The White Paper on Transport Policy and its Mid-term Review describe the challenges and the objectives for efficient, sustainable and user-friendly energy and transport systems in Europe. Research plays an important role in achieving these objectives. In this respect, transport research can contribute to the development of transport market/systems and new European standards. It also paves the way for preparing and launching new legal initiatives and other transport policy measures.
It is important to disseminate and communicate project results in order to improve the visibility and impact of transport research activities supported by the EU RTD programmes and National Research Programmes. It can also help to shorten the time it takes for research results to develop into actual market applications. Because of this DG TREN considers dissemination of research results from transport projects a priority issue.
The DG TREN project Transport Research Knowledge Centre (TRKC) - now known as TRIP - plays a key role in this context. The overall goal of the project is to disseminate and promote the results of transport research activities at European and national levels to policy makers, industry and other relevant stakeholders. TRKC was funded under the 6th RTD Framework Programme and is a follow-up of EXTRA (1999-2001) and EXTR@Web (2002-2006).
The overarching goal of the project is to disseminate and promote the results of transport research conducted in the Framework Programmes, in the European Research Area and beyond.
The three key objectives are:
- to enhance and maintain the web-based Transport Research Knowledge Centre (TRKC), providing structured and timely access to information on EU, national and international transport research activities and results;
- to provide focused aggregated analysis of transport research results against a thematic structure and emerging policy priorities;and
- to stimulate innovation in transport by accelerating the application of research results
through extended networking.
To achieve its objectives, the project gathered data on research organisations, programmes and projects in a structured way, using the existing 'Reporting Scheme' and supported by a network of institutional subcontractors across the ERA. It presented the results of research projects through key thematic findings; thematic analysis reports for some 30 themes; and policy reviews for agreed policy topics.
All knowledge and outputs were disseminated through the TRKC site on Europa (annual compendia, policy brochures etc.) or marketed through e-bulletins, event attendance and press packs.
User feedback was regularly assessed to re-focus the scope of ongoing activities. The project actively pursued the collaborative exploitation of research results with ERA-NET Transport, Accession Countries and New Member States and the developers of TEN-T and the MIP, and together with training and education providers, developed facilities for the effective transfer of research results into training programmes.
Two innovation pilots, in areas of major advancement in transport policy, will accelerate the application of research results. Also a roadmap for future transport research knowledge application was developed, based on the active knowledge outputs piloted in the project.
The Transport Research Knowledge Centre (TRKC) re-launched its web portal with a dynamic new look, improved navigation and user-friendly structure.
It featured up-to-date information on transport research activities enabling policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders to access results of EU or nationally financed transport research in the European Research Area (ERA).
It enabled visitors to easily browse and search information about:
- Transport research programmes across the European Research Area;
- Ongoing and completed European and national transport research projects;
- European and national research funding mechanisms;
- Thematic analysis reports;
- Policy brochures; and
- Major events in the international transport community.
Enhancements to the website include:
- Improved navigation - the website and the search tools have been structured in an intuitive and consistent way, making it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for and know where they are within the web site;
- Improved look and feel - enhanced graphics and new page layouts provided visitors with an improved user experience.
By the end of the project, TRKC portal gave access to over 7 000 research projects, which were split into some 2 000 EU and 5 000 nationally and internationally funded projects.
As from August 2011 the maintenance of the TRKC portal was handed over to a new consortium team. The official launch of the new, more functional version, Transport Research & Innovation Portal (TRIP) took place during the Transport Research Arena 2012, held in Athens on 23-26 April.
TRKC has brought together a wide range of transport research databases and websites, information on programmes and projects. This has enabled the user to visit one single website to find all relevant information, instead of clicking his/her way through a number of different sites, with different search functionalities, or in languages he/she does not comprehend.
TRKC provided in-depth analysis of research findings. It developed a thematic structure of 30 transport themes in four categories constituted to browsing keywords. Each project entry was tagged with up to five of these themes. These implications at project level formed the input into the Thematic Research Summaries, which were published on the portal for each of the 30 themes, and were updated at regular intervals to keep abreast with new research results. These Summaries has provided TRKC users with a full insight into the State-of-the-Art of research in the given theme.
In addition, TRKC addressed emerging policy priorities through Policy Brochures. These summarised key analytical findings to enable policy makers to base their decisions on robust research information.