The European Transport Network Alliance-ETNA Plus-is a 3 year coordination action that will build upon the activities and knowledge acquired in the ongoing project European Transport NCP Alliance (ETNA) with a new and wider approach reflecting the new political context and the priority given to Europe 2020 and to the Horizon 2020 objectives.
It will also take advantage of the positive results of TransNEW and MARKET-UP FP7 projects and, to avoid duplication of efforts, will make use of existing data and information, collaborating with the TRKC (Transport Knowledge Research Centre) and CORDIS PS.
The overall objective of ETNA Plus is to foster innovation in trans-national cooperation in Transport with a focus on promoting the active participation of new actors and regions in EU research calls and projects.
Transport NCPs will be key players in this mechanism, but their role will be complemented and enhanced thanks to the contribution of other relevant stakeholders, which will bring to the project a real added value both in terms of knowledge and expertise.
ETNA Plus will also seek the active involvement of 56 Associated Partners (APs) nominated officially as Transport NCPs. ETNA Plus will target transnational cooperation through different activities, following a two-fold approach; on one side, specific initiatives to raise awareness on the EU transport R&I landscape will be carried out, on the other side, efforts to improve the level of expertise on EU funding (e.g. Horizon 2020) will be undertaken both at NCP and researcher level.
To this end, the proposal foresees:
- The development of a web tool on EU funding opportunities, both public and private
- An analysis of innovation strategies implemented in the industrialized Countries
- The support to stakeholders to build trans-national consortia and the reinforcement of Transport NCPs and researchers expertise through ad hoc training and twinning measures
- Networking with other initiatives relevant to transport research
Working together on transportation
A follow-up EU project furthers international cooperation on transportation, inviting new players to the dialogue. Results include a search tool for research and funding, plus analysis of strengths and weaknesses of various countries' approaches.
A previous EU project (European Transport NCP Alliance (ETNA) 2008–2012) aimed to coordinate and improve cooperation among Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) National Contact Points (NCPs) concerned with transportation themes. A successor project is building on ETNA's achievements and expanding the former goals to reflect new priorities set by Europe 2020 and the Innovation Union.
The follow-up project is the EU-funded 'European transport network alliance' (http://www.transport-ncps.net (ETNA PLUS)) . The ambition is to foster innovation in transnational cooperation in the transportation sector, focusing on promoting participation of new actors and regions in EU projects. The 19-member initiative began in 2013 and will conclude in June 2015.
Consortium members have designed and implemented a searchable web-based tool, enabling users to identify relevant transportation research and funding sources. The tool contains appropriate information, drawn from existing databases. Testing has also been performed.
The research identified the innovation strategies of various industrialised countries, listing respective weaknesses and strengths. Country reports have been drafted based on the results of this work.
Project members helped national/regional research stakeholders identify and link with new partners for participation in new projects planned under Horizon 2020. The work tailored the IDEALIST partner search system to a transportation purpose. ETNA PLUS also organised several brokerage activities in conjunction with other EU groups.
The project's input to professional development includes 11 factsheets and 2 training sessions. A training accreditation procedure was created, intended for the establishment of a body of certified trainers who will train researchers and other stakeholders. A selection procedure has been agreed upon.
Dissemination includes development of communication materials, two periodic newsletters and an overhaul of the previous project's website. The project has organised several events to date.
ETNA PLUS will result in greater innovation in transnational transportation. New players will be able to cooperate on future EU projects in the sector.