Fifth Framework Programme - External Advisory Groups
First Report to the Commission of the External Advisory Group for the Key Action "Land transport and marine technologies"
This report is also available as PDF-file: land1.pdf (30 Kb)
The External Advisory Group (EAG) met on two occasions in November and December 1998 to examine the Commission's preliminary discussion documents on Workprogramme preparation.
In accordance with Commission decision of 22 October 1998 setting up the EAGs and fixing their mandate, the Group concentrated its comments on the following aspects:
Guidelines for defining the workprogramme
The Group agreed that the formulation of the workprogramme with two strands of activities: acquisition of critical technologies (CT) and technology integration and validation through Thematic priorities (TP) (or targeted platforms) is appropriate and coherent with the "problem-oriented" character of the 5th Framework Programme.
- Acquisition of Critical Technologies
This part of the workprogramme is correctly focused on six technology avenues, three for Land Transport and three for Maritime activities, and are considered consistent with the aims of the Key Action with regard to both industrial competitiveness and aspects of public interest. The quantified overall objectives of the technology avenues as well as the various technical tasks within each avenue are considered appropriate.
1. The Group agreed that the priority themes cover the research activities that the "stakeholders" would like to carry out in the 5th FP and that they express and fully cover the European research needs.
- Targeted Platforms
2. The suggested number of TPs to be included in the workprogramme was considered adequate and it was further suggested that there should be opportunity for introducing extra TPs, such as vehicle safety, in the future. In addition, the Group has agreed to consider the possibility of launching common TPs across the sectors.
3. The description for platforms TP1 and TP2 in the workprogramme was considered adequate for the first call for proposals.
- Trans-sectoral co-operation based on areas of common interest
4. The group strongly suggested that there are major areas of common critical technologies and probably technology platforms such as noise and vibration, diesel engines, emissions, telematics and control, which could be more efficiently researched and reinforced through trans-sectoral efforts.
5. The Group has proposed specific, quantified and verifiable interactive activities across the Key Actions with relevance for the realisation of measurable results for sustainable road vehicles and transport and it is proposed to be further considered by the appropriate co-ordination mechanisms of the Commission.
Programming of Calls of Proposals
- Budgetary distribution and Thematic priorities for 1999.
6. The research budget for the first call was suggested to be of the order of 20 to 25 % of the finally allocated budget for this Key Action. The proposed budget allocation of funds should aim towards a 40-40-20 percentage breakdown for Land Transport, Marine Technologies and Trans-sectoral activities respectively. Such an allocation reflects the industrial and socio-economic priorities of the main "actors" participating in the Key Action. This was considered optimal in achieving expected results for the problems identified by the Key Action and in encouraging cross-fertilisation of research activities. Specific budget assignment for the TPs would be covered within the 40-40 percentage allocated to Land Transport and Marine Technologies.
Of the 40 % allocated to Land Transport, greater emphasis is directed towards the development of CT for more efficient, clean and intelligent vehicles (60%). Safe vehicle technologies are to be allocated 30 %, whereas activities on man-machine interface would start with 10 %. For the first call, a selected number of scientific & technical tasks were recommended to be opened for submission of proposals.
Of the 40 % allocated to Marine Technologies the main effort (60%) will be directed towards the support of developing technologies for more efficient, safe and environmentally friendly ships and vessels. Technologies for maximising interoperability and vessel performance as well as innovative vessels for sea monitoring and exploration are to be allocated 20 %, respectively. For the first call most of the scientific and technical tasks (except two), included in the work programme, are recommended to be opened for submission of proposals.
Criteria for Evaluation
7. All fifteen criteria were considered relevant for both CT & TP. However, the Group recommended that a higher priority should be given to criteria in group 4 "Economic development and S&T perspectives". The Group emphasised that all three criteria identified within this group are highly relevant; in particular those related to market prospects and contribution to Key Action objectives.
8. With regard to the evaluation mechanism, the Group considered that a single stage evaluation is desirable.
9. Basic research for this Key Action would have more impact when carried out in very close liaison with industrial research objectives.
10. The group has recognised the importance of SMEs in promoting innovation in the Land and Marine Transport areas, especially in the phases of design and engineering. Therefore, efforts must be made to encourage their participation in the main stream research areas.
11. Attracting SMEs should be carried out either through increased funding or through subsidising project logistics such as reporting, or through the establishment of a more favourable evaluation procedure, for instance, by allocating bonus marks for "first- time" SMEs.
12. A distinction should also be made between "business-to-business" SMEs and "business-to-market" ones. The first type should participate in the main stream activities (5%) whereas the second in the CRAFT type initiative (5%).
13. The group strongly advised the inclusion of SMEs which are expected to perform an important role in the project in which they are participating. Their inclusion should be on the basis of the relevance and quality of their contribution to the project objectives.