Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is a multidisciplinary programme linking all research-related EU initiatives translated into projects, and is a key pillar for the European Research Area (ERA).To administer and disseminate projects, the EU has various mechanisms, including the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS), and the Participant Portal for electronic administration of EU-funded research and innovation projects.

Part of FP7 is devoted to responding to the challenges of making transport more sustainable. Over the seven-year period (2007–2013), € 4.16 billion is being earmarked for research to develop safer, greener and smarter pan-European transport systems to benefit all citizens, to respect the environment, and to increase the competitiveness of European industries in the global market.

FP7 has two major programme lines with regard to transport:

  • Aeronautics and Air Transport (AAT) which focuses on emission reduction, engines and alternative fuels, air traffic management, safety of air transport, and environmentally efficient aviation.
  • Sustainable Surface Transport (SST) including rail, road and waterborne, with a focus on developing clean and efficient engines and power trains; reducing the impact of transport on climate change; and promoting intermodal urban, regional and national transport, clean and safe vehicles and infrastructure construction, maintenance, and integrated architecture.

There are additional programme lines dealing with transport (TPT), security (SEC) and information technologies (ICT). The transport theme covers all four modes of transport each with specific priorities:

  • Aeronautics and air transport:
    • 'Greening' air transport
    • Increasing time efficiency
    • Increasing customer satisfaction and safety
    • Improving cost efficiency
    • Protecting aircraft and passengers
    • Air transport of the future
  • Road transport:
    • Creating 'greener' road transport
    • Encouraging modal shift and decongesting transport corridors
    • Ensuring sustainable urban mobility
    • Improving safety and security
    • Strengthening competitiveness
  • Rail transport:
    • Interoperability
    • Intelligent mobility
    • Safety and security
    • Environment
    • Innovative mate

Institutional framework of transport research

Transport-related research at EU level is mainly funded and commissioned by four Directorates-General of the European Commission, the Directorates-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), for Research (DG RTD), for Environment (DG ENV) and for Information Society and Media(DG INFSO).

Main European Commission Directorates-General

Other European Commission Directorates-General

Funding Sources and Support Initiatives

  • Information system - Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE).ACARE provides a network for strategic research in aeronautics and air transport to meet the needs of society and to secure global leadership for Europe in this sector.
  • Funding programme - Connecting Europe Facility (CEF; 2014–2020).CEF will support the roll out of high-performing, sustainable, and joined-up trans-European networks in transport, energy, and broadband & digital services. CEF Transport will replace the current TEN-T funding and MARCO POLO.Budget: € 50 billion.
  • Funding programme - Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST; 1971–ongoing).COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology coordinating nationally funded research on a European level. Budget: € 250 million for 2007–2013.
  • Network - EUREKA. EUREKA is a pan-European network for market oriented, industrial R&D.
  • Information system - European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC). ERRAC is the European Technology Platform for Rail Transport set up at the initiative of the European Commission to achieve consensus on priorities for European railway research and to guide research towards a common strategy.
  • Information system - European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC). ERTRAC represents a diverse group of contributors to European road transport: consumers, vehicle manufacturers, component suppliers, road infrastructure operators and developers, service providers, energy suppliers, research organisations, and cities and regions as well as public policy experts and authorities at European and national levels.
  • Information system - European Space Technology Platform (ESTP). ESTP aims to create an independent technology portfolio facilitating European strategic independence for access to and exploration in space, and supporting the development of next-generation technologies to best serve Europe’s ambitions in space-related sectors
  • Information system - Forschungs Informations System (FIS), on behalf of the German Ministry for Transport and digital Infrastructure, provides up to date information on recent transport research to support the knowledge transfer between research and application.
  • Funding bodyLIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 4306 projects. For the 2014-2020 funding period, LIFE will contribute approximately €3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.
  • Network - ETNA2020 is the network of the National Contact Points for the 4th Societal Challenge ‘Smart, Green and Integrated Transport’ of Horizon 2020, the current European Framework Programme and major funding source for Research & Innovation (R&I) in Europe and beyond. It offers the Transport R&I constituency direct opportunities for learning, training and networking, taking into account the variety of its actors, strengthening its internal existing ties, and engaging new stakeholders.