Wednesday, June 20, 2012

EUCAR Pushes For More R&I Initiatives

Published June 20, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

The European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR) has called for a number of priority automotive research and innovation (R&I) initiatives by 2020 to support competitive and sustainable road transport.

EUCAR also calls for these initiatives to be supported by a substantial budget that reflects the sector’s social and economic contribution to Europe.

Rémi Bastien, chairman of EUCAR, today set out the association’s recommendations on “Horizon 2020” to an audience of Members of European Parliament and stakeholders at a seminar in the European Parliament. Horizon 2020 is the EU’s Framework Program for Research & Innovation from 2014-2020. Presenting the recommendations, Bastien highlighted the importance of Horizon 2020 for automotive R&I.

He called for the proposed €80 billion Horizon 2020 budget to be maintained and for the legislation to be finalized as soon as possible.

To support automotive R&I effectively, a suitable budget for automotive initiatives in Horizon 2020 is necessary. This should reflect the automotive industry’s direct contribution of 6.9 percent to European GDP and road transport’s status as a cornerstone of European society, free movement and economic activity. EUCAR therefore calls for a budget share of Horizon 2020 to be devoted to automotive R&I initiatives, which corresponds to the industry's direct contribution to the EU economy.

For Bastien, it is essential to support the objectives of smarter, cleaner, safer and more integrated road transport and to support the global competitiveness of the European automotive sector. Accordingly, EUCAR calls for several priority automotive R&I initiatives to be included in Horizon 2020, including these:

• Advanced powertrains for increased efficiency

• Integrated safety

• Advanced materials and manufacturing

• Heavy duty vehicles and green corridors

These initiatives are to be supported by the three pillars of Horizon 2020: Societal Challenges, Industrial Leadership and Excellent Science. In particular, EUCAR supports the broad lines set out in the Commission’s proposals for the program on “Smart, Green and Integrated Transport” as well as the programs on Energy, Climate/Raw Materials, Information and Communication Technology, Advanced Materials and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing.

For EUCAR and its partners in automotive R&I, an essential component in implementing the above priorities is the future European Green Vehicles Initiative (EGVI), which succeeds the ongoing European Green Cars Initiative. The EGVI should focus on the efficiency of the vehicle, including electrification, in all vehicle types.

EUCAR’s position is set out in its position paper, which can be found here.


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