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Joint OECD/ITF Transport Research Centre (network)

Programme Type
International (International)
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)


Background & Policy context

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publications and its statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation.

Transformed from the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT), the International Transport Forum (ITF) is an inter-governmental organisation within the OECD family. Its founding member countries include all the OECD members, as well as many countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, China, India and Brazil are being invited to participate in the Forum. The aim of the Forum is to foster a deeper understanding of the essential role played by transport in the economy and society. Transport, logistics and mobility are key factors in economic development and growth, and contribute also to employment, social welfare and cohesion. Progress has been made in recent years to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of transport activity, but more remains to be done on this level. Clearly, all dimensions of sustainability - environmental, economic and social - are impacted strongly by transport activity.

The Joint Research Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Transport Forum was established on 1 January 2004 by a Resolution of the OECD Council and a Declaration of Ministers of Transport through the merger of the OECD Road Transport and Intermodal Linkages Research Programme and the ECMT Economic Research Activities. It brings together researchers from transport Ministries and Transport Research Agencies in 51 countries to undertake joint work on transport policy and economics.

Strategic Objectives

The mandate of the Centre is to promote economic development and contribute to structural improvements in Member country economies, through co-operative transport research programmes addressing all modes of transport and intermodal linkages in a wider economic, social, environmental and institutional context.

Programme organisation

Ministers have agreed that the central programme of work will provide a much wider international forum devoted to research and related discussions on surface transport with a new intermodal perspective. The projects will consist of various Round Tables, Workshops and Working and Advisory Groups.

The proposed projects and activities are grouped according to the Strategic Directions adopted by Ministers in 2004 and focus on:

  1. Infrastructure. Three projects are proposed, relating to:
    • Transport planning instruments;
    • Effective regulatory institutions; and
    • Intermodal rail terminals.
  2. Transport operations. Topics relate to:
    • Reliability of surface transport networks;
    • Potential and limits of intermodal freight transport services; and
    • Airline competition, systems of airports and intermodal connections.
  3. Transport safety and security. To help achieve ambitious road safety targets, work is proposed on:
    • Regulatory, operational and productivity improvements for heavy vehicles;
    • Insurance and accident risks;
    • Drugs in traffic;
    • Motorcycle safety;
    • Pedestrian safety, urban space and health; and
    • Security, risk perception and cost-benefit analysis.
  4. Environmental costs and sustainability. The proposals focus on:
    • Technology applications to assist mobility management;
    • Greenhouse gas reduction strategies in the transport sector;
    • Improvements in the management of transport noise; and
    • Cost effective policies to reduce vehicle emissions.
  5. Globalisation, trade and spatial effects of transport. The proposals reflect the increasing priority of this theme, and follow on from the OECD/ECMT Symposium 2006: “Benefiting from Globalisation”. Work is proposed on:
    • Globalisation and trade: freight transport supply chains and maritime gateways;
    • Seaport competition and hinterland connections;
    • Harmonisation of labour standards;
    • Vertical disintegration of transport and logistics; and
    • Transport costs and regional concentration.

In undertaking the proposed Programme, the Centre will be involved in research work that is


Institution Type
Institution Name
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and ITF (International Transport Forum)
Type of funding
Public (international sources other than the EU)
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions

OECD and ITF budget.

Participating countries
All OECD countries and ITF-member countries

Projects covered

1 projects have benn covered so far:


Mr Stephen Perkins
Head of Centre
Paris Cedex 16
Organisation Website

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