant challenges and barriers, technological and non-technological, for the successful ITS deployment. Research and Innovation actions on ITS will contribute to bridging the gap to deployment 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. The application of Smart ICT services for people and freight can transform the way transport is used, its quality of delivery to the customer and its efficiency, contributing to the innovation and deployment strategy set out by the Transport White Paper.
The amount earmarked for ITS for 2014 and 2015 is EUR 31 Million.

[ by Elena Ilie ]
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