A good market uptake of research results is needed. The purpose of a market uptake was to make research and scientific/technological developments accessible to private organisations. These stakeholders are then encouraged to develop the technology further into new products, processes, materials or services that will enhance the industrial competitiveness.
The objectives of the MARKET-UP project are:
- To get a better understanding of the context in which research funding for transport takes place in Europe and for the different transport modes, including concentration patterns in terms of actors (role and weight of big companies versus SMEs);
- To derive conclusions as to what drives or hampers the development and uptake of transport technologies;
- To develop insights into which policy instruments could be usefully applied to respond to the drivers and address the barriers such that faster progress can be achieved with the introduction and uptake of transport technologies;
- To identify and define the roles of the actors and regions involved in this actions
These objectives were achieved through the development of the following activities:
- Analysing barriers and drivers (social, economical and technical) for the market uptake of transport research results in Europe.
- Monitoring and assessing progress of the industrial research in the transport sector through a mapping of existing competences in the EU-27, particularly highlighting the role of the SMEs in order to integrate their innovation potential.
- Assessing research-funding instruments available.
- Analysing barriers and weak players in the field of RTD as applied to SMEs in the transport sectors.
- Encouraging SMEs and RTD smaller actors to get involved on RTD programmes by training and educating them.
Distribution of competencies in Transport Research
The mapping of competencies places Scandinavian and Northern European Member States, including France and Italy, at the forefront of transport RTD. As concerns the exploitation of transport research funds through FP7, the largest number of projects is oriented towards Aeronautics whereas Inland waterways (IWW) is the less represented research sector. It has been further noticed that the number of institutions active in FP7 in a particular country is closely related to the number of approved projects. Large companies represent the highest share of participation, and countries with a high success rate in FP7 for transport show a more active involvement from political side. As concerns the participation of actors from education and research institutes, a frequent participation seems standard in nearly all countries.
Barriers and drivers to market uptake of Research Technology Development
Market-up created a ranking system intended to provide a better understanding of the relative importance of the different inducements and blocking mechanisms identified for the uptake of RTD (Research Technology Development) results in the transport sector.
Barriers faced by SME in the transport sector
Market-up focused in its analysis particularly on the difficulties encountered by SMEs while performing research, innovation and development activities. Barriers have been identified relating to SMEs’ experiences with FP7 as well as to further impediments of investing in R&D. A ranking system has been applied in order to provide a better understanding of the relative importance, severity and impact of the barriers.
Market-up undertook a detailed assessment of seven Cases representing different innovative clusters in the transport sector, namely: Intermodal VEL Wagon, Deployment of Green Technologies, Rail Cargo Sprinter, Aviation Bio fuels, Maritime and IWT Container Transferium, Electromobility and Bio fuels for Land Transport.
The Case Studies allowed to reach a better insight of the success or failure of policies to stimulate innovation in transport and thus, to derive conclusion as to what drives or hampers the development and uptake of transport technologies by the market.
Policy recommendations have been elaborated for:
- Improving the market take-up of research results in transport, and
- Encouraging the involvement of weak players in transport research.
Market-up key messages:
- The underinvestment in (RDI) Research Development and Innovation of the private sector in Europe is identified as a weakness of the European research and innovation system. However, this general picture is not reflected in the specific case of transport, where private investment amounts for more than 90% of the estimated total transport RDI effort.
- While the volume of corporate investment in R&D (Research & Development) does not appear to threaten research and innovation capabilities in transport, its concentration can prove to be a weakness.
- It is difficult to identify the key players on transport research and innovation on a given topic. The absence of effective and independent information sources can make it difficult for potential newcomers to get to know who is working in which field and accordingly, pool resources with them and join competitive proposals.
- EU funding programmes play an important role in building up competences for transport research across Europe. However, the presence of national research funding programmes, complementary or additional to the European programmes, is the key to achieve high levels of capacity on transport research and innovation.
- Transport related funding instruments demonstrate the existence of the 'valley of death', i.e. a funding gap at an intermediate stage of the innovation process, between basic research and the commercialization of a new product.
- Most funding instruments support public-private partnerships and many of them have specific provisions to ease the involvement of SMEs. This is considered an important mechanism to involve weak players in transport research and can potentially play a prominent role in increasing the market uptake of research results.
- A great effort needs to be made to address with European R&D investment the major societal challenges identified in Europe 2020. In fact, FP7 investments seem to be unbalanced across modes: air transport appears to benefit from financing while integrated transport modes seem to be underfinanced which however are critical to achieve 'smart, green and integrated transport'.
- There is a need to develop an easy and frequent update of competences' mapping and available funding i
Modern infrastructure and smart funding: A coherent funding framework