Brussels, 05 Jul 2004
A new Commission funded web service was launched on 5 July with the aim of collecting and disseminating the results of EU and national transport research programmes in Europe.
The 'transport research knowledge centre' is the result of collaboration between eight European partners and a network of 16 sub-contractors, which enables the service to provide information on transport research activities in a total of 30 countries. Known as EXTR@Web (exploitation of transport research via the web), the consortium is funded through the EU's Fifth Framework Programme (FP5).
As a first step towards building up a comprehensive database of transport research, the website currently features summaries of 226 international, European and national research programmes, as well as a more concise 'guide to national programmes and other research activities across the European Research Area', which collects this information for distribution to a wider audience. The consortium believes that resources already add significant value in their own right, as few countries possess a single overview of all their national transport research programmes.
In a foreword to the guide, Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice President responsible for transport and energy, describes the transport research knowledge centre as: 'A very positive action that, by mirroring and pulling together the results of European efforts, will enable us to better identify solutions and quicken the pace of innovation to pave the way towards a more effective and less traffic-burdened Europe.'
Ms de Palacio argues that considerable resources are made available for transport research at both Community and Member State level, and that a swift and practical way to increase their impact is to improve communication. 'The exchange of information between researchers, and researchers and stakeholders, and the raising of awareness in users is therefore instrumental to the process.'
In the future, results from all 30 countries will be made available to the research and business communities, as well as public service providers and governments. In order to ensure that these results are harmonised, a common European transport research reporting scheme has been developed within the consortium for use by the research community, and is available for submissions via a secure extranet.
The final ingredient necessary for the success of the initiative, according to the consortium, is the political support of key national stakeholders. To that end, the Commission's Transport and Energy DG has forged close links with senior national representatives, and has involved them while setting up the initiative to secure their political and institutional commitment.
To visit the transport research knowledge centre, please consult the following web address: