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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article20 February 2023European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency2 min read

Cutting-edge research results on show at the #RTR conference 2023

Over sixty EU projects took to the stage at the sixth Conference on Results from Road Transport Research to highlight achievements and exchange experience.

RTR conference collage

Over 350 delegates came to Brussels 14-16 February 2023 to take part in the flagship event for Road Transport Research results (RTR). The annual event is organised jointly by the European Commission’s department for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), the partnerships EGVIAfor2Zero for green vehicles and CCAM Association for connected mobility, as well as the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council, ERTRAC.

Over the three days and across 16 parallel sessions, attendees heard first-hand from 61 projects about their most promising results, challenges faced, and innovative solutions developed. All invited projects received funding support from the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, within the CINEA portfolio. The event also provided insights into future research needs in the areas covered by the conference: Green Vehicles, Urban Mobility, Logistics, Intelligent Transport Systems, Safety, Automated Road Transport, and Infrastructure.

Speaking in the opening session, CINEA Acting Director, Paloma Aba Garrote said:

“As the #EUGreenDeal agency, greener road transport is at the heart of our work in CINEA. We are proud of what these projects have achieved towards that goal.”

Importance of synergies

The conference delivered a holistic view of how the European research scene is moving forward in these fields, and bringing benefits to the environment, economy, and European society more broadly.

Rosalinde van der Vlies, Clean Planet Director in DG RTD reinforced the holistic approach and the importance of synergies with other programmes to fill in funding gaps and achieve wider goals.

“There is a misconception about what research delivers. It goes beyond technical solutions to bring to market. It’s also about skills development, competitiveness of European industries, and ensuring that our society is fair and inclusive.”

Rosalinde van der Vlies (second left) and Paloma Aba Garrote (right)
Rosalinde van der Vlies (second left) and Paloma Aba Garrote (right)

Many of the speakers emphasised how vital EU research funding has been to enabling collaboration for innovation, a message shared by Arwed Schmidt of the CCAM autonomous logistics project AWARD:

“Getting funding from the EU enabled us to bring key players together with one goal – to scale up and develop complementary use cases.”

Sharing research findings and key lessons

The event provided an excellent platform for disseminating research findings and maximising the exploitation of projects results. You can find the list of all projects present at the event here. It also offered a forum for exchange and sharing lessons learned, with key takeaways summed up in the conference conclusions below:  

  • Factor in the societal and regulatory context from the start of a project as this is paramount for the success of deployment
  • Build on previous successes and continue with incremental innovation. Research cannot be seen in isolation
  • Be agile and fast
  • Focus more on future skills needs and education, including in the field of artificial intelligence and data management in road transport