ERTRAC EGVIA Visit to the Baltic States – a seminar dedicated to road transport research opportunities at European level!
Last 10th April, a delegation from EGVIA (European Green Vehicles initiative Association) and ERTRAC (European Road Transport Research Advisory Council) visited the three Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in order to exchange with stakeholders from these countries on funding opportunities for research in road transport at European level and learn more about their strengths in the areas covered by the H2020 programme – with a focus on road transportation.
The main objective of the visit was to increase awareness from stakeholders in these countries about ongoing activities and forthcoming research funding opportunities, hence increasing their participation rate in the different parts of the Horizon 2020 programme, including the Green Vehicles partnership.
With more than 60 participants coming from the three different countries, this seminar has been a great success. The event started with a speech from Artūrs Zeps, the Vice Rector for Strategic Development of Riga Technical University, followed by the perspectives of the European Commission (Julija Sakovica, DG RTD) and ERTRAC and EGVIA, represented by Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni, Vice Chairman.
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The rest of the morning was the opportunity for representatives of each countries to detail their strategies in the areas of road transport. The interactive session in the afternoon was dedicated to the presentation of upcoming funding opportunities in EGVI partnership and in Horizon 2020 Transport Work Programme. Despite the official publication in June, discussions occurred on the basis of the latest draft version available.
Several recommendations arose from the discussions to improve participation of Baltic stakeholders to the Horizon 2020 programme: reinforce their participation to Brussels’ based activities in order to further develop their networking activities with other stakeholders and focus on their core capabilities to make a key contribution to a proposal to be submitted and bring the strongest added value to existing consortium. The added value that could derive from non-funded activities such as participation to events and conferences or joining ERTRAC Working Groups activities allowing to bring their views to a larger community and network with other stakeholders has also been highlighted. The discussions led to exchange of views regarding the Evaluation Summary Reports provided after the evaluation of projects submitted as well as the different opportunities for new comers to the programme to find information with a short outlook of the participant portal.
The seminar continued with the presentation of a success story by Jānis Barbars: infra4DFuture project who emphasised the importance of networking for the success of a proposal under Horizon 2020.
The non-exhaustive list of strengths identified from the stakeholders who participated to the workshop include:
- Simulation and software development in the field of transport
- Data collection and data sharing
- Intermodality (thanks to the large-scale project: Rail Baltica)
- Defense technologies
- Logistics and last miles delivery
- (Connection with) Infrastructure and road maintenance
- Environmentally friendly transport – with a focus on the development of alternative fuels
- Air traffic and control systems
- Internet of things applied to transport
This seminar was organised as part of a series of events in EU-13 Member States in order increase their participation into the road transport research related activities. This first event has been supported by Riga Technical University.