Researchers flock to Surface Transport Information Day
The European Commission’s Directorates-General for Research (DG RES) and for Energy and Transport (DG Mobility and Transport) held a joint Surface Transport Information Day on 7 February 2008. The event featured presentations by top-level EC officials.
“Transportation is the backbone of internal market,” said DG TREN Head of Unit Ben Van Houtte. “Without it our society would not function. Indeed, mobility is often seen as a fundamental right of citizens.”
Along with mobility, Van Houtte cited the key role of transport in European environmental policy, in promoting social cohesion and in the struggle to remain competitive in a rapidly globalising economy. “This new set of calls is closely linked to EU policy in all of these areas,” he said, “all of which require that we deliver real technical and scientific breakthroughs.”
Luisa Prista, Head of DG RTD’s Surface Transport Unit, said, “This research work programme is, in a very real sense, ‘alive’. It evolves and adapts in a dynamic way in response to new policies, ambitions and challenges. Today, surface transport research, covering road, rail and waterborne transport, is one of the longest running EU-funded research areas. As such it the result of a long-standing and intensive consultation process, including a strong industrial dimension.”
A new round of calls
Research on Transport (including Aeronautics), is funded under the specific programme on 'Co-operation'. Altogether, FP7 allocates €32.413 billion to the Co-operation programme, supporting research by universities, industry, research centres and public authorities throughout the EU and beyond.
The Surface Transport Information Day was aimed at supporting potential participants planning to respond to the second round of FP7 calls. Published on 30 November 2007, they represent available funding in the amount of €15 million for Transport (including Aeronautics). The official deadline for responding is 7 May 2008.
“We have a wide-ranging work programme that will provide solutions to pressing problems,” said Prista, naming climate change, energy supply and pollution, new and innovative designs, safety and security, public transport and intermodality as ongoing challenges for surface transport.
Arnoldas Milukas, Head of DG RTD Transport (including Aeronautics) Directorate developed horizontal issues, in particular synergies between air and surface transport. “We have to take a more holistic approach,” he said, “addressing the key challenges while remaining open to new opportunities, considering interactions between vessels or vehicles, between networks and infrastructure and between different transport products and services.” Co-modality is a key issue, he explained. “This means thinking about concerns that are common to different transport modes and integrating concepts, knowledge and technologies.”
The second part of the day featured speakers presenting in-depth information on the full range of topics covered under the new calls. EC officials say competition among funding applicants is expected to be stiff. Keys to writing a successful proposal include a high level of scientific and technical excellence, good plans for coordination and implementation, and an effective strategy for dissemination and exploitation of results.
How to participate
Calls are announced in the Official Journal of the European Union and on CORDIS News. The key documents relating to a call are the work programme and the guide for applicants. These and other useful sources of information are available on CORDIS as soon as a call is published. Calls are published on the CORDIS FP7 calls page. Users can also set up a CORDIS Rapidus profile to receive e-mail alerts informing them of new calls.