Brussels, 1st February 2005
Transport research must focus on the challenges of the future, such as keeping people and products mobile, road safety, energy efficiency and increasing the competitiveness of the sector. This is the clear message of the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council which will tomorrow adopt its Strategic Research Agenda for the sector.
ERTRAC brings together the automotive industry, local and national governments, researchers, NGOs, universities from across Europe. By establishing common aims for transport research, ERTRAC can maximise the impact of public and private investment, and ensure that research is geared towards the needs of the sector.
Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik stated: “We all want cars that are greener and cheaper to run. We all want to feel safer on our roads. By focusing on the research needs of the road transport sector as a whole, ERTRAC is bringing those goals a lot closer.”
Road transport is the backbone of the European economy, with 11% of total GDP. Within EU companies there is more investment in road transport research and development than in any other sector (24% of investment in the top 500 EU companies in 2003).
The ERTRAC Strategic Research Agenda will stress the fundamental role of research in meeting the transport challenges of the future. It will analyse present and future trends, introduce ideas about maximizing transport resources and increasing the impact of public and private research investments. It will set out detailed targets and roadmaps for research in the sector. Research in the road transport sector supports EU policies such as the halving of road deaths by 2010. It encompasses expertise in technologies ranging from information technology to material science. The four priority themes identified by ERTRAC for future research are:
- Mobility of people, transport and goods - how to enhance mobility for all
- Safety and security - how to design a safe and secure road transport system for all users
- Environment, energy and resources - how to make road transport systems cleaner, quieter and more energy efficient
- Design and production systems - how to ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of products and services
For examples of innovative technologies in the road sector, see IP/05/54 .