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REACT
Supporting Research on Climate-Friendly Transport

State of the Art - Background

In 2000, the European Commission set up the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP) as the key vehicle for identifying and developing, with Member State experts and other stakeholders, the most promising and cost-effective policies and measures that can be taken at EU level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the programme, around 40 crosscutting and sectoral policies and measures have been identified and a large majority of these are already being implemented, including the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. A new phase of the ECCP was launched in autumn 2005, with carbon capture and storage and transport emissions (aviation and cars) among its initial focuses.

In a White Paper published in 2001, the European Commission set out its intention of taking measures to reverse the trend towards ever-increasing reliance on road transport and to return the market shares of the various transport modes to their 1998 levels by 2010. This involves targeted action to improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of more environment-friendly modes of transport, notably by revitalising the railways and promoting maritime and inland waterway transport.

The package of proposals put forward in the White Paper is designed to redirect the common transport policy towards sustainability. The policy objectives have a challenge to overcome the current situation in the transport sector.

Objectives

In light of the societal need for, and policy-relevance of, sustainable mobility, an active and down-to-earth plan for creating awareness and making use of the research results from climate-friendly transport is of utmost importance. The creation and exploitation of knowledge networks in research and dissemination of scientific breakthroughs will benefit the alternative solutions, which go beyond state of the art.

REACT will also actively contribute to the incorporation of consensus and a common strategy among the European Commission, Member States and associated states research and technological development funding agencies. Climate-friendly transport challenges will be addressed in a unified perspective and effective way by fully exploiting the resources available, answering a social and economic imperative for the life of European citizen and the future of forthcoming generations, and avoiding resource spillage and fragmentation of research in such a crucial issue as climate-friendly transport.

There are two main aspects that will define the supporting activities of high quality research:

- the successful management of the knowledge network that will be created during the REACT project implementation;

- the strong connections and persistent effort to build on pre-existing research projects and research networks that have been created through EC funding support.

Description of Work

The project work is divided in the following technical work packages (WP):

WP2: Elaboration of the Strategic Research Agenda: It includes the activities to produce the roadmaps, to validate them with the stakeholders, and to bring them into practice (e.g. the tactics to select the most effective initial actions). It also includes the collection and analysis of the best practices and of the lessons learned.

WP3: Supporting the public-funded initiatives: Identification and description of national funding procedures and revealing the procedure on how the priority agenda is articulated in each country.

WP4: REACT event organisation: The REACT consortium aims at organising a breakthrough event in the green transport field. A conference will be held in order to help disseminate the project results.

WP5: REACT Co-operative Information Platform: This platform is an important building block of the project. It will act as the virtual networking area for the consortium, policy-makers, researchers and stakeholders.

WP6: Dissemination and awareness (WP6): All achievements and the new knowledge produced as a result of REACT will be disseminated widely.

Expected Results

The key results expected from the project are as follows:

- Expert consultation procedure: in order to get a deep insight into the future trends and demands, an expert consultation procedure will be followed. High profile experts and key players in green transport will form the team for scientific insights in the forthcoming years. The questionnaires and discussion panels will be the tools for delivering high quality results.

- Open consultation procedure questionnaire will be the tool for collecting feedback from various industry stakeholders via workshops and through the REACT communication platform.

- Benchmarking funding procedures among EU Member States and associated countries. The benchmarking procedure will commence with the identification and description of national funding schemes and processes in each country.

- Mapping the existing climate-friendly transport initiatives and programmes.

- REACT will develop a common set of indicators for the carbon impact of transport/mobility research.

- The organised event will create awareness, stimulate joint research activities and bring climate-friendly transport initiatives into the limelight.

- Creation of an online Co-operative Information Platform.

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