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Research Alliance

ETRA identity and scope

The European Transport Research Alliance - ETRA, was officially launched on Thursday, 20th September 2012, in Brussels. In the launching ceremony, the presidents of the five European research Associations in the field of Transport, who were the founding partners, signed the documents creating the Alliance.

The creation of the Alliance is the culmination of a process that started with the “Lyon Declaration” of 2008 which declared the will of the transport research community of Europe to cooperate in order to promote and materialize a more unified and cooperative transport research sector in Europe. Subsequently, the necessary preparatory work was done under an EU-funded project called DETRA (Developing the European Transport Research Alliance), coordinated by FEHRL. The creation of the ETRA was the result of all this preparatory work.

The main purpose and scope of ETRA is to help bring about more cooperation and synergies between the different European transport research stakeholders and to enhance the integration process, in the field of European transport research, that is a necessary pre-requisite for the materialization of the vision of the EU for a “unified” research space across the whole of Europe, known as the European Research Area – ERA.

The main value-added of the ETRA initiative – for the EU in general and its partners as well - is the synergies that can be accrued from such “horizontal” cooperation leaving more room for the more “vertical” work pursued by each of the ETRA partners in their own specific areas of focus. For the European Commission, the work and the presence of ETRA means a bottom up support of their policies towards the achievement of the ERA in the field of Transport i.e. the ERA–T.


  • ETRA releases its second STRATEGIC RESEARCH POSITION PAPER entitled “Strategic Issues and Challenges for European Transport Research: A Position paper of the European Transport Research Alliance”. Find the text here
  • ETRA Workshop on “Transport & Climate Change: European Researchers act” , Paris Monday 6th July, 2015:  This Workshop (co-organised with the French Transport Research Institute IFSTTAR) was successfully organized as a one-day event within the CFCC 2015 "Our Common Future under Climate Change" International Scientific Conference that took  place that same week in Paris  ( There will be an ETRA report with the main presentations, discussions and findings of this workshop (expected publication: January 2016). For the programme of this workshop press here. For the presentations press here. FOR THE FINAL WORKSHOP REPORT press here.

  • ΕΤΡΑ meets with EC officials. On  9th July 2015 the ETRA representatives and heads of its partner Associations met with the EC Directors Ms  Manuela Soares, Director Transport Research DG R&I, and Ms  Magda Kopczynska, Research Director DG M&T. The discussion involved an exchange of views on the future needs for transport research within the H2020 programme, information on current ETRA activities as well as on its 5 partner Associations and other issues of common interest.

For ETRA related photos please click here and videos here.

Events & News


  • On December 1st 2016 the ETRA partners had a 2 hour meeting with the Cabinet of EU Commissioner for Transport Ms. V. Bulc. During the meeting the full range of activities of the ETRA Alliance was presented and especially its recent Strategic Research position paper on future Transport research (see its full text in other sections of this site). Also, the two sides exchanged ideas and positions regarding the contents of the current H2020 Transport calls as well as the needs for potential new research Themes and Topics in the future.
  • On December 1st 2016 the ETRA held its 5th Plenary meeting in Brussels. During the Plenary, the main item was the discussion of the results of the recent internal evaluation of the Alliance by the members of the partner Associations. It was decided that certain changes would have to be made to the statute of the Alliance. These changes will effect the scope, organisational structure and modus operandi of the Alliance. They will be formulated and implemented within the first three months of 2017.
  • On October 5th 2016 the Management Committee of the TRA 2018 Conference decided to accept ETRA as a full member. ETRA also participates – with three representatives – in the Programme Committee of the same Conference.
  • At the end of 2016 the European Transport Research Alliance completes the first four years of its life. As part of its original Terms of Reference its partners conduct an evaluation of its achievements and work so far. As part of this process, a report on the activities of ETRA was produced for the last 4 years (up to the summer of 2016). You can find this report here