Transports in Horizon 2020, themes and novelties of 2018-2020 calls presented in Rome
Themes, deadlines and suggestions useful to participate in the next European calls on research in transports were at the centre of the national infoday on 2018-2020 calls concerning the societal challenge Smart, green and integrated transports of the Horizon 2020 programme.
The event was organized by the Agency for the Promotion of European Research-APRE on behalf of the Ministry of Education, University and Research-MIUR in Rome, at the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work-INAIL.
The initiative brought together public and private subjects as well as institutional realities involved in the sector, to witness the benefits of “creating a context that encourages research and innovation activities”, as highlighted by Fabrizio Cobis, a Manager of the Directorate General for the Coordination and Development of Research in his opening.
Detailed information about the call was presented by Maria Cristina Marolda, Policy Officer of the European Commission Directorate General MOVE. The novelties include “focus areas” across several sectors and programmes, reinforced international cooperation, reduction in – but broader scope of – the number of topics and a brand new structure of the plan, focused on greater integration.
The Work Programme 2018-2020, on the fourth Horizon 2020 societal challenge, is built around 3 calls: Mobility for Growth, with an overall budget of 513.6 million euro over 3 years, of which 197.4 in 2018,168.7 in 2019 and 147.5 million in 2020; Automated Road Transport, with a total of 103 million, of which 15 in 2018, 38 in 2019 and 50 in 2020; Green Vehicles with a total of 246 million, of which 56 in 2018, 78 in 2019 and 112 in 2020. Additional 17 million euro have been allocated to other actions, including Horizon 2020 awards.
Mobility for Growth aims at promoting transport solutions that can be rapidly deployed and addressing in a systemic way transport means, infrastructure and operation models that can be integrated in a user-friendly system of smart and connected mobility. Focused on reducing the impact on the environment, the call is built around 4 topics: Low-carbon and sustainable transport, Safe, integrated and resilient transport systems, Global leadership and competitiveness and Accounting for people.
Automated Road Transport aims at funding large-scale demos to promote market introduction of highly-automated driving systems, and trials on automated functions in real driving conditions, various traffic scenarios and urban areas. Moreover, the call aims at supporting a new framework of rules, standards and certification procedures, as well as new concepts for shared, connected and automated mobility.
Green vehicles aims at preparing the ground for a potential, massive introduction of electrified vehicles on the market, by supporting design and manufacturing of third generation of vehicles, components and batteries. The call aims at developing new charging solutions to meet end-user needs, new concepts to reduce energy consumption and emissions of long-distance vehicles, as well as promoting cooperation with developing and emerging economies for demonstration activities and pilots in large urban areas.
To address the opportunities of this new programme at best, it is useful to consider the strengths and weaknesses related to applications to calls in previous years. This was done in detail by Angela Di Febbraro, Italian Representative in the Programme Committee on Societal Challenge 4 of Horizon 2020 and Professor at the University of Genoa.
During the previous period, under the funding scheme Smart, green and integrated transports, Italy achieved a success rate of 25% versus 30% in Europe on average. With this percentage, the fourth societal challenge ranks third by Italian success rate in Horizon 2020 calls, after SME Instrument and Infrastructure funding schemes, with 48.9% and 34.3% for Italy vs. 48% and 35.9% for Europe on average, respectively.
The analysis of the issues observed in the past and the new programme suggest that, in case of calls including two evaluation stages, it is useful to submit well-designed proposals since the very early stage.
Applicants are also advised to describe the impact of their projects in detail and to put great emphasis on innovation, since these aspects will be taken in great consideration by this new work programme. Applicants are also invited to set up interdisciplinary and intersectorial consortia, also including great female and SME participation.