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Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems - Priority Thematic Area 6 (PTA6)



Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems - Priority Thematic Area 6 (PTA6)

Background & policy context: 

Sustainable development is a central objective of the European Union. In this context, global change, energy security, sustainable transport, sustainable management of Europe's natural resources, and their interaction with human activities motivate this research action priority theme.

In the FP6, sustainable development is divided in three individual sub-priority areas: 

  • Sustainable energy systems; 
  • Sustainable surface transport; and 
  • Global change and ecosystems.
Strategic Objectives: 

To strengthen its scientific and technological capacities Europe needs to be able to implement a sustainable development model in the short and in the long term, integrating its social, economic and environmental dimensions, and to make a significant contribution to international efforts to mitigate or even to reverse current adverse trends, to understand and control global change and preserve the equilibrium of ecosystems.

Programme organisation: 

The specific sub-theme of priority thematic area 6 with a transport focus is sustainable surface transport which comprises research into: 

  • New technologies and concepts for all surface transport modes; 
  • Advanced design and production techniques; 
  • Rebalancing and integrating different transport modes; and 
  • Increasing road, rail and waterborne safety and avoiding traffic congestion.
Leading Institutions:

European Commission

Type of funding:
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions: 

The overall budget covering the four-year period 2003-2006 is EUR 2329 million for PTA6. Budget for the sub-theme Sustainable Surface Transport is indicated as EUR 670 million in the same timeframe.

Total Budget: 
2329 million euros
Participating countries: 
Most European countries (EU members and candidate countries)
Total number of projects: 


Project Profiles:
  1. Advanced Virtual Agents for Testing the Accessibility of Rail Stations
  2. Boost AUTOmotive SMEs participation IN FP7
  3. Building Bridges between EU Member and Candidate States in Maritime Research on Transport within the Frames of European Research Area
  4. Co-ordination Action to Implement an Advisory Council for Maritime Transport Research in Europe
  5. Coordinated Academic RTD and Education Supporting Innovation in Marine Industries
  6. Cost effective Inspection and Structural Maintenance for Ship Safety and Environmental Protection throughout its Life Cycle
  8. Design of an Innovative System for the Drive and Control of Port Cranes for Safe Remote Operation
  9. Development of a harmonised "European Hydrogen Energy Roadmap" by a balanced group of partners from industry, European regions and technical and socio-economic scenario and modelling experts
  10. Effective Operation in Ports
  11. Empowering Transport Research with the Special Focus on the New Accession States and the Candidate Countries
  12. Enhanced Co-operation between EU Member States and Associated Candidate States in Maritime Research on Transport
  13. European Driver´s Desk Advanced Concept Implementation
  14. European Maritime Data Management
  15. European Optimised Pantograph Catenary Interface
  16. European Rail Research Advisory Council SSA
  17. European Reference Framework on Dangerous Good Transport
  18. Gas Import Floating Terminal
  19. GRAND GOOS Regional Alliances Network Development
  20. High density power electronics for FC - and ICE - Hybrid Electric Vehicle Powertrains
  21. Hydrogen Railway Applications International Lighthouse
  22. Icebreaker Cooperation on the Motorway of the Baltic Sea
  23. Implementing Change in the European Railway System
  24. Increasing the Safety of Icebound Shipping
  25. Integration of Two-Component Ceramic Injection Moulding for Large-Scale Production of Novel Multifunctional Ceramic Components for Automotive and Railway Applications
  26. Management Framework for Intelligent Intermodal Transport
  27. Monitor Integrated Safety System
  28. New-generation Natural Gas Ship
  29. Peri-urban Land Use Relationships – Strategies and Sustainability Assessment Tools for Urban – Rural Linkages
  30. Police Enforcement Policy and Programmes on European Roads
  31. Promote Innovative Intermodal Freight Transport
  32. Promoting and Facilitating ERA-networking between European Contract Research Organisations (C.R.O.)
  33. Promoting and facilitating the participation of SMEs in FP7 EU RTD projects in Surface Transport - automotive, railways, waterborne
  34. Promoting and supporting SME participation in Surface Transport EU - RTD projects
  35. Quantifying the Climate Impact of Global and European Transport Systems
  36. Safety Competition for Students
  37. Safety Competition for Students 07
  38. Specific Support Action for pan-European stakeholders and users sustaining integrated pilot technologies for increasing the efficiency of intermodal transport
  39. Strengthening Rail Research Cooperation between Europe and Emerging International Markets for an Integrated International Research Area
  40. Support for sustainable transport research in Slovakia
  41. Support for Sustainable Transport Research in Slovenia
  42. Sustainable Mobility Days
  43. Third European Road Research Conference
  44. Waterborne Technology Platform
  45. Wheelset Integrated Design and Effective Maintenance
European Commission, DG TREN FP6 Sustainable Development Info Desk Directorate General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Office: DM28 7/10
Contact country:
Fax Number: 
+32-2-296 83 57