The European transport network is highly developed, even if not fully balanced between regions and countries. Whilst some links are still missing and an effort is needed to complete trans-European connections, other corridors and nodes face increasing problems of congestions and under-capacity compared with traffic evolution. Key to improving capacity and availability of the existing transport infrastructure network are innovative systems and processes for re-engineering, retrofitting and upgrading that support a transition to zero intrusion from inspection, construction and maintenance (less, faster and better planned interventions with maximum safety for the workers) and drastically increase the productivity of the system.Scope:
In order to meet these challenges, proposals should address one or several of the following aspects, according the specific situation addressed:
―Re-engineering/re-design methods to adapt the network to new needs and ensure higher efficiency.
―Innovative design and construction methods that are fast, cost-efficient, using low maintenance and environment-friendly materials and flexible enough to accommodate increasing/changing demand. In particular, implementing advanced construction concepts and processes for corridors and hubs, i.e. flexible design and modular concepts, and advanced predictive models.
―Assessment of the multimodal network capacity in view of optimised use and future planning, taking due consideration of the uncertainty of demand evolution.
Attention is to be paid to the design, construction and operation of corridors, terminals, hubs and gateways as points of interchange (within the same mode) or transfer (between the modes). Airports of all sizes and operations are included. The action could also address synchro-modality over key transport corridors, where inland waterways represent a major challenge.
SME active participation is strongly encouraged.
In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation[[COM(2012)497]], international cooperation, in particular with Neighbouring Partner Countries, is encouraged. Proposals should take into consideration research actions already funded under the INFRAVATION ERA-NET Plus.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 6 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
Actions are expected to contribute to more optimal use of the multimodal transport system including avoidance of over-dimensioning of the physical network whilst reducing congestion and overload of specific network components and accommodating future demand; major progress is expected regarding accessibility and operational efficiency of multimodal hubs. Increase of the infrastructure performance will also contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in the sector and to minimise effects on climate change via the improvement of construction methods and traffic smoothness.