The European Transport Research Alliance – ETRA, was officially launched on Thursday, 20th September 2012, in Brussels. In the launching ceremony, the presidents of the five European research Associations in the field of Transport, who were the founding partners, signed the documents creating the Alliance. Partners:
- ECTRI (European Conference of Transport Research Institutes)
- EURNEX (European Rail Research Network of Excellence)
- FEHRL (Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories)
- FERSI (Forum of European Road Safety Institutes)
- HUMANIST (Human centered design Network for Information Society Technologies)
The creation of the Alliance is the culmination of a process that started with the “Lyon Declaration” of 2008 which declared the will of the transport research community of Europe to cooperate in order to promote and materialize a more unified and cooperative transport research sector in Europe. Subsequently, the necessary preparatory work was done under an EU-funded project called DETRA (Developing the European Transport Research Alliance), coordinated by FEHRL. The creation of the ETRA was the result of all this preparatory work.
The main purpose and scope of ETRA is to help bring about more cooperation and synergies between the different European transport research stakeholders and to enhance the integration process, in the field of European transport research, that is a necessary pre-requisite for the materialization of the vision of the EU for a “unified” research space across the whole of Europe, known as the European Research Area – ERA.
ETRA is a member of the Program and Management Committee and as a Technology platform representative at the TRA2020, Transport Research Arena 2020, in Helsinki.
ERRAC, the European Rail Research Advisory Council, is the principal contact for the European Commission regarding rail research at European level.
ERRAC published in 2014 its updated the Strategic Rail Research and Innovation Agenda (SRRIA), providing guidance for developing Research Programmes specific to the rail sector and defining strategic goals up to 2050.
This process has been supported since 2013 by the project FOSTER RAIL, which was set up to develop further detailed roadmaps by selected priorities areas.
In addition to this research work, the Evaluation Working Group continues to evaluate projects funded by the past Framework Programmes as well as monitoring ongoing projects. The work of the group has been valuable for ERRAC as well as the European Commission regarding the preparation of the FP7 and Horizon 2020 work programmes.
The Shift2Rail (S2R) Joint Undertaking (JU) is a private-public partnership created to managing the rail R&I under Horizon 2020. S2R brings together EU and sector fundings to increase the rail transport efficiency and performance, develop the Single European Railway Area (SERA) and provide innovative technology solutions.
S2R support the ERRAC 2050 vision, as well as the European Commission perspective highlighted in the 2011 White Paper on Transport.
Eurnex is a contributing member of the S2R User Requirements / Implementation and Deployment working group (URID-WG).
The URID-WG assists the S2RJU through identifying operational and maintenance-related user needs, ensuring that technical solutions planned and developed within S2R meet the specific needs of all relevant end-users, and stimulating the operational reliability of the JU results.
In addition, the URID-WG provides the market uptake of the technical solutions developed through the S2R activities – especially taking into consideration European standardisation and regulation – and simplifies the exchange of information on initiatives, projects and partnerships connected to the thematic areas of the Innovation Programmes (IPs)/CCA identified in the Shift2Rail Master Plan and MAAP.
Lastly, the URID-WG presents opinions and reports, alongside developing and proposing innovative solutions to the JU.