This project concerned innovation in the transport sector. It especially focussed on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The POSMETRANS project pursued two core goals:
- Drawing conclusions for policy measures in order to accelerate the market take-up of innovative technologies and processes in transport;
- Providing a framework for the impact assessment and evaluation of EU measures aiming at innovation.
On the basis of an international network, consisting of six partners from five different European countries, an action plan to implement the above-mentioned goals was elaborated. The action plan set out to contribute to achieve following results:
- Support European policy makers in charge at the EU level in defining general conditions and priorities in order to increase the efficiency in the transport and logistic area to secure a sustainable European innovation strength and growth.
- Link logistic and transport policy questions in an overview and propositions about this will be gathered on how solutions to the problems can be approached on the interfaces of these sustainable areas and efficient for all participants.
- Contribute to show obstacles for the development of the transport and logistic sector and deliver estimations of the affected stakeholder can be resolved in sustainable ways.
- Deliver answers to questions about a harmonised training of the employees of the transport sector, as well as with regard to the securing of consistent quality standards for the benefit of the customers and consumers.
- Achieve a significant contribution to the rise in the efficiency of existing handling junctions through the showing of possibilities of a clever collaboration of actors of different carriers, and with that the completion of the European transport needs in the coming years. The focus of the project lies with the SMEs since they generate the largest turnover and the most jobs in the respective sector.
POSMETRANS structure was based on a logical framework with three main phases:
- Identification of relevant European and National policy measures
- Identification of relevant technologies and trends which foster the innovation process
- Elaboration of a competence matrix with the key players of innovation
- Development of questionnaires
- Analysis on how innovation spreads into the market
- Analysis of the influence of networks on the stimulation of the innovation process
- Analysis of the impact of European and national policy measures
- Validation of the results by external experts (POSMETRANS Core Group)
- Elaboration of recommendations
- Promotion and dissemination through awareness raising workshops
- Final Conference in the frame of an international conference
The POSMETRANS activities have shown that several factors influence innovation in the transport sector concerning SMEs in public transport and freight and logistics. Very important for success and sustainability of innovations are policy measures, e.g. law and regulation, guidelines. The results from the POSMETRANS survey show that laws and regulations result to be the measures, which mostly influence the innovation processes.
The results of the project give a good overview over the whole transport sector and provided an insight into the problems SMEs have concerning for example EU funding programmes, networks and policy measures. A lot of the SMEs which supported the project activities were afraid of the high level requested regarding the application in EU funding programmes. Especially increased bureaucracy and cost issues are problematic for SMEs.
R&D institutes as well as networks are important players for spreading innovation into the market. In many cases networks have a very profound influence on the stimulation of the innovation process, but the success also depends on the actors inside relevant network. To accelerate the progress and innovation in SMEs RTD institutes and networks are essential. This is mostly because both groups have good contacts to and Information on different funding programmes on EU level and are able to involve SMEs.
Considering the results of the whole POSMETRANS activities several recommendations have been elaborated:
- A more active participation of networks in the decisional process regarding law & regulation, guidelines and funding programmes is recommended. Active participation of the praxis in the decision making process is also very important. The POSMETRANS survey remarked on the problem related to the low information provided on action plans and guidelines, despite of the quite huge demand from the members, as well as the need for a major inclusion of networks in the decisional process, and for them to be more representative of SMEs needs in their lobbying activity.
- To draw the attention of SMEs, the dissemination of good practices and success stories as mentioned above is recommended.
- As increased bureaucracy and cost issues have a high impact on companies and especially on small SMEs, their level should be kept as low as possible. As described for the whole transport sector earlier fragmented funding schemes, overlapping in different thematic areas in research programmes and overlapping in different funding schemes are problematic and should be reduced.
- Existing funding programmes that are concerned with the problem of intermodal transport (e.g. the programme Marco Polo) and especially a shift from road transport to other modes, have to be organised in a way that SMEs are able to participate in. Due to the required volume of transport it is currently not possible for SMEs to participate in the Marco Polo programme.
- A better cross-sectional cooperation, also mentioned above for the whole transport sector, for example with the establishment of joint-research-centres, is recommended.
- The programme Eurostars aims to stimulate SMEs to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding. This bottom-up approach is regarded as the best way to support SMEs in founding. To better support SMEs the EU Commission could bring out other programmes following this example.
- Start-ups in the transport sector can for example be supported like in the KIC Inno projects founded by the EIT.
- Concerning research the market take up often presents a problem. In this case the founding of spin-offs is important. Support or creation of spin-offs can be an instrument to improve the market take up and create new jobs. For this case the KIC structure, as mentioned earlier, is very good.
- Another s
Innovating for the future (technology and behaviour): A European Transport Research and Innovation Policy