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Call: Climate resilient and environmentally sustainable transport infrastructure, with a focus on inland waterways

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Programme
Acronym HE-CL5-D6
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 6: Safe, Resilient Transport and Smart Mobility services for passengers and goods"

This Destination includes activities addressing safe and smart mobility services for passengers and goods.

Europe needs to manage the transformation of supply-based transport into safe, resilient and sustainable transport and demand-driven, smart mobility services for passengers and goods. Suitable research and innovation will enable significant safety, environmental, economic and social benefits by reducing accidents caused by human error, decreasing traffic congestion, reducing energy consumption and emissions of vehicles, increasing efficiency and productivity of freight transport operations. To succeed in this transformation, Europe’s ageing (and not always sustainable) transport infrastructure needs to be prepared for enabling cleaner and smarter operations.

Europe needs also to maintain a high-level of transport safety for its citizens. Resilience should be built in the transport systems to prevent, mitigate and recover from disruptions. Research and innovation will underpin the three safety pillars: technologies, regulations and human factors.

This Destination contributes to the following Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientations (KSO):

  • C: Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems;
  • A: Promoting an open strategic autonomy[[‘Open strategic autonomy’ refers to the term ‘strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy’, as reflected in the conclusions of the European Council 1 – 2 October 2020.]] by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains to accelerate and steer the digital and green transitions through human-centred technologies and innovations.

It covers the following impact areas:

  • Industrial leadership in key and emerging technologies that work for people;
  • Smart and sustainable transport.

The expected impact, in line with the Strategic Plan, is to contribute to “Safe, seamless, smart, inclusive, resilient and sustainable mobility systems for people and goods thanks to user-centric technologies and services including digital technologies and advanced satellite navigation services”, notably through:

  1. Accelerating the implementation of innovative connected, cooperative and automated mobility (CCAM) technologies and systems for passengers and goods (more detailed information below).
  2. Further developing a multimodal transport system through sustainable and smart long-haul and urban freight transport and logistics, upgraded and resilient physical and digital infrastructures for smarter vehicles and operations, for optimised system-wide network efficiency (more detailed information below).
  3. Drastically decreasing the number of transport accidents, incidents and fatalities towards the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 even in road transportation (Vision Zero) and increase the resilience of transport systems (more detailed information below).

Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM)

The aim of relevant topics under this Destination is to accelerate the implementation of innovative connected, cooperative and automated mobility (CCAM) technologies and systems. Actions will help to develop new mobility concepts for passengers and goods – enabled by CCAM - leading to healthier, safer, more accessible, sustainable, cost-effective and demand-responsive transport everywhere. CCAM solutions will shift design and development from a driver-centred to mobility-user oriented approach, providing viable alternatives for private vehicle ownership while increasing inclusiveness of mobility. CCAM must be integrated in the whole transport system to fully exploit the potential benefits of CCAM and minimise potential adverse effects, such as increasingly congested traffic or new risks in mixed traffic environments.

The focus is on road transport, but relevant interfaces with other modes (for instance transfers and integration with public transport or rail freight transport) will be considered.

All technologies, solutions, testing and demonstration activities resulting from these actions should be documented fully and transparently, to ensure replicability, increase adoption, up-scaling, assist future planning decisions and EU and national policy-making and increase citizen buy-in.

Actions are in line with the recommendations of the new European Partnership on CCAM. The Vision of the Partnership is: “European leadership in safe and sustainable road transport through automation”. It aims to harmonise European R&I efforts to accelerate the implementation of innovative CCAM technologies and services. It aims to exploit the full systemic benefits of new mobility solutions enabled by CCAM. The European Partnership on CCAM plans to closely cooperate with other European Partnerships, in particular with “Towards zero emission road transport” (2ZERO), “Driving Urban Transitions” (DUT), “Key digital technologies” (KDT), “Smart networks and services” (SNS) and “AI, data and robotics” (AI). The European Partnership will establish cooperation mechanisms to ensure close interaction when defining R&I actions to maximise synergies and avoid overlaps.

R&I actions taking place at a socio-technical level aiming to better understand the science-society relationship (particularly when social practices, market uptake or ownership are concerned) should favour solutions that are grounded in social innovation in order to achieve its desired outcomes, i.e. by matching innovative ideas with social needs and by forming new collaborations between public and private actors, including civil society and researchers from the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

To test CCAM solutions, applicants can seek possibilities of involving the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in order to valorise the relevant expertise and physical facilities of JRC in demonstrating and testing energy and mobility applications of the JRC Living Lab for Future Urban Ecosystems https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/research-facility/living-labs-at-the-jrc

The main impacts to be generated by topics targeting connected, cooperative and automated mobility under this Destination are:

  • Validated safety and security, improved robustness and resilience of CCAM technologies and systems.
  • Secure and trustworthy interaction between road users, CCAM and “conventional” vehicles, infrastructure and services to achieve safer and more efficient transport flows (people and goods) and better use of infrastructure capacity.
  • Seamless, affordable and user oriented CCAM based mobility and goods deliveries for all and high public acceptance of these services with clear understanding of its benefits and limits as well as rebound effects; based on the changing mobility needs and desires of a society in transition (digitally and environmentally).
  • Better coordination of R&I and large-scale testing activities in Europe and expanded knowledge base on CCAM solutions.
  • European leadership in the development and deployment of connected and automated mobility and logistics services and systems, ensuring long-term growth and jobs.

Multimodal and sustainable transport systems for passengers and goods

Multimodal and sustainable transport systems are the backbone for efficient mobility of passengers and freight. In particular, the areas of infrastructure, logistics and network/traffic management play a major role in making mobility and transport climate neutral, also through the digitalisation of the sectors. At the same time, being vulnerable to climate change and other disruptions, resilience in these three areas need to be increased. New and advanced infrastructures across all transport modes are required to enable the introduction of new vehicles, operations and mobility services. Furthermore, efficient and smart multimodal logistics are key for seamless and sustainable long-haul, regional and urban freight transport movements. Finally, dynamic multimodal network and traffic management systems are the “glue” of the entire transport network, for optimised door-to-door mobility of both passengers and freight.

To test solutions related to multimodal and sustainable transport systems for passengers and good, applicants may seek possibilities of involving the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in order to valorise the relevant expertise and physical facilities of JRC in demonstrating and testing energy and mobility applications of the JRC Living Lab for Future Urban Ecosystems[[https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/research-facility/living-labs-at-the-jrc]].

The main impacts to be generated by topics targeting Multimodal and sustainable transport systems for passengers and goods under this Destination are:

  • Upgraded and resilient physical and digital infrastructure for clean, accessible, affordable, connected and automated multimodal mobility.
  • Sustainable and smart long-haul, regional and urban freight transport and logistics, through increased efficiency, improved interconnectivity and smart enforcement.
  • Reduced external costs (e.g. congestion, traffic jams, emissions, air and noise pollution, road collisions) of urban, peri-urban (regional) and long distance freight transport as well as optimised system-wide network efficiency and resilience.
  • Enhanced local and/or regional capacity for governance and innovation in urban mobility and logistics.

Safety and resilience - per mode and across all transport modes

Safety and resilience are of primary concern for any transport system. The EU set ambitious targets in its 2011 Transport White Paper, the third Mobility Package and, more recently, the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy[[COM(2020) 789 final.]]. COVID-19 has been a stark reminder of the importance of resilience to external disruptions, particularly for transport. Research and innovation will underpin the three pillars affecting safety and resilience: technologies; regulations (alongside acceptable level of risks); and human factors (individual and organisational aspects, including interaction with automation). The approach is risk-based and systemic, including transport means/vehicles, infrastructure, the physical environment (e.g. weather) and the various actors (e.g. manufacturers, regulators, operators, users) as well as all their interfaces, including certification and standardisation bodies.

Synergies should be exploited across research at national, EU and international level together with national authorities, EU agencies and international organisations to improve rulemaking, safety promotion and oversight.

The main impacts to be generated by topics targeting transport safety and resilience under this Destination are:

Safety in Urban Areas/ Road Transport Safety

  • 50% reduction in serious injuries and fatalities in road crashes by 2030.
  • Improved reliability and performance of systems that aim to anticipate and minimize safety risks, avoiding risks and collisions, and reducing the consequences of unavoidable crashes.
  • Drastic reduction of road fatalities and serious crash injuries in low and medium income countries in Africa.
  • Better design principles of future road transport systems enabling also better traffic flow in big cities.

Waterborne Safety and Resilience

  • Ensure healthy passenger shipping by preventing and mitigating the spread of contagious diseases and infections.

Aviation Safety and Resilience

  • Decrease number of accidents and incidents due to organisational/human/automation factors and external hazards in all phases of flight, also beyond CAT category (80% goal in FlightPath2050), while enabling all weather operations.
  • Saving lives following a crash (post-crash survivability).
  • Anticipate emergence of new threats that could generate potential accidents and incidents (short, medium, and long term).
  • Ensure safety through aviation transformation (from green/digital technologies uptake up to independent certification).
  • Maintain safety and resilience despite the scale, pace and diversity of new entrants.
Link Link to Programme
Call
Climate resilient and environmentally sustainable transport infrastructure, with a focus on inland waterways
Description of call
"Climate resilient and environmentally sustainable transport infrastructure, with a focus on inland waterways"

Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Ensure navigability for inland waterways by assuring at least 50% capacity during extreme weather events.
  • Enhance land/sea/infrastructure resilience to extreme weather and human caused events by assuring at least 80% capacity at network level during the disruptions.
  • Contribute with at least a 20% increase in modal shift to the sustainability of transport systems.
  • Ensure resilience and smooth functioning of passenger mobility as well as freight transport and logistics networks operating on these infrastructures.
  • Increase the use of recycled materials within or across transport modes by at least 30%.
  • Reduce environmental impact (emissions, soil/water pollution, degradation of ecosystems and fragmentation of habitats) during construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of the infrastructure in line with the EU environmental legislation.

Scope:

Transport infrastructure is vulnerable to climate change and other natural or human caused disruptions. Maintaining an elevated infrastructure reliability and performance is crucial for increasing the resilience of the transport system. For example, low or excessive precipitations and extreme temperatures put a strain on transport infrastructure, lowering its performance and capacity, exacerbating its vulnerabilities and raising safety concerns. At the same time when focusing at a resilient and performing transport infrastructure its environmental footprint, resource and material consumption and habitat fragmentation and biodiversity degradation should be reduced to a minimum. The goal is smart, green, sustainable, climate-resilient and biodiversity friendly infrastructure.

Research is needed in order to limit transport infrastructure vulnerability to climate change and other natural or human caused disruptions. Making infrastructures more resilient to climate change should focus on improving the ability of the transport infrastructure network to withstand disruption, adapt to changing conditions under extreme circumstances while maintaining its performance. The goal is to strengthen infrastructure reliability, improve its performance and increase the resilience of the whole transport system, creating a climate resilient infrastructure system. The proposals will develop and validate new solutions to increase efficiency, inter-modality, resilience, safety and security of the transport system, for passengers and freight. Proposals should address all of the following aspects with particular attention to inland waterways:

  • Solutions for ensuring the performance of inland waterways during periods of low or high water levels (as they are primary reasons blocking smooth functioning of this type of transport infrastructures).
  • Solutions for ensuring the performance and safety of land transport infrastructure and ports during extreme weather and man-made events. Development of strategies for increasing the capacity of resilient infrastructures during disruptive events. Interconnection of infrastructure health monitoring, traffic management and emergency management systems to support informed decision making during and after these events, also supporting possible redistribution of passenger and freight flows to complementary infrastructures.
  • Building on state-of-the-art solutions for surveillance and prediction of climate change effects, and identification of infrastructure points vulnerable to climate change, proposals should develop cross-modal strategies to upgrade (including physical upgrade) existing infrastructures and reduce their vulnerability, while using sustainable materials and construction techniques.
  • Design of standard, modular infrastructure elements for rapid deployment after disruptive events in order to increase the capacity of the transport network or create new provisional links as a temporary measure until the transport network recovers its normal capacity. Both mode-specific and multi-modal solutions can be considered.
  • Development of new governance models that enable cooperation across institutional, modal and national boundaries. Together with stakeholders and end users at various levels, develop and demonstrate innovative concepts and solutions to make operations for passenger mobility, freight transport and logistics supply chains more resilient to large-scale shocks and disruptions by enhanced planning, management and flow redistribution (considering also shifting to less carbon-intensive transport modes). Development of standard models and procedures to foster the implementation of resilient methodologies from design and construction and throughout the life-cycle of the infrastructure.

Innovative infrastructure solutions should contribute to lowering the environmental footprint, resources and material consumption. Exploring Nature-based solutions (NBS) is an opportunity for creating sustainable, climate-resilient EU transport infrastructure in a cost-effective manner, while producing substantial social, economic, and environmental co-benefits. The goal is smart, green, sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure, planned in a way that maximises positive impact on economic growth and minimises the negative impact on the environment and, significant and lasting degradation of ecosystems and fragmentation of habitats, promoting environmentally friendly modes of transport and leading to the reduction of transport emissions.

Proposals need to include at least two pilot demonstrations in operational environment (minimum at TRL7) in CEF corridors, one specific for inland waterways and a second one for integrated with waterways hinterland infrastructure. Proposals should also consider results from previous calls on infrastructure resilience and sustainable construction and should uptake relevant EU guidance on development and management of EU transport infrastructures and be compatible with EU environmental legislation. 

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to achieve at least TRL 7 by the end of the project.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Mobility & Transport/Traffic , Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Competitiveness, SME, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Call opens 24.06.2021
Call closes 19.10.2021
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 70 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 7.50 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 23.00 million.
Typ of ActionInnovation Actions (IA)
Funding rate70%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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