This paper deals with the minimisation of the resource costs of a given transport system and the maximisation of its performance. Costs considered include those borne by the transport users and those by the transport operators. The relief of congestion and reliability is a significant element in the consideration of efficiency.
For three days in Paris, visitors to the ‘European City of Science’ exhibition were able to learn about the work of research scientists around Europe. Among the highlights was the work of five groundbreaking EU-funded road transport research projects, aimed at making life on Europe’s roads easier and safer.
‘CERTAIN’, ‘HEAVYROUTE’, ‘ARCHES’, ‘SPENS’ and ‘TYROSAFE’ were presented at the ‘European City of Science’ exhibition by the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL), as part of the organisation’s outreach programme to communicate how European research is improving road transport.
About 42,600 people visited the exhibition, held at Paris’ Grand Palais from 14-16 November 2008. Research organisations, universities, businesses and other associations demonstrated how their scientific innovations would affect the lives of everyday citizens as well as businesses.
In an opening speech, Janez Potocnik, the European Commissioner responsible for Science and Research, emphasised the integral role of science in society. “New knowledge helps create innovation and it is only innovation that can create new jobs and new wealth,” he said.
The 2008 Science, Technology and Competitiveness (ST&C) key figures report published last week provides for the first time an overview of progress from 2000 to 2006 in both EU R&D investment and in implementing the European Research Area (ERA). It shows that Europe’s pool of researchers is growing and the EU is becoming more attractive for foreign researchers and for private R&D investments from the US. However, the stagnation of the EU-27’s R&D intensity (R&D expenditure as % of GDP) at 1.84% is denting the EU’s ambition to become a globally competitive knowledge-based society.
Despite increased investment in research by many Member States and an improved efficiency of their research systems, the EU is still far from reaching its Lisbon target of investing 3% of GDP in R&D. A continued low level of business R&D investment, linked to an EU industrial structure with a smaller high tech sector than in the US, hampers the EU’s performance. The 2008 Innovation Scoreboard published in parallel provides detailed results of EU innovation performance. Both reports prove that the EU must change its industrial structure, gear up on innovation and ensure more and better use of R&D. Read more
Road transport dominates the European transport scene, serving all Europeans every day. While transport costs to industry have generally been reduced, the growth of this sector has produced a number of negative effects, namely regarding safety, the environment, inefficiency, and increasing social disparity. This paper provides a review of research relating to road transport carried out in EU-funded research projects.
The European Commission adopted yesterday a Green Paper setting out the future challenges of its policy for a trans-European transport network (TEN-T). TEN-T policy needs to be realigned to contribute more effectively to objectives aimed at combating climate change and to support Europe’s increasing international role through better infrastructure connections with its neighbours and the wider world. Importantly TEN-T policy also needs to be adapted to strengthen its supporting role for economic and social development within the framework of the Lisbon strategy. The integration of all transport modes and intelligent transport systems can be strengthened if TEN-T policy provided a basis guaranteeing efficient and safe transport services reflecting the future demands of citizens and economic operators. In the light of these challenges and lessons drawn from previous TEN-T policy implementation, the Commission sets out future objectives and proposes three options for TEN-T development, while stressing the need for coherence between planning ambitions and instruments for their implementation. Read More