The ESTEEM project was aimed at enhancing and strengthening the links between the Maghreb transport related research system and three Mediterranean neighbouring EU countries (Italy, France and Spain), focusing on the theme of safety and security of transport systems and infrastructures. The Mediterranean Partners Countries (MPCs) involved in the project were Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
The project's specific objective was to bring the partners together to share in the identification of priority common research themes, responding to identified needs, which should be investigated in future research actions to be carried out at regional level. The coordination between the Mediterranean organisations was consolidated through the creation of an ad hoc network ensuring a long lasting impact of the action in the region.
The project sought to identify the priority research themes on maritime safety and security, road safety and transport infrastructure development. More specifically, it focused on surveying specific sub-areas significant for the Maghreblan countries development in the domain of transport system safety and security in order to disclose available capacities in the EU Partner Countries. The results formed the basis on which future collaborative research initiatives will be built.
- Human factors in road safety (information treatment by road users, road users education, protection of vulnerable users);
- Information systems to improve transport safety and security (road safety enhancement, safety and security of port operations, information and management systems);
- Safety, security and environmental aspects for infrastructure design (road and rail safe audits and inspections, safety of road and rail tunnels, infrastructure equipment);
- Road safety in Europe (accident data collection and analysis, methodologies and tools for improving road safety, safety and security aspects of hazardous goods transportation);
- The vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists.
The focus of project was the enhancement of safety and security in the transport systems and infrastructure in the Mediterranean region. The identified results achieved thusfar can be summarised as follows:
- Links between North African Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) and Southern Europe have been strengthened through the identification of common research themes at regional level;
- The coordination of different Mediterranean organisations has been achieved thanks to an ad-hoc network that will ensure the project's lasting impact in the region;
- The project has successfully identified the sub-areas to be investigated, including road safety management, human factors in road safety, use of information systems and infrastructure design;
- Stakeholder consultation has enabled better understanding of how current challenges can be overcome and which aspects of European best practice should be applied to the MPCs;
- Findings by project partners have been used to draw up road maps for future research;
- Project events have been supported by networking and dissemination activities to ensure the initiative has a lasting impact in the region;
- A secretariat for the Esteem project has also been created and together with its website can be used to disseminate results from surveys and workshops.
Among the transport modes analysed, road was recognised as requiring the most attention, with road safety issues clearly indicated as the most urgent aspect. The improvement of infrastructure-related safety was also considered of topical interest, especially in urban areas. The development of innovative technologies was considered a less urgent topic.
The project made a strong contribution towards efforts to improve coordination of transport research activities across the entire Mediterranean area.
The Esteem project has contributed to future research road maps for both the FP7 'Transport programme' and MPC governments and will help coordinate high-quality research and transport policies. The initiative will therefore, provide major benefits for citizens of countries on either side of the Mediterranean Sea.
The project made a strong contribution towards efforts to improve coordination of transport research activities across the region.
2. Innovating for the future: technology and behaviour:
2.1. A European transport research and innovation policy.