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EU Research Priorities

European transport research under the Seventh Framework Programme

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Transport research is a major contributor to the European economy

Efficient transport is a fundamental condition for sustainable wealth and prosperity in Europe. Transport drives employment, economic growth and global exports. It provides citizens, societies and economies with essential resources and means of mobility, while transport-derived technological advances stimulate and accelerate knowledge acquisition, innovation and European integration.

All of this makes transport a fundamental element of the Union’s Lisbon strategy, under which the Union has set itself the objective of creating the greatest knowledge-based economy in the world. To do so, it has committed itself to developing know-how and strengthening the scientific and technological bases of Community industry, including the service industries, with a view to assuring a high level of competitiveness.

Importantly, European transport research has already proven itself as a major contributor to the European economy, supporting industry as well as the research, academic and political communities.

The Community fully recognises the responsibility and independence of scientists in the definition of the broad lines of research at the frontiers of knowledge and it is now promoting all necessary research activities, in particular by encouraging undertakings that include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research centres and universities in their research and technological development activities, giving priority to those areas and projects where European funding and co-operation is of particular importance. Through its support for research at the frontiers of knowledge, applied research and innovation, the Community seeks to promote synergies in European research and thus provide a more stable foundation for the European Research Area. This will make a positive contribution to the social and economic progress of all Member States.

Transport in FP7 – how much and what for

Under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the European Commission is proposing a ‘greener’ and ‘smarter’ pan-European transport system, supported by a research budget of €4.16 billion over seven years. The EU’s new ‘technology platforms’ have been major contributors to defining the Union’s future transport research strategies.

The Seventh Framework Programme will also seek stimulate the ongoing restructuring of the transport industry, including the integration of the supply chain and, in particular, SMEs, key players that provide needed dynamism and innovation.