GAST Partners

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GAST - Green and Safe Road Transportation

Objectives and themes

Rationale for and background to the project

The road transport industry provides employment across several sectors, and it is a source of both new technologies and manufacturing innovation. The European Road Transport Advisory Council (ERTRAC) has identified in its Strategic Research Agenda the conflicting challenges faced by road transport within the European Community:

• Demands for personal mobility and goods transport are growing,
• Preservation of the environment is a concern,
• Energy supply is a concern,
• Global competitive pressure demands increasing efficiencies.

It is now widely acknowledge within the European Road Transportation Community that

Significant social, economic and environmental benefits can both be gained through improved knowledge and continued investment in research in the road transport industry,
Both technical and non-technical research domains are key to finding solutions and making soundly based investment decisions for improving road transport within an intermodal system,
The solutions required for our society can only be achieved through a multi-disciplinary, systems approach to research activities and the subsequent development and implementation by the private and public sectors at the European and national levels.

The GAST pilot project has been designed to meet those needs and taking a significant step for the integration of education, research and innovation actors towards greener and safer road transportation by bringing together major players in the field of innovation, education and research throughout Europe as well as OEMs and suppliers for the vehicle industry and developing adequate models for their cooperation.

Overall aims of the project and its specific objectives

Objective of the project

The objective of GAST is to create, test and validate the conditions, structures and processes which will enable a successful transition into a sustainable partnership addressing the needs for “greener and safer road transportation” in relation with the broader aspects of mobility for people and transport of goods.

This partnership shall bring together – as it is the case in the current pilot project – key players in research, education and innovation in the field of green and safe road transportation and become a major actor at European level within the knowledge triangle of education, research and innovation.

The GAST partnership will focus on research, knowledge and technology creation and transfer with the objective to turn R&D activities into commercial opportunities and improve the innovation capacity of the European industry.

The pilot project aims at supplying the wider European innovation community with proven cooperation models within the knowledge triangle education, research and innovation. The models will especially describe conditions and structures within education and research which support innovation friendly environments; this was not the main task of universities in the past where they focussed more on the link between research and education.

With regards to the requirements of the call for proposals, specific objectives of the GAST project are:

Collect, analyse and assess practices in order to identify good practices and roadblocks for cooperation models within the knowledge triangle,
Design new models,
Test and validate some of the components of those new models by building on existing practices and initiatives in order to ensure a rapid take up of the models

Examples for those components to be designed, tested and validated are:

Collaborative education programmes enabling a better quantitative and qualitative adequacy of the graduates to the needs and requirements of the industry
Project houses where industry and academy develop joint innovation programmes, integrating educational aspects

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