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Transport experts meet to drive cooperation forward

EU News 523/2012

30 October 2012

On 4 September the Institute for Transport Policy Studies hosted a meeting of European and Japanese experts to discuss recent transport developments and areas for future collaboration and exchange. The meeting was organised as part of the European Transport Research Area International Cooperation Activities (EUTRAIN) project. This project was launched in October 2011 and seeks to investigate key issues shaping cooperation in transport research.

Specifically the aims of the project is to look at and compare current transport practices, fields of interest, priorities, as well as review the barriers, gaps and diversions for international transport research cooperation.

The event drew experts from a number of different Japanese institutes, including the Institute for Transport Policy Studies, Nihon University, Sagami Women's University, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo City University, Tokyo Metropolitan University, the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), the Overseas Coastal Area Development Institute of Japan, and the University of Tokyo.

The outcomes of the project will include proposals for the establishment of a framework for international transport research cooperation; provide a review of different country research capabilities, investment trends, as well as future priorities and potential for cooperation with the EU in areas of mutual interest.

The meeting in Tokyo enabled participants to appreciate the current transport situation, and develop a concise appreciation of the priorities and areas of mutual interest between EU and Japanese counterparts that should pave the way for clearer roadmaps for future collaboration.

In particular, the need to share experiences, exchange more information on the latest policies, projects, strategies, and inter-regional activities was recognised. Furthermore, there was a desire to create a stronger cooperative network, with a common knowledge database on the researchers, major problems, and projects across the various countries. There was also an acknowledged need for more common rule making in maritime, and aviation systems as well as on carbon dioxide emissions.

While recognising some of the institutional and other restrains which shape interactions, participants noted some common areas of interest surrounding comparative transport policy, standardized datasets on policies and procedures, the relationship between transport and climate change, developments in materials sciences, international standards and other policy activities.

The EUTRAIN project is a two year project with a total budget of €900,000. It is coordinated by the European Conference on Transport Research Infrastructures (ECTRI). Consortium members include the European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination scrl (ERTICO), the European Rail Research Network of Excellence (EURNEX e.V), the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL), and Volvo Technology Corporation.

Links to further information:
EUTrain http://www.eutrain-project.eu/