Overview and Objectives

In the field of Transport research, the European Union as well as other major national, federal or regional entities of “global” importance such as the U.S., Japan, Australia, South America, India, China, Russia and others are buffeted by common transport related problems and challenges. International Cooperation in Transport research is becoming an increasing priority aiming, primarily, at creating “critical mass” in moving collaboratively to solve critical 21st century transportation challenges. The main idea and objective is to establish – through international cooperation in transport research - the free circulation of specialized knowledge, experience and know how in facing transport problems and challenges and create through collaboration the conditions for more “breakthrough” research and achievements that would otherwise require more time and resources if faced individually and separately. As the European Transport Research Area (ERA-T) takes shape and strength, international transport research collaboration can both help its further strengthening and internal cohesion as well as boost Europe’s competitiveness in the global economy. The EUTRAIN project puts forward a framework for such international cooperation in Transport research between the European Transport Research Area (ERA-T) and other regions, in order to ease existing barriers and limiting factors for such collaboration. It is also of major interest to try and achieve, within international research collaboration, an increased focus on human resources and creating the next generation of “global” researchers. The EUTRAIN project builds upon the existing experience and know-how in this field - that has been gained in recent years through specific actions of international cooperation as well as projects / studies – and goes one step further to make specific recommendations and policies that will be “ripe” for implementation.


1. To contribute towards the establishment of a framework for international transport research cooperation1 to be built upon the principles and orientations laid down in the EC Communication “A strategic European Framework for International Science and Technology Cooperation”
2. To investigate country research capabilities, investment, future priorities and potential for cooperation with the EU in the prospect of mutual interest, in major regions of importance to the European Research Area – Transport (ERA-T). These regions will include (but not necessarily limited to), the following:

- Regions of immediate proximity and/or interaction with ERA-T: US, Russia, Mediterranean cooperation countries (with focus on the southern side of the Mediterranean, i.e.: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt), and Eastern Europe Neighbourhood cooperation countries (such as: the Balkan countries, Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus).
- Regions of wider interest and importance: China, India, Korea, South Africa.
- Other regions, e.g. Japan, Australia, Latin America (Brazil / Argentina / Chile), Canada.

3. To consider and discuss current practices for research governance and management as well as barriers, gaps, and diversions for international transport research cooperation.
4. To assess the benefits or added value to ERA-T, as well as the prospective synergies from such closer international cooperation.
5. To investigate alternative models and tools for carrying out such cooperation in the most effective and productive way and finally,
6. To disseminate, in the course of doing the above activities, European know how and practices in transport research.

In the course of carrying out the above project objectives and their related activities, the project will also seek to clarify and establish the current status and practice vis-à-vis a number of “focused” international cooperation issues among which, most notably the following:

  • Information and data sharing issues
  • Achieving “global” research infrastructures
  • Pre-standardization issues and means of harmonizing approaches and practices
  • Intellectual Property Regimes
  • Differences in Institutional cultures and research governance regimes
  • Research training and human resource issues (Mobility of researchers and global networking)
  • Establishment of open research cooperation programmes (e.g. notably joint programming).

EUTRAIN in brief

7th Framework Programme
Call: TPT.2011-3-1
Theme: A productive international cooperation to strengthening the European Transport research area and facing global challenges
Project coordinator: ECTRI www.ectri.org
Duration: 24 months, October 2011 - September 2013
Total budget: € 908.199
EC contribution: € 908.199

Co-funded by the EC DG Research for Specific International Cooperation Actions (SICA)

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