U-STIR set out to define the know-how and technologies addressing Europe's surface transport problems beyond 2050. A lead user centred approach stimulates the development and capture of radical new technological concepts. Local connecting offices analysed deficits and established activities reaching out for fundamentally new solutions for mobility and transport demands, improving environmental, economical and social quality in one step.
U-STIR was positioned as a horizontal activity as defined in the work programme for SST.2007.6.4 spanning all surface transport modes. U-STIR stimulated radical technological changes by supporting the development and capture of know how. The focus was on technologies which will enable clean and efficient surface transport systems for the second half of this century.
U-STIR activities covered the topics mentioned in the work programme as:
- Developing and implementing mechanisms to foster the creative thinking.
- Triggering, support and development of technological breakthroughs, aiming at introducing radical step changes in surface transport.
- A 'technology incubator' to analyse and evaluate the potential impact of the collected radical and novel ideas.
- A published 'technology watch' dedicated to spotting and monitoring progress in emerging technologies from other sectors with potential application to enhance solutions and concepts in surface transport.
The project partners came from geographic regions with different innovation performance and the partners worked jointly to accelerate innovation in the group of followers, trailing countries and also countries catching up. The complementary expertise of the partners ensured that radical new solutions could be found, supported and evaluated and excellence was achieved in finding the technologies for the future.
- WP1 coordinated the work progress, supported the partners, advised on contingency plans and also fulfilled administrative project tasks.
- In WP2 the working methodology was refined. This involved Innovation Incubators, which set out to exploit ideas collected and employ Delphi panels, analysing the technological drivers for 2050 and beyond.
- WP3 was the workhorse of the project fostering the creative thinking. Creativity tools and ideas from partners started the creative process implemented as workshops. The Innovation Pump did the same for the Internet, offering ideas and tools to improve creativity. Diligent research and incubation process helped to define the technological gaps. Incentives and methodological help stems from WP2. Participating universities allowed access to their research facilities for the incubation.
- WP4 created an innovation friendly climate, motivating researchers, industry and users to participate in the innovation process and giving stakeholders ideas at hand to support this process of innovative excellence. A Delphi process defined the technological roadmap.
- WP5 Evaluation/Monitoring will be assessing the work in parallel to WP3 and WP4 intervening in case the performance or quality does not meet the defined threshold.
- WP6 - dissemination was implemented as a service to the whole project, producing the dissemination products, developing on-line tools, and reached the target groups using a full fledged repertoire of dissemination products.
The project began with an analysis of current and future gaps in innovation. It summarised the main issues and predicted environmental and socio-economic problems relating to transport, correlating them with the innovations in surface transport. U-STIR then gathered information on policy goals, gaps and innovation related to transport challenges in order to prepare a report on foresight activities.
Existing innovation campaigns connected to the EU Year of Innovation were analysed and new ways to trigger innovation were investigated. The project partners also organised information-gathering workshops together with local stakeholders. The main findings obtained relate to the innovation climate in each country, and their results serve as an input for future workshops.
An innovation portal, called Innovation Pump, became a part of the project website and is supporting other project tasks. It features two valuable mechanisms, the first being a creativity support tool and the other being a 'tools and materials' section that can help further the project's aims.
The Project's main objective was fostering innovation and analysing challenges ahead by predicting these issues in order to take the necessary steps to overcome the potential obstacles invites the relevant authorities and stakeholders to provide their support and to participate in this process alongside the project's partners.
Establishing innovative ideas and solutions to combat future challenges assists in encouraging an innovation-friendly climate, through the involvement of decision as well as policy making bodies and authorities.
- Innovating for the future: technology and behaviour.
- Promoting more sustainable development.