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Technology Platform for European Road Transport Research

ERTRAC II is the continuation of the Coordination Action ERTRAC (see synopses ERTRAC/506525). ERTRAC II aims at supporting the European tehnology platform, ERTRAC (European Road Transport Research Advisory Council). ERTRAC set up the basic structure for the technology platform and created the Vision and strategic research agenda (SRA), and ERTRAC II is focussing on updating the SRA and on its implementation.

Tags: Road


Over € 28 billion are spent each year on R&D in Europe’s road transport sector. This sector employs more than 9% of the entire EU workforce, generating a turnover that amounts to 20% of the Union’s GDP. Road transport supplies the majority of mobility services demanded by Europe’s citizens and businesses. It is responsible for over 75% of inland freight transport and, as such, plays a crucial role in all European industrial and commercial activities. The importance of road transport is also reflected in a number of high-level policy initiatives, aimed at strengthening the European automotive industry, for which research is a mainstay.

Today R&D activities are largely managed within individual stakeholder groups and Member States. It is apparent that a good alignment between European and national, as well as between private and public research activities, can provide major benefits in terms of economic efficiency, quality of results and reduced time to application of innovation.

In line with the European objectives for competitiveness and sustainability, ERTRAC involves all the main stakeholders in the road transport sector and fosters structured, optimised and integrated R&D efforts across European programmes.


The ERTRAC II Coordination Action will provide a platform to all relevant stakeholders for establishing a consensus on future road transport research directions, and the definition and promotion of European RTD activities such as joint technology initiatives. The objective is to provide the management and organisation, together with technical support, that is required to facilitate ERTRAC achieving its mission. In addition, the co-operation with the European Union services, Member States and other technology platforms will be ensured. Finally, the results of ERTRAC need to be extensively promoted and disseminated towards a large audience of research partners and the public.

Description of work

The coordination activities are structured in five work packages (WP):

WP1: Technology Platform Management: The main aim of this work package is the overall organisational management of the technology platform, including the secretariat.

WP2: Road Transport RTD Networking: The two main objectives of this WP are firstly to promote the coordination of European, national, regional and private R&D actions for road transport in order to increase efficiency and strengthen the European Research Area and secondly, to foster the networking with other technology platforms, as well as with the EC and national bodies in terms of SRA, RTD synergies, finance and governance.

WP3: Strategic Research Agenda: This WP deals with the update of the ERTRAC strategic research agenda, which was published for the first time in 2004. There will be a review of the structure and the content of the SRA.

WP4: SRA Implementation – Promoting Technology Initiatives: This WP is of utmost importance for ERTRAC to be in the ‘implementation phase’ of a technology platform. The SRA implementation has several objectives. The operational focus/promotion of concrete technology initiatives includes the commitment of stakeholders (industry, public authorities, financial community, etc.).

WP5: Dissemination Activities: A proper promotion and communication of the ERTRAC outcome and activities is key to the success of the technology platform.


The first result of the ERTRAC Research Framework (April 2006): This is based on Vision&Challenges and the strategic research agenda which were published in 2004. The ERTRAC Research Framework highlights road transport research priorities for the timeframe 2007-2015. ERTRAC believes that this research framework is useful for the planning of the Seventh Framework Programme as well as for planning national activities. The document is available from the ERTRAC website,

Further deliverables will be:

  • Annual work programmes and status reports.
  • An overview of national transport research activities across Europe.
  • An update of the strategic research agenda.
  • Support for Joint Road Transport Technology Initiatives.
  • Elaboration of finance and governance issues of European Technology Initiatives in road transport.
  • The co-organisation of the TRA conferences every two years and additional dissemination events.