Brussels: Green transportation in focus

[tweetmeme Affordable hybrid cars, bus systems that get people out of cars, “intelligent” cargo and much more: Brussels showcase for smarter and greener transport innovation

Brussels, 8th June 2010. Some of the most innovative and exciting transport research projects funded by the EU are being showcased at the Transport Research Arena (TRA) in Brussels this week. The event is open to journalists and a press tour is being arranged – for details, see below. This is part of the Commission’s initiative to communicate more proactively on the practical benefits EU research is bringing to the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy, in terms of improved quality of life and as a key driver of economic growth and high quality jobs.

The Transport Research Arena is a biannual conference and exhibition on the future of surface transport. It brings together researchers, businesses and policy makers in the field of road transport and urban mobility to show the latest developments and discuss the future of green, smart and safe transportation.

Examples: a few of the projects being presented:

Hi-CEPS (Highly Integrated Combustion Electric Propulsion System)

The Hi-CEPS project aims to develop hybrid vehicles that can be mass produced and that are affordable, adaptable and fun to drive. These will be available on the European market in the next few years. Among other things, the hybrid systems being developed employ innovative ways to solve common problems in hybrid technology, such as preventing air conditioning from shutting down once the engine stops. The vehicles will be low-cost, standardised and adjustable to various (alternative) fuels. The project is coordinated by Centro Ricerche Fiat in Italy, with 22 partners – including Fiat, Ford and PSA Peugeot-Citroën – from 10 European countries.

EU funding: € 9.88 million

More Information:

EBSF (European Bus System of the Future)

The European Bus System of the Future aims to get people out of their cars and on to buses by making bus systems in urban areas more attractive. The project works on new and clean technologies and on making infrastructure and operation more efficient and appealing. The project is coordinated by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), which represents about 3,100 organisations from 90 countries worldwide. Six European cities of different sizes and characteristics will test progress with various aspects of the project: Bremerhaven, Budapest, Gothenburg, Madrid, Rome and Rouen.

EU funding: € 15.8 million

More Information:


EasyWay aims at improving safety, reducing congestion and environmental impacts, and promoting the continuity of services at regional and European level. Instead of doing this by changing transport infrastructures, EasyWay is developing smart technologies that provide travellers on European roads with real-time information and traffic management services.

EU funding: € 100 million

More Information:

CIVITAS (City-Vitality-Sustainability)

The CIVITAS Initiative helps European cities share their experience on implementing cleaner and better urban transport and learn from each others best and most successful ideas. In total, almost sixty cities across Europe from Tallinn to Porto and from Cork to Bucharest function as living laboratories to address concerns related to energy-efficiency, transport policy and road safety, alternative fuels and the environment.

EU funding: € 180 million

More Information:


ROADIDEA (Roadmap for radical innovations in European transport services) will create applications which combine weather and traffic data to help road users better plan their route and react to unexpected events like traffic jams or accidents. The first application developed under this project, already available in The Netherlands, allows road users to check the weather at their destination and on the route, as well as traffic and road conditions.

A total of 14 organisations from nine European countries – Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Finland, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden – are partners in the project. The European Commission is providing €3.35 million to the project under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme.

Further information:


Researchers in the EURIDICE project (European Inter-Disciplinary research on Intelligent Cargo for Efficient, safe and environment-friendly logistics) are working to create a system which connects the cargo in a truck, train or ship with the transport companies and institutions that may need data about it. Devices installed in the cargo exchange information with those in the offices of logistics firms or the customs authorities, for example, to ensure that transported goods are handled more quickly and efficiently. In this way, if a truck transporting fresh fish has refrigeration problems, the operating company could send another vehicle, transfer the cargo and prevent the fish from spoiling.

The three-year project was launched in 2008. It is carried out by a consortium led by an Italian IT company and brings together a total of 22 partners from nine countries – Austria, Germany, Greece, Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia. The European Commission, through its 7th Framework Research programme, is providing €8.25 million for the project.

Further information:

Facts and figures on EU funding for transport research

The EU is providing over €4 billion in funding for transport research including aeronautics between 2007 and 2013, under the Seventh Research Framework Programme. The objectives are to develop safer, greener and smarter transport systems for Europe that will benefit citizens, respect the environment, and increase the competitiveness of European industries in the global market.

So far, 134 research projects on surface transport have been selected for funding by FP7-Transport. These focus on the development of clean and efficient engines and power trains, reducing the impact of transport on climate change, inter-modal regional and national transport, clean and safe vehicles, and infrastructure construction and maintenance, with an EU contribution of approximately €414 million.

Citation: Memorandum of the European Commission MEMO/10/239

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