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WP2: World-class Transport Research Infrastructure

WP2, world-class transport research infrastructures (RIs) is led by FEHRL and builds on previous work undertaken in the TREE, TRANSFORUM, ALT-COST and other projects. The WP consists of four tasks. 

  1. European Research Infrastructures (RIs)
  2. International RIs
  3. Future demands and 
  4. Missing gaps and opportunities.

These tasks consider hard (physical) physical RIs and Soft RIs consisting of databases, libraries etc. The WP has investigated the opportunities that exist to develop the RIs needed for strengthening the ERA of today and the challenges and opportunities faced by transport for the future. Coordination between the transport sector and ESFRI will be strengthened. Reflecting the strong international focus in the transport sector the activities will be closely coordinated with those of WP6. The role that research infrastructures play in facilitating and promoting the mobility of researchers will also require strong links with WP1.

Overview of deliverables

Deliverable 1 of WP2 focused on building an Online Catalogue for RI on the DETRA website at The catalogue has been established and considers both hard (physical) and soft (databases) infrastructure for all four transportation modes. The catalogue aims to be a tool for facilitating cooperation both between those that have similar RIs (development) and those that have complementary RIs (optimising use). To facilitate the input of data about the RIs, a template and information folder is available at

The scope of Deliverable 2 in WP2 included identifying the needs for RI in the transport sector. Based on results from workshops and papers from different organisations including the European Commission, the requirements for the future RIs needed to solve the common challenges are identified. Four main common RIs are identified and there is also a discussion on how to facilitate cooperation around RIs.

The final Deliverable 3 in WP2 tries to summon up the conclusions from the work within WP2. A preliminary business case for the four RIs that could be the main RIs to be promoted is presented, as is the roadmap for increasing cooperation around RIs.


The main conclusions of WP2 can be summarised as follows. 

WP2  highlights the importance of networking around RIs and the RI itself for strengthening the ERA in the transport sector. Both existing RIs and new RIs are essential tools for addressing the grand challenges.

There is a need to further develop and strengthen networks around existing facilities and RIs:

  • Financing is of course a key issue that needs to be resolved, as well as issues relating to limited resources. On the other hand, the possibility to create an environment where researchers can meet and jointly develop new methods, new material and new products should be seen as a driver.
  • To resolve the future challenges, a number of new RIs are essential, and it will not be possible for each single country to invest in all of these themselves. It is necessary to find a way to cooperate.
  • By cooperation between organisations with complementary facilities, the use of resources can be optimised. Instead of inventing the wheel twice, we could invent the wheel at one place and steer the wheel at another place.

The need for new common RIs can be summarised in the following two statements:

  1. There is a need for additional RIs to be able to solve the common future challenges e.g. climate change, globalisation, demographic changes, need for efficient transport and limited resources. The RIs will also be key drivers for innovation, knowledge exchange, research development and the economy.
  2. Financing of the world-class RI is a key issue, and to be able to realise the necessary RIs it is important that the transport sector applies a new common strategy that focuses on a coordinated approach, with cooperation between countries/researchers, open access RI and a common roadmap, contrary to the status quo which is fragmented and focuses predominantly on the local needs of each country. 



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