The programme is structured in four broad lines of activities:
a) Resource efficient transport that respects the environment: this will aim to make more efficient use of natural resources, while reducing dependency on fossil fuels
b) Better mobility, less congestion, more safety and security: to meet growing mobility needs, while also providing modern transport systems
c) Global leadership for the European transport industry: Aim to reinforce the competitiveness and performance of European transport manufacturing industries and retain areas of European leadership, such as aeronautics
Mobility for growth
The Commission has identified mobility for growth as one of twelve priority focus areas across the entire Horizon 2020 package, reflecting the fact that transport accounts for about 63 per cent of oil consumption and congestion costs the EU around €80 billion.
The final funding line under this call will be for, ‘Socio‐economic and behavioural research and forward looking activities for policy making’.
The European Conference of Transport Research Institutes (ECTRI) objected that a mode multi-model, collaborative approach was not taken in this call, saying that socio-economic transport research should be, “embedded in the challenge it is supposed to address,” rather than added on at the end. “Social innovation supports, and is often a pre‐requisite of, technological innovation,” said the group in a statement. This research needs to be “considered in an integrative, multi‐modal way”.
Small business and fast track to innovation
The new dedicated SME instrument, which will allow SMEs in all fields of science, technology and innovation to apply for funding singly, or in groups, will feature strongly in the transport research programme, with €35.87 million in 2014 available for small companies.
The funding will be split into two phases, beginning with a grant of €50,000 for technical feasibility and economic viability studies over six months, followed by a second stage of funding of between €0.5 million and €2.5 million for development, prototyping and other demonstration work for 12-24 months. After this, the Commission will connect SMEs to other programmes that provide funding for the commercialisation phase.